The Hillsdale College Chargers took second place at the University of Chicago invitational Nov. 22 – 24 and currently hold multiple top-10 placements in the conference standings for each event.
Several chargers made season or lifetime best times as they finished second out of 10 teams with a score of 694. The hosts, the University of Chicago, won the meet with 1667 points and Lewis University took third with 683.5 points.
“It went as I expected. They got the opportunity to showcase what they’ve been working for and had some really great times,” head coach Kurt Kirner said. “But we can still be faster.”
Several distance swimmers got lifetime bests in the 1650 freestyle Friday evening. Freshman Sarah Clark took seventh place and made a lifetime best by 13 seconds with a time of 18:15.23.
“It was very encouraging to see that all the work that we’ve done so far is paying off,” Clark said. “And we’ll only get faster and stronger.”
The Chargers all scored in the top 20 in the 500 freestyle on Saturday, and freshman Leah Tunney made her first NCAA B‑cut with a third-place finish of 5:03.42, which means she’s nearing the qualifying times for the national meet.
On Sunday, four Chargers finished the 400 IM in the top 10: Junior Katherine Heeres finished fourth, senior Danielle Snell finished fifth, senior Allie Matti finished eighth, and senior Catherine Voisin finished 10th. Matti and Voisin both earned lifetime-best times in the finals.
“These midseason meets are a really good test for conference finals,” Snell said. “This is the first meet that we are somewhat rested for and that we wear our championship suits. It’s a very different environment than the dual meets.”
Kirner called the Chicago invitational “an important dress rehearsal” for the conference finals next semester, as the times from this meet will determine heat placement for the championship. The standings, however, will not be announced until after some of the conference teams compete in their invitational this coming weekend.
Kirner said the invitational is also a good way to decide how the relay teams will train together in the next two months before the championship season.
Several Chargers will travel to Calvin College for the Calvin Winter Invite, seeking to earn new best times to qualify for the national meet. They will compete on Friday through Sunday. For those who aren’t racing this weekend, they’ll rest up and practice for their next meet, which is a dual race on Jan. 11 at Depauw University.