Swim and dive teams fall in dual finale at North Dakota

By AUSTIN HAMM Sports Editor

The SDSU swim and dive teams both traveled to Grand Forks, N.D. to face the University of North Dakota in their final dual of the season. Both teams fell, with the men falling by a score of 175-125, and the women dropping a 207-93 decision.

“It did not go as well as we had hoped. We had a few individual good swims, but overall not what we were expecting,” SDSU head coach Brad      Erickson said. “We started out on a good foot when Connor (Florand) and Olivia (Olesiak) won their respective boards, but we just didn’t have enough good swims. North Dakota is a good team, but we’re still looking at the end of the season and this is just another step towards the championships. We told the team at the end, if you swam well, fine. If you didn’t, our goal is not this meet. It’s a matter of focusing on the end of the year, not the individual weekend.” 

Florand and Olesiak both started the day off with wins on the three-meter boards. Both also took first on the one-meter board.

The men’s swimmers claimed three individual victories, with Chris Angerhofer taking the 1000-yard freestyle, Alex McLain winning the 100-yard backstroke, and Ben Bolinske snagging a victory in the 50-yard freestyle.

For UND, Martin Pozniak claimed three          individual events and also swam on his team’s winning 400-yard medley relay to open the dual. Pozniak won the 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard individual medley.

On the women’s side, Emily Campbell claimed both swimming victories for SDSU, winning the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke.

North Dakota received three individual         victories from both Erin Grabanski and Gracie DiMeo. Grabanski also swam the leadoff leg of UND’s 400-yard medley relay, which opened the meet with a victory.

Though the day didn’t pan out the way the Jacks wanted, the final events did give SDSU some hope and energy going forward on the men’s side. The divers, lead by Florand, closed out the day by sweeping the top three places on the one-meter board. Florand was followed by Nate Bratenhort in second and Parker Brown in third.

Also helping close out the day on a high note was the 200-yard freestyle relay team,               Daniel Jacobson, Tony Mirkut, Blake Yeager and            Bolinske on the anchor leg teaming to get the win.

“Men went one-two-three on the one-meter board and the men’s 200-yard free relay we won at the end of the meet,” Erickson said. “So you’re kind of leaving with a better taste in your mouth.”

With the duals done for the year, SDSU now turns their attention to the Minnesota Challenge this weekend in Minneapolis on Feb. 6 and 7 as they continue to prepare for the Summit League Championships.

“The Challenge offers the same format as the conference championships, but in a timed final instead of prelims and finals,” Erickson said. “It’s a final tune up, if people are still debating on a third individual event, they can swim that event here to try.”