As the first semester comes to an end, the Spartan swimmers and divers ended on a high note, as both the men’s and women’s team finished in second place at the TYR Invitational at Northwestern University last weekend.
A number of Spartan swimmers took home first place honors as senior Bryan Williams won both the 100 and 200-yard butterfly, making an NCAA B-cut in the 100 with a time of 47.37. He also led off the 800-yard freestyle relay in an NCAA B-cut in the 200 (1:37.89).
“He had a great meet. He split very well, he performed very well,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis.
Freshman Sarah Love was the other individual winner as she won the 50-yard butterfly in thrilling fashion, out-touching a University of Illinois at Chicago swimmer by one-hundredth of a second, with a time of 25.29.
“Sarah started the meet really slow so I was a little nervous, thinking that she was going to be overwhelmed, but really not at all,” Gianiodis said. ” She really did very well.”
Spartan freshmen continued to put on a show as Alec Kandt also made a NCAA B-cut in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 54.91. Jon Burke placed third in the 500-yard freestyle (4:28.48) and Adam Marsh placed fifth (4:30.45).
“What really got our team relaxed and ready to go was when Adam Marsh went his best time in the 500 by five seconds,” Gianiodis said. ” I think that really relaxed a lot of the kids because once a freshman can do that everybody is feeling that way.”
The Spartans have some time off now as the U.S. Short Course National meet will take place on December 5. Strickler and freshman Oguz Aslanoglu will be the only swimmers competing for Michigan State. The next dual meet will be on January 11 at Purdue. Gianiodis said winter break is crucial because sometimes, swimmers and divers must train on their own.
“They have to manage the next couple weeks,” Gianiodis said. “We start training again on Monday, but that is the week before exam week, then we will be (training) in Florida for a week, then they’re home until New Year’s. Training is going to be on them and they’re going to have to train hard.”
Max King is the host of Pool Time for Impact Sports.
Photo: Max King