GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- The University of North Dakota swimming and diving teams opened their 2013-14 seasons with wins as the women scored a 161-139 dual win over South Dakota State and the men downed St. Cloud State (169-129) and South Dakota State (192-106) at Hyslop Pool Saturday afternoon.
"Tonight was a great start to our season," UND first-year head coach Chris Maiello said. "SDSU and St. Cloud swam well and it took a great effort from our team to get the wins. I am pleased with our early season results, we are just getting started and it's good to have such positive outcomes this early in the season. All the credit goes to the athletes, they have worked very hard in preparation for this meet and the season in general.
"On the men’s side Austin Smith had a great meet-- winning both breast events was a great boost for our team. Adam Gannon also swam very well today with victories in the 50 free and 100 fly proving to be big momentum swings for the guys. Senior co-captain Rick Eberle dove sharp this afternoon. That's senior leadership at its finest there. It was fun tonight.
"On the women’s side, great performances from Kristin Ainsworth and Erin Grabanski led our program to the victory. Our teams remember last year's defeat and it helped fuel the performances tonight. Our divers contributed some big points for us. Rachael Waldbillig’s two victories on the boards set the pace for our women’s team. We are excited for the next couple meets and how our season will unfold.”
All told, UND totaled 18 first-place finishes with seven athletes recording wins in multiple events: Matt Koken (200 fly- 1:56.58), Aaron Chanas-LaRue (200 back- 1:55.72), Courtney Funk (50 free- 24.19), Noah Lucas (200 free- 1:41.73; 500 free- 4:37.08), Adam Gannon (50 free- 21.05; 100 fly- 50.41), Austin Smith (100 breast- 56.68; 200 breast- 2:07.72; 200 IM- 1:58.91), Erin Grabanski (100 back- 59.09; 200 IM- 2:10.75), Kristin Ainsworth (200 fly- 2:10.33; 200 back- 2:05.57), Rachael Waldbillig (3-meter and 1-meter dive), Rick Eberle (1-meter and 3-meter dive).
North Dakota heads to Vermillion, S.D. to battle rival South Dakota Friday.