The Carleton women’s swimming team won the 2009 MIAC Championships in convincing fashion, dethroning two-time defending champion Gustavus Adolphus by a 101.5 point margin. This was the Knights third conference championship this decade and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2000-01. Maggie Alexander ’12 earned MIAC co-Swimmer of the Year honors.
The Knights used their team dept to conclude the weekend with 721 points. Gustavus was next with 619.5 followed by St. Thomas (496) and St. Olaf (479). Only three schools won team titles this decade: Gustavus (4), Carleton (3) and St. Olaf (3).
In tonight’s final session Alexander broke the conference record as she posted a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:03.04 in winning the 200 backstroke. Her stellar weekend also included a victory in the 500 freestyle on Thursday, a second-place showing in the 200 freestyle on Friday, and participation in a pair of All-MIAC relays.
Kaarin Taylor ’09 captured Carleton’s other individual crown on the final day, winning the 200 butterfly for her second individual title of the championships.
Annalisa Andre ’10 and Lauren Knoche ’09 got Carleton on the board early in day three as they took 10th and 13th respectively in the 1650 yard freestyle.
The Knights entered the final day of action with a 60-point lead over Gustavus, and the second event of the session proved to be the difference maker.
With Maggie Alexander leading the way, Carleton earned four of the top five spots in the 200 backstroke, scoring 66 team points in the event. That gave the Knights a huge momentum burst early in the evening and helped propel Carleton to an insurmountable advantage in the team competition.
Kale Zicafoose ’11 also notched a NCAA automatic qualifier (2:03.95) in the 200 backstroke. She set the conference record by going 2:05.00 in the preliminaries, only to see Maggie Alexander and herself improve upon that time in the finals. Caitlin Clements-Green ’09 and Annie Metcalf ’12 boosted Carleton’s point total by finishing fourth and fifth.
Becky Alexander ’09 recorded a NCAA qualifying “B” standard of 52.60 while earning All-MIAC honors with a third-place finish in the 100 freestyle. Louise Buckler ’11 also swam in the championship heat, placing eighth. Kelsey Sloan ’10 added a 10th-place performance in the consolation heat.
Kate Alexander ’10 notched another NCAA “B” cut time while earning All-MIAC honors with a second-place finish in the 200 breaststroke. She was fifth after the first split but moved up one slot on each subsequent 50-yard split. Mia Zutz ’10 also swam in the finals and earned eighth place.
Carleton sealed its team victory with another strong performance in the 200 butterfly, again showcasing the depth of this year’s squad. Taylor completed a sweep of the butterfly events at this year’s conference meet as she touched the wall first with a time of 2:11.76, making her the second-fastest swimmer in Carleton history for this event. Joining Taylor in the championship heat were Kelsey Ihinger ’10 and Mallory Pernell ’12 who placed fourth and seventh. Anna Gallagher ’11 chipped in with a 10th place performance.
All three divers advanced to the semifinals in the 1-meter competition with Erin Heydinger ’11 and Irene Dennison ’10 earning points in the team standings by virtue of their respective 10th and 16th place finishes.
The weekend and championship concluded with an All-MIAC performance in the 400 freestyle relay. Buckler, Maggie Alexander, Zicafoose and Becky Alexander notched a NCAA “B” cut time of 3:31.42, the third-fastest showing in Carleton history.
-Courtesy of Sports Information