MINNEAPOLIS -- Erik Klontz (Jr./Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) is the fastest man in the MIAC. He entered the conference swimming and diving championships with the season’s top time in the 50-yard freestyle and closed day one of the MIAC meet with the same distinction. That was the top highlight for the Carleton College men’s swimming and diving team on Thursday.
Klontz stole the show during the morning preliminary round, setting a new meet record when he touched the wall in just 20.18, besting the nation’s top time entering the weekend. That mark also eclipsed his own Carleton record by 0.47 second as he also achieved the NCAA automatic qualifying standard.
During the evening event finals, Klontz grabbed the lead by the turn and raced home in 20.30, again an ‘A’ cut time. He was third in the event a year ago and becomes the first Carleton champion in the 50 freestyle since Bob Crawford in 1988.
The Knights are fifth in the team competition after the first of three days of action from the U of Minnesota Aquatics Center.
Divers Leo Hummel (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Garfield) and Chris Frills (Jr./Chicago, Ill./North Lawndale College Prep) scored Carleton’s first points of the championships, finishing eighth and ninth respectively on the 1-meter board.
Mamoru Kanazawa (Jr./Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International School) placed sixth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:47.19. Evan Harris (Fy./Lexington, S.C./Lexington) won the consolation final in 4:46.15, and Benito Ramirez (So./Saint Louis Park, Minn./Minneapolis South) was 11th at 4:48.16.
The Knights had three racers qualify for the consolation heat of the 200-yard individual medley. Ross Brown (So./Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls), Kevin Hallman (Sr./Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park & River Forest), and Jesse Gourevitch (So./Ardsley, N.Y./Ardsley) palced 10th, 13th and 15th respectively.
The Knights pulled off a double victory in the 50 freestyle as Sophie Pilhofer (Jr./Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation) claimed the women’s crown, then Klontz earned the men’s title.
Day one concluded for Carleton with a fifth-place result in the 400-yard medley relay. Tom Holmes (Jr./Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington), Gourevitch, Will Sparks (Fy./Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), and Brown combined for a time of 3:36.12.
The conference championships continue Friday and Saturday with prelims slated for 10:30 a.m. and event finals set for 6:30 p.m.
Carleton head coach Andy Clark (centered) with 2012 MIAC Champions in the 500 freestyle, Erik Klontz and Sophie Pilhofer