Carolyn Curtis beat the competition to the wall by less than a tenth-of-a-second to claim the final individual event of the night.
ELSAH, Ill.– The University of Minnesota Morris women’s swimming & diving team finds itself in third place with 174.5 points at the Liberal Arts Championships after the second day of competition on Thursday.
Asbury University leads the team standings with 239 points, while the Illinois Institute of Technology is in second with 200 points. Chasing after the Cougars are Principia College with 119 points, Williams Baptist University with 110.5 points, Mills College with 78 points, and the College of Saint Mary with 42 points.
The morning began will prelims in the 500 Freestyle, 200 IM, and 50 Freestyle. Jenna Gutterman put herself into the ‘A’ final in the 500 with a time of 5:38.99. Anna Fairbanks qualified for the ‘B’ final after swimming a 6:25.47.
In the final race of the morning session, Carolyn Curtis and Lilly Radintz qualified for the ‘A’ final of the 50 Free. Curtis was second in qualifying in 25.64 seconds and Radintz was fourth in 26.10 seconds. Paulina Bekkum added one more Cougar into a Thursday night final, earning a spot in the ‘B’ final with a time of 27.26 seconds.
Coming back for the evening session, the night started with the 200 Freestyle Relay. Minnesota Morris started with exhibition swims for its ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams. The ‘B’ team of Ball, Smee, Bekkum, and Jalissa Johnson ended with a time of 1:50.02, while the ‘C’ team of Hannah Wellens, Jessica Beaudoin, Fairbanks, and Victoria Johnson touched in 2:07.88. That led to the second heat of the 200 Free Relay, where the Cougar ‘A’ team of Radintz, Abby Doyle, Gutterman, and Curtis placed second in 1:44.73 to earn 34 points for the team.
Individual finals began with the ‘B’ final of the 500 Free. Fairbanks ended as the runner-up in the race, placing 10th overall in 6:21.94. Gutterman then submitted the second-best time in program history, taking third in 5:27.89.
Ball and Smee had a 1-2 finish in the ‘B’ final for UMN Morris in the 200 IM. Ball won the first heat of the finals in 2:28.57 to place ninth. Smee was just behind in 10th place overall, clocking a 2:31.14.
The final individual swim of the evening was the 50 Freestyle. Bekkum led off for the Cougars and tied for fourth in the ‘B’ final, tying for 12th overall in 27.32 seconds. In the ‘A’ final, Curtis made up a small deficit in the final yards, out-touching Mia Gauvin from Saint Mary by .07 to win the title in 25.48 seconds. That time ranks as the fifth-best time in program history for the Cougars. Radintz finished fourth overall and had the 10th-best time in program history, finishing in 25.98 seconds.
The night ended with the 400 Medley Relay. In that event, the ‘A’ team of Ball, Paige Haugen, Curtis, and Doyle placed fourth in 4:19.74. The ‘B’ team of Fairbanks, Jalissa Johnson, Hannah Wellens, and Smee swam a 4:58.27.
Tomorrow’s action once again gets underway at 10 a.m. with preliminary swims of the 400 IM, 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, and 100 Backstroke. Finals of those events plus the 200 Medley Relay will begin at 5:30 p.m.