The St. Thomas men and women opened up healthy leads over Gustavus with a productive session Friday night at the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Tommie men -- chasing the program's fourth consecutive conference team title and sixth in nine seasons -- turned a 29-point lead at the start of the day into a 95-point cushion over the Gusties going into the final seven events on Saturday night. Coach Scott Blanchard's Tommies won five of seven events and took second in two other races.
Senior Bailey Biwer climbed to 17 career victories (relays or individual) in his four-year MIAC Championships career. UST's 200 medley relay broke a 2017 school record by .04 of second, while Max Larson broke the 400 IM record by three seconds.
The Tommie women -- chasing the program's third consecutive conference team title -- started Friday up just 15 points on Gustavus but pushed the margin to 129 points after a successful evening. St. Thomas posted four firsts and five seconds out of the eight events on Friday, and Nicole Herrli broke her own 2016 school record in the 400 IM.
St. Thomas' women won the 200 medley relay in 1:44.93 with Tiana Molitor, Melissa Rose, Haley Cassens and Kate Smarjesse, and took the 800 free relay in 7:40.54 with Alex Howard, Katelyn Strauss, Kasey Ericson and Smarjesse.
Strauss won the 100 fly in 56.85. Ashley Christensen won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.92. UST runners-up were Kellie Pruitt in three-meter diving (387.55); Herrli in the 400 IM (school-record 4:31.66); Howard in the 200 free (1:53.36); Kirsten Nelson in the 100 back (57.50); and Smarjesse in the 100 fly (57.58). Molitor placed third in the 100 back (57.70)
The Tommie men swept the 800 free and 200 medley relays. The 800 free won in 6:47.69 with Warren Melton, Max Larson, Adam Boerner and Biwer. The 200 medley unit placed first in a school-record 1:30.97 with Tom Negaard, Alex Robb, Biwer and Charles Hynes.
Max Larson won the 400 IM (school-record 4:03.23); Biwer won the 100 fly (48.29); and Warren Melton won the 200 free (1:40.46). Seconds were scored by Colin Glass in the 100 breaststroke (56.66); and Negaard in the 100 back (51.08). Thirds were scored by Joe Herrli in the 100 back (51.87); and Nate Stone in the 100 fly (50.91).
Friday morning story
The St. Thomas men and women had solid prelim performances on Friday morning as they look to extend team leads on Friday night at the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Tommie men -- chasing the program's fourth consecutive conference team title and sixth in nine seasons -- lead Gustavus 261-232. In Friday's five prelim races they advanced 15 to the evening finals and two to the consolation finals to outperform the Gusties.
The Tommie women -- chasing the program's third consecutive conference team title -- lead Gustavus 215-200. In Friday's five prelim races they advanced 13 to the evening finals and four to the consolation finals to outperform the Gusties. UST also advanced one diver to the eight-person finals.
Friday's finals start at 6:30 p.m., and the meet concludes with prelims and finals on Saturday.
For the men:
- Max Larson qualified second in the 400 IM;
- Biley Biwer led a 1-3-6 prelim showing in the 100 fly;
- Warren Melton led a 1-7-8 prelim finish in the 200 free;
- Colin Glass led a 2-3-6 prelim showing in the 100 breaststroke;
- Tom Negaard ;led a 1-3-6-8 prelim showing in the 100 back.
For the women:
- Katelyn Strauss led a 2-3-4-5 UST prelim finish in the 100 fly;
- Tiana Molitor and Kirsten Nelson qualified 1-3 in the 100 back;
- Ashley Christensen and Deidree Voss qualified 1-4 in the 100 breaststroke;
- Alex Howard and Mira Schroeder qualified 1-4 in the 200 free;
- Nicole Herr;i led a 3-4-6 UST prelim finish in the 400 IM;
- Kellie Pruitt (378.70) qualified fourth among eight to make the three-meter diving finals.