By Kevin Dudley – [email protected]
The Johnnie and Blazer swim and dive teams finished their respective seasons Feb. 16-18 at the MIAC Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The Johnnies placed fourth out of eight teams, while the Blazers finished sixth out of 11 teams.
Sophomore Ashley Groebner headlined for the Blazers with several high-placing finishes. She had two top 10 finishes, both of which placed her top 10 in CSB history.
Groebner took sixth place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a personal best of 1:07.2. This time places her third in school history. She finished seventh place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:27.67. This ranks her sixth in CSB history in this event.
Groebner also placed 13th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:15.52 which is the seventh fastest in school history.
Groebner’s performances at the conference meet led to her winning CSB athlete of the week.
She was pleased following the outstanding meet but feels better performances are ahead.
“I was happy, but am never satisfied,” Groebner said.
There were several other outstanding performances for the Blazers. First-year Maggie Pomerenke finished fifth in the one-meter dive with a score of 363.70. First-year Lauren Christiansen finished eighth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:02.35.
The sixth place team finish was one spot lower than the team placed a year ago, but the team is young.
Groebner is confident that there are big things to come in the near future.
“This season showed that we have a lot of young talent,” Groebner said. “I think next year is going to be really good.”
The Johnnies were led by a familiar face to the MIAC podium.
Senior Kenny Bergman swam to his third straight conference championship in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 45.36. This is the first time in over 10 years that a Johnnie swimmer won three straight conference titles in the same event.
Bergman also finished second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.08—just 0.08 of a second away from the title.
Bergman finishes his career as a five-time All-MIAC performer.
Bergman was happy with his accomplishment, but stressed the importance of others when it came to his individual accomplishments.
“It’s a testament to our entire team including teammates and coach Bill Saxton,” Bergman said.
Several other Johnnies shined in the team’s fourth place finish. Senior diver Justin Wollin finished eighth in the 3-meter dive with a score of 386.35. Senior Jose Alvarez swam to a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:57.46.
The Johnnies finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Seniors Sam Kosner and Andrew Urness, first-year Luke Heller and Bergman teamed up for a time of 3:05.97.
The Johnnies were hoping to finish second overall, but Bergman thought the team performed well at the meet.
“We had a lot of great swims,” Bergman said.
The Johnnies graduate some key people but Bergman is confident that the Johnnies will continue to have success after the class of 2017 leaves.
“Were a really young team, and there’s a lot of potential in that,” Bergman said.
Feature image courtesy of CSB Media Relations.