Jacks struggle in Lincoln, despite personal best performances

By JORDAN C. SMITH Sportswriter


 Despite not winning an event, the SDSU women’s swimming and diving team achieved multiple individual bests and strong performances against Big Ten competition during Friday’s meet in Lincoln, NE, featuring the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa. 

“Our place finishes weren’t good and that was expected with Big Ten opponents,” head coach Brad Erickson said. “Nonetheless, we swam very well, especially having that many kids having season bests. We also had a couple of kids who had personal records. … Overall, I was pleased with how we swam.”

Emily Campbell earned the team’s highest finish of the day by taking third in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:23.10. Campbell also placed sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.06. 

Six other swimmers also finished in the top six of their event. Emma Gaulke-Janowski placed fifth in the 1000-yard freestyle with a season best time of 10:48.50. Julia Bodnaruk came in fifth in the 200-yard freestyle with her time of 1:56.73. Hadlie Overhue placed sixth in the 100-yard backstroke with a personal record time of 1:00.46. Kayce Smith came in sixth in the 200-yard breaststroke with her personal record time of 2:28.24. Andee Budahl placed sixth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:14.67. Nicole Grimit came in sixth in the 100-yard butterfly with her season best time of 59.02. 

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Devonne Dalin, Bodnaruk, Grimit, and Kaylin Caron finished fifth with a time of 3:38.12, and the 200-yard medley relay team of Sam Prasher, Campbell, Grimit, and Dalin took sixth place with a time of 1:50.02. 

On the diving side, Olivia Olesiak led the Jacks in the three meter diving, finishing eighth with a score of 228.85 while Alecia Winston led the Jacks in the one meter driving, scoring 199.40 to earn her a ninth place finish.

Moving forward into the season, the men’s and women’s teams will return to action on Dec. 6 and 7 when they travel to the Jean Freeman Invitational which looks to feature several more Big Ten teams including the hosting University of Minnesota. Following that meet, the Jacks will have four weeks off before the schedule picks up after the team travels to Florida for the St.Pete’s Classic on Jan. 4. During the coming break in the schedule, the team will focus on hard training with the hope of more personal bests coming at the end of it. 

“The next couple of weeks, with this week, and next week being Thanksgiving, we’re just going to put a lot of yardage in at this point,” Erickson said. “And then our next meet that we’ve got is the sixth and seventh of December with the Jean Freeman Invite. And for that meet we’re going to do what we call a drop taper, we’re not going to lift weights that week and we’re going to drastically reduce yardage. … And then it’s back to a lot of yardage and hard training.” 

Another task during the break will be getting swimmers healthy. Several swimmers have been held back in their training due to back and physical issues and are only recently getting back into their workouts. Still, with a month and a half of meets behind them, several swimmers and divers have stepped up exceptionally well for the Jacks. 

“Chris Angerhofer has had some really good swims the past few meets and has done a good job for us there,” Erickson said. “Noah Batenhorst in the diving has been a good surprise for us. And then people that we expected to do well – the common names like Andee Budahl and Emily Campbell, the three returning divers with Clark [Kocourek], Olivia [Olesiak], and Connor Florand – those are pretty standard performances that they’ve had throughout the season. Another one new on the women’s side that [is] a little bit surprising in the distance IM is Kendra Hinton. … We’re looking at changing her some of her events from distance free to distance IM.”

At the onset of the season Erickson hoped for second place finishes in conference and at this point his expectations are holding strong.

“If we look at the top ten times in the league, Denver is dominating everything,” Erickson said. “But beyond that, if you look at the things we got a good chance to finish on the men’s and women’s sides in second place.”