MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris swimming & diving team began its 2021-22 season on Friday night at Cougar Pool. Though the University of Jamestown came away with 159-64 victory, UMN Morris had a number of swimmers give breakout performances in their first career action.
The evening kicked off with a close second-place finish in the 200 Medley Relay for the team of Morgan Ball, Evan Westrum, Carolyn Curtis, and Olivia Salzwedel. The group finished in 1:59.91, just behind the Jamestown ‘A’ team that touched in 1:59.80.
Up next was the first individual event of the night, the 1000 Freestyle. Freshman Hannah Wellens won the event by well over 30 seconds, finishing with the 11th-best time in school history with a 12:17.53. Jalissa Johnson was third in the race, just off her PR with a 13:02.93
In the 200 Freestyle, freshman Jenna Gutterman was third in 2:05.81, the seventh-best time in program history. Gutterman would also submit a solid performance in the 100 Breaststroke, taking third in that race in 1:18.39, the 13th-best time ever for a Cougar.
Curtis was back in the pool for the 50 Freestyle, finishing as the top Minnesota Morris swimmer as she was fourth in 27.37 seconds. Curtis was also the runner-up in the 100 Butterfly in 1:07.47.
Another freshman, Westrum, was the runner-up in the 200 IM. The time of 2:27.26 for Westrum in the race was the 13th-best time every submitted in program history. Two other freshmen had top finishes for the Cougars on the night. Abby Doyle was fourth in the 100 Freestyle in 1:00.46 and Ball was the runner-up in the 100 Backstroke in 1:09.59, the 20th-best time in school history. One final top finish came from Paige Haugen, taking third place in the 500 Freestyle in 6:09.65.
Minnesota Morris is quickly back in action tomorrow at Cougar Pool, hosting a double-dual with Concordia College-Moorhead and Southwest Minnesota State University beginning at 1 p.m.