The Chargers are now 4 – 0 after another win at a home meet this past weekend. They raced Albion College and finished the meet with a score of 134 to 107.
Head Coach Kurt Kirner said Albion is a strong competitor which made the win more gratifying.
“They have good frontline swimmers that were able to win a few events, and they have diving,” Kirner said. “So we had to overcome, from the start, a 32 point deficit. It really gave us this collective idea that we have to go out and swim as a team. Everybody counts and everybody’s responsible.”
Despite the point deficit from the lack of Hillsdale divers, the team was strong enough in swimming events to take the win.
Hillsdale swept the 200 yard freestyle, with junior Leah Tunney (1:58.28), sophomore Sarah Pataniczek (2:03.12), and junior Sarah Clark (2:03.21) coming in first, second, and third. Tunney also came out on top in the 100 yard backstroke with a 59.49 and swam third in the winning 4x100 freestyle relay, which finished with a 3:41.19.
Tunney was awarded G‑MAC swimmer of the week for the second week in a row after her performance against Albion. The Chargers have now won the award four weeks in a row.
Hillsdale also went first, second, and fourth in the 1000 yard freestyle. Freshman Elise Mason came first with a 10:54.27, the only time under 11 minutes. Freshman Megan Clifford was second (11:21.75) and senior Maddie Breay was fourth (11:57.83).
Freshman Joanna Burnham swam her first 400 yard individual medley of the season this weekend and won the event with a time of 4:43.64.
“I was glad I could score valuable points for the team and help us win,” Burnham said.
Kirner said he is very pleased with his team at this point in the season.
“I could talk about so many different swimmers that have had a hand in how well we’ve done the last couple of weeks,” Kirner said. “We’re doing it through injury and illness which definitely shows the depth we have.”
Pataniczek said the team is feeling good about their progress and their potential for the rest of the season.
“We are currently undefeated and I think everyone just makes racing a little more fun,” Pataniczek said. “We’re all just good at supporting each other and we’re all really proud of each other.”
The team will compete three more times this semester, ending with an invitational meet at Davenport University. Pataniczek said it is the biggest meet of the season.
“At the end of this month we’ll get rested and suit up and hopefully have some fast times out of it,” Pataniczek said.
Burhnam said she thinks they have prepared well so far.
“So far we’ve been swimming really well, especially for all the hard work we’ve been doing,” Burnham said. “I think it’s going to be a really good setup for the invite.”
The Chargers will travel to Olivet College on Saturday, Nov. 6 to race Olivet, Ursuline College, and Notre Dame College Ohio.