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(Photo: Hillsdale College Ath­letics)

The Chargers may have lost to Calvin College 148 – 86 and Grand Valley State Uni­versity 165 – 61 at their Oct. 20 meet, but indi­vidual per­for­mances by junior Anika Ellingson and sophomore Vic­toria Addis and two strong relay swims made the com­pe­tition a success.

Head coach Kurt Kirner said he eval­uates each meet by the times his swimmers achieve in their races, not by the overall score they receive at the end of the com­pe­tition. This view­point is espe­cially important at an event where the Chargers faced teams with twice as many swimmers, according to senior captain Peyton Bowen.

“We like to emphasize the indi­vidual vic­tories at this meet every year. It’s great to swim at such a nice pool and get a taste of the com­pe­tition we’ll be facing at the Calvin Invite in December,” Bowen said. “We just put our heads down and trained extremely hard throughout fall break and will con­tinue to do so throughout the season.”

Ellingson said she saw the team’s mental grit as a success of the com­pe­tition in addition to the handful of standout events.

“The team worked really hard in the week leading up to the meet, and I know our times reflected our fatigue levels, but they also reflected our per­se­verance,” Ellingson said. “There were def­i­nitely dis­ap­point­ments but I believe I saw a triumph in how men­tally tough the team was that day.”

Ellingson earned her team its only first place when she fin­ished the 100 breast­stroke in 1:06.97. Despite the win, she iden­tified ele­ments of the swim she wants to improve.

“I felt that I com­peted well con­sid­ering how tired I felt,” Ellingson said. “My 100 Breast­stroke felt a little rough and I know coach Kirner and I spoke about a few things I need to work on when I race, such as turn speed and keeping a faster tempo.”

Ellingson also brought her spe­cialty stroke to the 200 medley relay and com­peted with freshman Katherine Heeres, sophomore Catherine Voisin, and junior Suzanne DeTar. They fin­ished second with a time of 1:51.64.

After a fall break focused on fine-tuning the team, Bowen said she and her fellow swimmers are ready and moti­vated for their next meet.

“On Sunday, we take on Olivet and Notre Dame here at home,” Bowen said. “We’ve been training relent­lessly over the past few weeks, espe­cially here over fall break. We always suffer a sub­stantial loss from diving, but I have con­fi­dence in the team’s ability to surpass the expec­ta­tions placed on us. We want to win.”