Over the past weekend from Feb. 11-14, the University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in the 2015 Great Lakes Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, placing third for both sides.
The Greyhounds had their work cut out for them on both sides entering the conference meet, as they met the No. 1 ranked team in the country and defending GLVC champion Drury University Panthers, who won again this year for both the men and women.
According to Head Swimming and Diving Coach Gary Kinkead, Drury has been first or second in nationals for the past 20 years.
“Them [Drury] being in our conference makes us have to work really hard in our conference meet,” Kinkead said. “Plus with the conference championship, we are going to have to do very, very well there to position ourselves to possibly get picked up to go to the national championship as individuals.”
Overall, the Panthers ran away with both championships as the men finished first with 1008 points, followed by Truman State University at second place with 769.5 points and UIndy at third with 510. The Drury women tallied up 834 points for its first place score, and were followed by the Missouri S&T Miners with 608.5 and the Greyhounds at third with 584.5 points.
On Wednesday, Feb. 11, the Greyhounds tallied B-cut standard times in five events. On Thursday, the men’s 200 free relay achieved a B-cut time of 1:21.83 and sophomore Brandon Norman decreased his B-cut time to 1:48.92 in the 200 IM.
Five of the men’s team competitors either achieved or improved their provisional times on Friday, while the 400 medley relay improved their B-cut time by half a second. The meet concluded on Saturday Feb. 14, as the women’s 400 free relay team took silver and improved their B-cut time. Senior Daniel Chan won silver in the 200 butterfly and senior Justin Rossillo did the same in the 100 free.
Looking ahead towards nationals while preparing for the conference meet this past weekend, Kinkead said in the past, it has taken being within the top 13 of the country in individual events and within the top nine in the country in a relay to be chosen for nationals.
“That makes it very difficult and very important to do the best we can at our conference championship meet,” Kinkead said. “We are really bringing everybody down to almost a full taper for the conference because we can’t leave anything behind.”
Senior Tyler Offutt, who won the 3-meter springboard for the second-straight season on Thursday and the 1-meter on Friday, said he is looking towards preparing for nationals, and that in order to be successful at the conference meet, he had to prepare in a unique way.
“For swimming their practices get shorter, they rest their muscles. My practices actually get longer because I’m trying to build a diving endurance,” Offutt said. “So I’ll do repetition. I’ll do more of the dives, six, seven, eight, nine times, because in a conference championship there is prelims in the morning and finals in the evening, so it’s a lot more diving.”
Offutt’s preparation paid off, as he also claimed his second-straight GLVC’s top diver award. Besides Offutt finding success at the conference meet, on the women’s side, junior Natelie Todd received a silver medal, after placing second on the 1-meter.
The Greyhounds who achieved national provisional times during the conference meet and throughout the season, will now await the announcement of the NCAA Division II Championships participants. Those chosen to participate will compete at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis March 11-14.