For the second weekend in a row, the Hillsdale women’s swim team added two more victories to its record. The Chargers easily cruised past Ohio Northern University 141.4 – 90.5 and Olivet College 137 – 78.
Since both Olivet and Ohio Northern are Division III schools, Hillsdale had more flexibility and the meet wasn’t as crucial as others. This gave coach Kurt Kirner an opportunity to mix things up a bit and compete in events that they normally don’t.
“It was definitely a change of pace, and it wasn’t as stressful,” freshman Zoe Clark said.
Despite mostly not swimming their specialty events, the girls put on a show for the home crowd without winning by too much.
“In swimming, it’s proper etiquette to not run up the score too badly, and that’s one thing that separates swimming from other sports,” freshman Carson Burt said.
Notable performers for the Chargers include sophomore Rachel Kurtz, who, although normally a sprinter, moved up to the 200-yard free and took first place with a time of 1:59.24.
Freshman Hannah Leitner won the 500-yard free and led the way for Hillsdale’s 1 – 2‑3 sweep as Becca Remmes and Emily Peltier were close behind. Just like Leitner, fellow freshman Jennifer Wheeler took first in the 1000-yard free and again led the way for another Hillsdale sweep of the top three spots as freshman Mikalah Smith and senior Sami Ward soon followed.
Sophomore Alison Bauer, who is having a successful season thus far, recorded personal records in two events: 1:09.03 in the 100-yard breaststroke, as well as 2:19.36 in the 200-yard IM, which was good for second place.
Freshman Sarah Rinaldi continued her streak of victorious meets. This time Rinaldi won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.23 and the 100-yard back in 1:02.55. Hillsdale’s A, B, and C 200 free relays recorded the top three times in the event but swam in the exhibition category, which means points cannot be earned.
Coach Kurt Kirner was pleased with how the meet went.
“We really had a lot of good swims, and despite racing after a week of hard work, the girls still put up great performances,” Kirner said.
Kirner was happy with sophomore breast-strokers Alison Bauer and sophomore Cayley Cruickshank, who “make great training partners and both have potential to drop more time later in the season,” he added.
While most Hillsdale students will become couch potatoes pnrt Thanksgiving break, the girls will stay on their grind and are expected to practice with their club teams.
They will compete next at the Calvin invite beginning Nov. 29. It is an important three-day event that will help prepare them for the GLIAC championships.