(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.”

Previous articleReady, set, write: Students start novels
Next articlePlein-air makes perfect
Katherine Scheu
Junior Katie J. Read is the assistant editor for the Culture page of The Hillsdale Collegian. When she's not working in the newsroom or reporting on a story, she's reading either French literature or backlogged feature stories on the Pulitzer prize website. After graduation, she hopes to write feature stories for a large daily paper and invest in a KitchenAid mixer and a puppy.