Swim and dive compete in NCAA Division II Championships


A handful of men and women from SVSU’s swim & dive teams competed last week at the NCAA Division II Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Starting the competition on Wednesday, March 14, the women’s 200 Medley Relay finished 15th in both the preliminary and final rounds. Composed of senior Melanie Soenksen, juniors Lydia Mattar and Amanda Thielen and sophomore Alexa Bloom, the relay team set a new program record of 1:43:33. The finish was good enough to give the team its only four points of the day.

Soenksen tied for 16th in the preliminary round of the 50-yard freestyle but lost in a swim-off to determine the last swimmer to qualify for finals. Senior diver Wilhelmina Francisco placed 19th in the 3-Meter Dive preliminary round with a score of 380.10.

Thursday’s competition did not bode well for the Cardinals, as the men and women did not add any more points to their total. Mattar, along with senior Rebecca Martinez, swam the 400 Individual Medley with Mattar taking 21st (4:29:95) and Martinez capturing 30th (4:36:73).

The same women’s 200 Medley team competed in the women’s 400 Medley, taking 20th with a time of 3:48:54.

Friday would prove to be equally futile for the Cardinals in terms of the overall championship. For the women, Mattar, Martinez and Thielen each posted top-20 finishes, with Francisco taking 19th. Senior Shaun Yap placed 22nd in the 100 Breaststroke (55.49) for the men.

On the fourth and final day of the competition, the Cardinals had several swimmers in action. In the 200 Backstroke contest, Thielen placed 18th in the race. She just missed out on a trip to the consolation finals after touching the board with a mark of 2:01.82. Senior Rebecca Martinez turned in a 23rd-place finish after a time of 2:03.07. Soenksen finished 51st in the 100 Freestyle event, posting a time of 52.08 seconds.

Yap reflected on the final week of the season.

“Both men and women competed tough this week,” Yap said. “Not everyone performed as expected, but we still gave it our all. There were some good swims such as the women’s 200 Medley Relay. I personally did not perform as well, but I’m glad that I gave it my very best. It was an awesome experience to be here.”

At the conclusion of competition, the women’s team finished in a tie for 42nd along with McKendree and Bellarmine with four points. The men, on the other hand, failed to get any points on the board.

The men’s and women’s Swim & Dive teams wrapped up successful seasons overall, each with multiple wins and multiple student-athletes posting good times and scores. The teams now look forward to starting up the 2018-2019 season this fall.