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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.”