Over fall break, the ladies on the swim team com­peted against Grand Valley State Uni­versity and Calvin College, falling 159 – 77 and 119 – 118, respec­tively. The Chargers held their own against both teams, which come from bigger schools and therefore have bigger pro­grams.

As per usual this season, there was good news for the Chargers despite the losses on paper. Hillsdale cap­tured first and second place in the 1000 free. The freshman-sophomore com­bi­nation of Kylie Powrie and Zoe Hopkins both broke the impressive 11 minute barrier, fin­ishing in 10:54.8 and 10:57.44.

Junior Rachel Kurtz placed second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.57, and third in the 100 freestyle in 54.46. Freshman Emily Balog won the 200 IM in 2:14.55, and Hillsdale actually would have swept the first two spots had it not been for junior Sarah Rinaldi’s dis­qual­i­fi­cation from the event.

Sophomore Naofa Noll also con­tributed to the Charger effort, taking second place in the 100 but­terfly in 1:01.35. Hillsdale also did well in the second long dis­tance event, the 500 free, with Powrie and freshman Jen­nifer Wheeler going placing first and third and fin­ishing in 5:18.03 and 5:21.95. Hillsdale’s breast­strokers com­pli­mented the long dis­tance crew with freshman Emily Balog, and juniors Ali Bauer and Cayley Cruick­shank placing 2 – 3‑4 in the 100 breast.

Senior Alison Johnson, who com­peted in the 100 but­terfly, as well as both relays said that even though they lost, “it was actually a really fun meet, and everyone had a good attitude going into it. In other years we’ve faced easier teams, so this year has been harder.”

Sophomore Hannah Leitner swam the 500 free in addition to both relays. She said she likes the 500 as an indi­vidual event, but also really enjoys the relays.

“[Relays] don’t have as much pressure and they’re more enjoyable because your team­mates are right there cheering for you,” Leitner said. “Obvi­ously you want to do well in your own events but with relays there is an added moti­vation because you never want to let your team­mates down.”

On Sat­urday, Oct. 19, the women’s swim team traveled to Lewis Uni­versity to face off against the Flyers, and came up short 117 – 87.

Despite the loss, the Chargers took first place in three events. Kurtz took first in the 50 free, which is common practice for her, in 24.85 seconds. Rinaldi notched the second win, coming home in the 200 IM in 2:13.83, her fastest time so far this season. Wheeler capped off the first place fin­ishes for the Chargers, edging out opponent Katie Hal­lenback in the 200 but­terfly by less than one second, fin­ishing in 2:12.79.

Other notable per­formers for the Chargers included Hopkins (second in the 1000 free in 11:10.39), senior Jordan Rucinski (third in the 200 free in 2:02.41), both Kurtz and Rinaldi again (second in the 100 free in 54.92 and third in the 200 back­stroke in 2:17.63 respec­tively), Powrie (second in the 500 free in 5:22.17), and Balog (second in the 200 breast in 2:31.63).

Coach Kirner said that despite the result of the meet, the Chargers did improve.

Kirner attributed the loss to a number of things.

“We were scram­bling for people because many girls were sick at the same time,” he said. “Lewis was very good this year, the coach is doing great things with their program, and it was just a com­bi­nation of not being healthy and not winning when we needed to.”

The Chargers have had a slight change to their schedule and will be com­peting next weekend in Canton, Ohio where they will face Malone and Findlay.