NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Mamoru Kanazawa (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary’s International School) is one of 13 seniors on the Carleton College men’s swimming & diving team that participated in their final home meet of their careers. Determined to go out with a bang, Kanazawa set the tone for the Knights with a strong leadoff leg in the evening’s first event, the 200-yard medley relay. That fast start helped Carleton claim the first of its eight event victories as the Knights topped Gustavus Adolphus College, 151-137, for the squad first victory in the series since Nov. 8, 1997.
“I want to extend heartfelt congratulations to the senior class,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “We talked all week about what it would take to get this result, and the team’s effort was outstanding and led to many season-best times.”
Kanazawa figured in four of the eight victories to earn the squad’s coveted “Can of Corn” award. In the medley relay, he gave Carleton a two-second lead at the opening exchange, and the Knights didn’t look back, winning the event with a time of 1:37.27, a three-and-half second victory. Kanazawa was also first to the wall in the 100-yard backstroke, 500-yard freestyle, and 200-yard individual medley where he posted a season best of 2:01.79. In each of the three individual races, he grabbed the early lead and didn’t let up.
Joining Kanazawa on the first winning relay were Erik Klontz (Sr./Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) and juniors Ross Brown (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls) and Benito Ramirez (St. Louis Park, Minn./Minneapolis South).
Later in the night, Klotz didn’t just post another “B” cut time in the 50-yard freestyle, touching in 20.67 seconds, but he also eclipsed his own Thorpe Pool record by 0.2 second. This season he has broken pool records in the event at three different facilities—St. Olaf, St. Thomas and now Carleton. He also posted a two-second victory in the 100-yard freestyle.
The Knights followed the early relay victory with some individual season bests. Evan Harris (So./Lexington, S.C./Lexington) had two such swims, finishing the 1000-yard freestyle in 10:27.06 and the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:02.45, and taking second in both races. Jaymes Awbrey (Jr./Farmington, Minn./Farmington Senior) also tallied a season best in the 1000 free, reaching the wall at 11:05.06. Senior Chris Fills (Chicago, Ill./North Lawndale College Prep) returned from off-campus to represent the Knights in diving and met the MIAC qualifying standards on both boards in his first competition of the season.
Among the other Knights turning in season-best performances were Andrew Cely (So./Plano, Texas/Plano) in the 200 butterfly, as he touched the wall in 2:12.98, and first-year Jonathan Brodie (Fremont, Calif./Washington) in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:04.62.
The team competition was knotted 110-110 with four events remaining. Ramirez and Wilson Josephson (Fy./Mount Hermon, Mass./Northfield-Mount Hermon) pushed Carleton ahead when they finished 1-2 in the 100-yard butterfly.
Frills kept the Knights in front with his second-place result in the 3-meter diving. Kanazwa led throughout the 200-yard IM, and his victory allowed the Knights to carry a slim 138-133 advantage into the evening’s final race, the 200 freestyle relay.
Rookie George McAney (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz) sliced through the water and gave the Knights nearly a body-length lead at the first exchange. Classmate Stephen Grinich (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) extended the lead to nearly two seconds. Ramirez widened the gap even further and in fitting fashion, it was a senior—All-American Erik Klontz—that sealed the Knights’ nearly five-second win in the event and gave Carleton its first dual meet triumph over the Gusties in 15 years.
The Knights have less than 24 hours to rest before facing another strong competitor. They travel to Collegeville, Minn., on Saturday to face Saint John’s University in a dual meet scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m.