MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – On the final day of competition at the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, Erik Klontz (Sr./Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) once again stole the show. This time it was his performance in the 100-yard freestyle as he broke the MIAC record with a winning time of 44.52. He later anchored the Knights’ 400-yard freestyle relay that allowed the Carleton College men to finish one spot ahead of Gustavus Adolphus in that event and edge the Gusties for third in the team standings by two only points.
He finished the weekend with MIAC titles in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the process, he broke the MIAC Championship and MIAC overall records in all three events. Klontz figured in a total of six All-MIAC swims, three individually and three relays, and he was voted by the conference coaches as the MIAC Men’s Swimmer-of-the-Year for 2013. He joins Jason Brown (2002 and 2003) and Ted Marschall (2008) as Knights to receive this accolade.
St. Olaf won its 29th team title with 787 points, followed by St. Thomas (748), Carleton (528), and Gustavus (526) with Saint John’s (438) rounding out the top five teams.
Klontz won the 100 freestyle prelims with a time of 44.75, breaking his own school record and good enough to be an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Championships. Not content with that performance, however, he returned in the evening and managed to cut another two-tenths of a second to establish the new conference mark.
Chris Frills (Sr./Chicago, Ill./North Lawndale) was the first Knight to tally points on day three, as he earned 14 crucial points by placing fifth in the 3-meter diving competition.
Andy Hardt (Sr./Mount Kisco, N.Y./American School London) and Jaymes Awbrey (Sr./Farmington, Minn./Farmington) both scored in the 1650-yard freestyle, placing seventh and 12th respectively. Both significantly improved their season-best times, with Hardt trimming more than 50 seconds to finish at 16:57.90, making him the fourth-fastest in team history. Awbrey cut more than 70 seconds and reached the wall at 17:54.72.
Jonathan Brodie (Fy./Fremont, Calif./Washington) qualified for the championship final of the 200-yard backstroke with a preliminary-round time of 1:56.14, ranking fourth in team history. He ended up eighth in the event, and Tom Holmes (Sr./Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington) finished 10th at 1:57.93, only 0.05 second off his prelims time that now ranks ninth in program annals.
While Klontz grabbed the top spot on the podium in the 100 freestyle, the Knights had three other swimmers advance to the finals in the event. Mamoru Kanazawa (Sr./Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International) was already fourth in program history in the event, yet he established a personal-best with his time of 46.17 during the prelims. He placed sixth in the finals, touching the wall at 46.24. Rookies Stephen Grinich (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) and George McAneny (Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz) placed ninth and 13th at 46.78 and 47.84, respectively
Evan Harris (So./Lexington, S.C./Lexington) picked up All-MIAC distinction with a third-place result in the 200-yard breaststroke. He moved up to fourth in team history with a personal-best time of 2:07.23
The Knights had five swimmers get through the prelims of the 200-yard butterfly. Benito Ramirez (Jr./Saint Louis Park, Minn./Minneapolis South) earned All-MIAC recognition in the event for the third consecutive season. He finished at 1:55.84, while Wilson Josephson (Fy./Mount Hermon, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) placed fifth at 1:56.58, moving him into third place on Carleton’s all-time top-10 chart. Will Sparks (So./Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), Eli Danson (So./Wausau, Wis./Wausau East), and Ben Strasser (Sr./Avondale Estates, Ga./Paideia) finished 11th, 12th and 16th respectively during the consolation final.
With the Knights and Gusties locked in a tie at 498-498, the battle for third place came down to the weekend’s final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Kanazawa led off the fourth-place swim and was followed by Ramirez. At the halfway point in the race, Carleton and Gustavus were locked in a dead heat as both made the second exchange at 1:34.33. Grinich gave the Knights a half-second advantage by the time Klontz took to the water. Appropriately, the senior caption turned in the fastest anchor leg and ultimately got the Knights to the wall three seconds head of Gustavus.
Klontz has already punched his ticket to the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships to be held March 20-23 in Shenandoah, Texas. This weekend he posted automatic qualifying times in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. Additionally, the Knights’ 200 freestyle relay looks to be virtual lock for a trip to nationals as the quartet missed the automatic qualifying standard by only 0.05 second and is more than 1.3 seconds under the selection time from 2012. Carleton’s 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay are both on the bubble for selection.
200-yard freestyle relay
1. Carleton (1:21.55) — NCAA “B” cut time... set Carleton and MIAC record
Erik Klontz, George McAneny, Stephen Grinich, Mamoru Kanazawa
1. Erik Klontz (Sr., Carleton) 19.83 — NCAA “A” cut time… set Carleton and MIAC record (19.66) during prelims. That is third-fastest time in NCAA Division III history.
200-yard medley relay
3. Carleton (1:32.73) — set school record — NCAA “B” cut time
Mamoru Kanazawa, Evan Harris, Erik Klontz, and George McAneny
400-yard individual medley
3. Andy Hardt (Sr., Carleton) 4:07.15 — NCAA “B” cut time
3. Erik Klontz (Sr., Carleton) 51.30
3. Mamoru Kanazawa (Sr., Carleton) 1:41.22 — NCAA “B” cut time
800-yard freestyle relay
3. Carleton (6:52.06) — set school record — NCAA “B” cut time
Benito Ramirez, Erik Klontz, Andy Hardt, Mamoru Kanazawa
1. Erik Klontz (Sr., Carleton) 44.52 — NCAA “A” cut time... set Carleton and MIAC record
3. Evan harris (So., Carleton) 2:07.23
3. Benito Ramirez (Jr., Carleton) 1:55.84