Members of the Hillsdale College swim team traveled to Florida over break to train. (Photo: Peyton Bowen / Courtesy)

The Hillsdale swim team split a tri-meet against Case Western Reserve and Ohio Northern University on Saturday, Jan. 21. Case Western Reserve used their home advantage and beat the Chargers 150-141. The Chargers were valiant against ONU, however, soundly ringing in victory with a final score of 201-83.  

Sophomore Suzanne DeTar swam an excellent meet, coming in first for the 100-yard backstroke and 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races.  

“I was extremely happy with my performance in last weekend’s meet,” DeTar said. “Although these weren’t my best times in those events, they set me up nicely for our taper starting later this week.” 

Senior Emily Shallman claimed two first-place spots in the 1000-yard free and 200-yard IM races. Sophomore Anika Ellingson also swam two first places in her strongest races, the 100-yard and 200-yard breastroke. Sophomore Grace Houghton won first in the 200-yard fly race, and freshman Danielle LeBleu won the 200-yard freestyle. Sophomore Tiffany Farris also won a 200-yard backstroke.  

“I’m right where I want to be at this part in the season. I was able to get first place in the 200 back, and I’m really proud of my 200 medley relay for getting first as well,” Farris said. 

Farris, freshman Victoria Addis, freshman Catherine Voisin, and Ellingson  teamed up and took home another first place in the 200-yard medley relay. 

All these victories totaled 11 individual wins for the Chargers, as well as one team relay first place. It was an impressive day for the team despite the loss to Case Western.    

“Overall, the team did really well,” Farris said. “As a team, we took first place in almost every event. Each member of the team gave their best, and I’m proud of what we accomplished together.”

Head coach Kurt Kirner said he was very happy with the progress the team has made in even this past week. He continued to say that he was impressed by the quality of many of the women’s performances at Case Western.  

“We are always challenged by the fact that we give up 32 points by not fielding a diving squad. We did an excellent job with our front line swimmers to almost pull a victory out against Case Western. Ohio Northern was a bit down this year but still provided a challenge for our secondary event swimmers,” Kirner said.

Now nothing stands between the Chargers and the GLIAC championships at Saginaw Valley State University.  on Feb. 8.

“Our total focus is rest and refinement. We are building our best race plan to challenge for NCAA qualifying cuts,” Kirner said.

DeTar said she hopes to get an NCAA B-cut time in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events, and she hopes to see records broken by the Chargers.

“We want 100 percent lifetime bests out of our athletes. If we swim what we are capable of we should be able to score in every event except diving,” Kirner said.  

Farris said she looks forward to being rested for the races of the GLIAC championships. 

“I’m excited to see not only what I can accomplish individually, but also what my team can accomplish together,” Farris said. “We’ve all worked hard this season and I can’t wait to see all of it pay off.”