ST. PAUL, Minn. – Senior All-American Erik Klontz (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) won three individual events and two relays at the St. Thomas Conference Invitational. He wasn’t simply victorious in the 50-yard freestyle, though, he won by nearly a full second and did so in NCAA Championships automatic qualifying time of 20.10.
Klontz later won the 100-yard freestyle in convincing fashion with a time of 45.86, a season-best mark and a NCAA “B cut” time. He completed the trifecta with the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly (51.35). Classmate Mamoru Kanazawa (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary’s International School) tied for second at 52.17.
However, for the Knights, this weekend just as much about the 20 members—seven women and 13 men—from the Carleton College swim teams that were tapered for their final competition of the 2013.
“There were three primary goals for the teams heading into the meet,” explained Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “The first was to compete with a total team mentality. If there is one critical piece to closing any season out on a high note, it is to know you have done it as a team. No one on our program ever swims or dives alone, and this meet provided one more opportunity for our two squads to reinforce the importance of being united toward promoting that team mentality.
“The second goal was to celebrate the end of the season for the 20 swimmers who were rested and shaved for the competition. No better way to do this than to have fast times, and this group of tapered swimmers did not disappoint. Every single one of them hit season and lifetime best performances and most did that in each of their individual swims. In total, out of 58 swims from this group, 55 were best marks.
“The third goal of this competition, was to come away from this meet with a sense of physical and mental momentum as we head toward the MIAC Championships. The taper group had a charge to send a powerful message to the rest of the team to boost this momentum and that is exactly what they were able to do through their inspired swimming. Most of the conference squad members hit top season times in each of their events and the best part about this is they have not even hit the peak of their taper. From this meet, we have room for improvement and we will be looking for significant time drops from conference members at the MIAC's. Add another week plus of rest and detail work along with a good shave, there is no doubt that there will be some incredible swimming and diving at the conference championships.”
The 13 tapered swimmers from the men’s squad were: Adrian Carpenter (Jr./Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo Atherton); Andrew Cely (So./Plano, Texas/Plano); Jlor Dizon (Fy./Alameda, Calif./College Prep); Jeffrey Domingues (So./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong); Michael Domingues (Sr./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong); Eric Hazoury (Fy./Harvard, Mass./ Bromfield); Robert Kaylor (Fy./Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East); Cody Krossa (Fy./Kirkland, Wash./Lake Washington); Adam Miller (Sr./Glendale, Wis./Nicolet); Steven Moran (Sr./Columbia Heights, Minn./Columbia Heights); Ethan Sagin (Sr./Cumberland, Md.); Alex Simonides (Jr./Palo Alto, Calif./Los Altos); Silas Taylor (Fy./Berkely Heights, N.J./Pingry);
While everyone swam incredibly well, Cely was perhaps the most impressive. He hit lifetime best in every swim—including relays—and if his time drops from each event were added up, he trimmed more than 30 seconds in total off his previous bests.
The Knights’ other two victories came during the relays. Klontz, George McAneny (Fy./Santa Cruz, Calif./Santa Cruz), Stephen Grinich (Fy./McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) and Kanazawa combined to open the meet with a season-best time of 1:24.51 in winning the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Kanazawa, Klontz, and McAneny were joined by Evan Harris (So./Lexington, S.C./Lexington) in posting the winning time in the 200-yard medley relay.
Other top-five finishes from the weekend:
Out of a pool of 30 competitors in the 500-yard freestyle, senior Andy Hardt (Mount Kisco, N.Y./American School in London) and Harris swam to third and fourth places only 0.03 seconds apart. Hardt posted a time of 4:55.48. He later added a third-place result in the 400-yard individual medley, finishing at 4:21.35.
Kanazawa was the Knights’ top finisher in the 200-yard individual medley, touching the wall in 2:00.71 to place fourth. He later placed second in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.18).
McAneny sprinted to a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, reaching the wall at 21.69. Grinich was fifth in the 100-yard freestyle at 49.04.
Benito Ramirez (Jr./Saint Louis Park, Minn./Minneapolis South) was fourth overall and second among Division III racers in the 200-yard freestyle. He complete the eight lengths in 1:48.61.
Hardt, Jonathan Brodie (Fy./Fremont, Calif./Washington), Wilson Josephson (Fy./Mount Hermon, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon), and Will Sparks (So./Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) took fourth in the 800-yard freestyle relay.
Hardt, Brodie, Josephson, and Ross Brown (Jr./Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls) recorded another fourth-place result in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“Congratulations to all the team members who completed their seasons this past weekend and especially to the seniors on the men's team: Michael Domingues, Adam Miller, Steve Moran and Ethan Sagin. They each have given a ton of great memories and energy to the program over the four years that they have swam, and I am extremely proud of what they have accomplished,” said Clark.
The Knights host the Northfield Diving Invite on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 6:00 p.m. Then all focus turns to the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships that run from Feb. 14-16 at the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center. Prelim sessions each day begin at 10:30 a.m. with the finals starting at 6:30 p.m.