The Charger swim team split their first two weekends this season.
The team spent their fall break at a tri-meet at Grand Valley State University, where they defeated Calvin (60 – 56) and lost to Grand Valley (74 – 60).
The standout race in Grand Rapids was the 400 Medley Relay. The Hillsdale team consisted of seniors Rachel Kurtz and Ali Bauer, junior Naofa Noll, and sophomore Emily Shallman. They racked up enough points to place third.
Another Charger standout was junior Sarah Rinaldi. She clinched a second place finish in the 200-breaststroke at Grand Valley, as well as placing third in the 200 IM.
“Overall, Grand Valley went pretty well. We beat Calvin even though they had divers and put up a strong showing in the pool. Many girls had solid times and raced well. We have a long road ahead but this meet was an encouraging checkpoint for the season. We are looking forward to racing again and continuing the rigor of training,” senior captain Ali Bauer said.
Kurtz swept the competition in the 50 and 100 freestyle, with 24.63 and 53.65 times respectively. Junior Zoe Hopkins secured a victory in the 1000 freestyle swimming with a 10:47.12 time, and she took home second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:19.80.
“I think it went well, it was a good start to the season,” Hopkins said. “Since we are in the beginning of the season, we aren’t going to start lightening up workouts for a while. We can expect to keep on working really hard each practice and trying to compete each meet building up to conference, because that’s when it really matters,”
The swim team’s opening meet of the season on Oct. 17 started off with a victory against Malone (136 – 86) and a loss to the University of Findlay (139 – 84).
Compared to the beginning of the season last year, the Chargers are off to a quick start.
“Some of our athletes are ahead of where they were last year, particularly Zoe Hopkins and Rachel Kurtz,” head coach Kurt Kirner said. “We weren’t expecting a perfect performance from each swimmer, but I felt comfortable with it.”
Kurtz was the champion in both of her events once again at Findlay in the 50 and the 100 freestyle, with times of 24.28 and 53.85. Junior Zoe Hopkins won the 1000 freestyle with a time of 10:48.88, and clinched a second place finish in the 500 freestyle.
“We put such an emphasis on effort. The idea that if you’re swimming to the best of your effort that the results will show up later on in the season,” Kirner said. “I think we have to continue to work harder. Our conference is fast and so even lifting your head up to breath can add time.”