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Swimming competes in GLIAC for final season

Posted on 02.20.2013

The University of Indianapolis swimming and diving team participated in its final event as a part of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Feb. 9.

The conference tournament took place in Canton, Ohio, Feb. 6-9. The women’s swimming and diving team took second place with 554.5 points, while the men’s team finished third with 559.5 points.  Both teams trailed Wayne State which took first place in both the men’s and women’s.

“To be quite honest—being second and being third—I think that as a team there wasn’t another team that swam as well as we did. We were off just a little bit, but I think that, as a team, we swam better than Wayne State and Grand Valley,” said Head Swimming and Diving Coach Gary Kinkead.

The women won six events over the course of the weekend. For individuals, senior Maura Donahue took first in the 1,000 and 200 freestyle races, while freshman Katy Sonsken added two more individual wins of her own.

“I was really happy with the women. That was a phenomenal competition for them. Everything we needed to happen did. I think we’re just a little bit off. We had some outstanding times and some outstanding swims,” Kinkead said.

Donahue was very pleased with the team’s performance over the weekend.

“This season has been really great. Coming in, I was a little worried that we didn’t have as much talent as we had in the past, but we worked our butts off as a team and we showed that by placing second,” Donahue said. “And if people keep training the way they’ve been training, there will be some great seasons in the future.”

The men placed first in only three events over the weekend.  Sophomore Daniel Chan took first in the 200 butterfly, and freshman Dawid Rybinski won the 500 and 1,000 free with times of 4:28.99 and 9:22.72, respectively. His performance in the 500 set a new school record.

Rybinski came to the Greyhounds from Wroclaw, Poland and faced a few challenges  in the cultural change.

“I didn’t know how it was going to be here. In the beginning, it was hard for me to get used to it. I know the system now and how everything works,” Rybinski said.

Rybinski will join Donahue and many other athletes at the NCAA championships Mar. 5-9.  Donahue, a decorated senior, said that she hopes to end with some personal best times. Donahue will graduate with many awards and honors, including GLIAC Freshman of the Year, in 2010, and GLIAC Swimmer of the Year in 2011 and 2012.  Her teammate, Sonsken, will join her in the GLIAC records as the 2013 Freshman of the Year.

“The seniors we are losing are good individuals. We’re losing some important seniors that have given us some leadership,” Kinkead said. “I’m looking forward to the freshmen and sophomores that have really developed this year coming back next year.”

Rybinski said that his expectations for the Greyhounds’ season next year are high. Kinkead also hopes that his team returns ready to compete.

“The off-season is so important,“ Kinkead said.  “They’ve got to take ownership of the program. Taking ownership of the program means from now until next September, they’ve got to be doing something. If they do absolutely nothing, we’re not going to improve. They have to take ownership.”

In his final year in the GLIAC, Kinkead was named Co-Dewey Newsome GLIAC Men’s Coach of the Year, his first men’s GLIAC coaching award and fifth overall. The Greyhounds will move next school year to the Great Lakes Valley Conference for the 2013-2014 season.



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