Swim teams place fourth, Mattar wins program’s first conference title

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The Saginaw Valley men’s and women’s swim and dive team hosted the 2017 GLIAC Championships last weekend.

Both teams finished the competition placing fourth in the conference. The women’s team scored 438 points, and the men’s team totaled 354 points.

Sophomore Lydia Mattar did not place worse than fourth in all five of her events. She was the first Saginaw Valley swimmer in program history to win an individual GLIAC championship, claiming the top spot in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:15.09.

“It is such an honor to be able to represent SVSU and such a blessing to have this amazing opportunity,” Mattar said. “It feels really special to bring home the first gold for my school.”

Mattar also placed second in the 400-yard IM, timing out at 4:22.82. Her time of 1:02.83 in the 100-yard breaststroke was enough for a third place finish. She completed the 200-yard IM in fourth place with a time of 2:03.78.

Mattar was joined by teammates Amanda Thielen, Alexa Bloom and Melanie Soenksen to finish third in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:47.96. The same relay team also finished the 200-yard medley in fourth place, touching the panel at 1:44.37.

Thielen finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke. The sophomore finished with a time of 56.72.

The junior Soenksen finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing with a 51.42 time. She placed fifth in the 50-yard freestyle, having a time of 23.67.

Bloom finished the 100-yard butterfly in third place. The freshman was narrowly edged out of second place with a time of 56.87.

Rebeca Martinez placed third in the 400-yard IM. The junior touched the final panel with a time of 4:23.60. Her time of 2:05.24 was enough to place fourth in the 200-yard butterfly.

Junior Wilhelmina Francisco finished sixth in both diving events. She scored 368.65 in the 1-meter dive and 374.25 in the 3-meter dive.

“The team performed very well at GLIACs this year,” Mattar said. “Our performance was definitely a success, especially being such a young team. We had many top eight finishes and countless personal best times.”

Senior Tanner Peltier mirrored Mattar’s words and celebrated the team’s efforts.

“The team performed great overall,” Peltier said. “When perfection is expected, there’s bound to be disappointment, but overall the team performed incredibly well and will only get faster and better in the coming years.”

Mattar also mentioned how the home-pool advantage was beneficial to the team.

“It was such an advantage to host the meet and be at our home pool,” she said. “We swim in this pool every day, so we know it better than anyone else. It’s been great not having any bus travel to and from a hotel, and having all our meals right on campus.”

Sophomore Shaun Yap had the highest finish for the men’s team. He placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 54.15. His time of 2:00.55 in the 200-yard breaststroke gave him a fourth place finish.

The relay team consisting of Yap, sophomore Tyler Miller, sophomore Dylan Kopacki and freshman Christopher Allen finished the 200-yard medley in third place with a time of 1:31.31.

Freshman Jayden Hutchinson finished fourth place in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:05.99.

Hutchinson and Yap were joined by Peltier and sophomore Michael Spears for the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team finished fifth with a time of 3:05.71.

The team of Hutchinson, Peltier, sophomore Peter Lin and sophomore Dalton Pokley timed the 800-yard freestyle at 6:55.96, placing fourth.

Pokley finished seventh in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.41.

“This season as a whole has been outstanding,” Mattar said. “It was our best season yet, and everyone really stepped it up this year. The team chemistry and support has changed this year for the better. We are very supportive of one another.”