Jan. 25, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State swimming and diving 2014 Senior Day for was all but normal on Saturday, Jan. 25, as an intra-squad meet was held due to Denison University unable to travel to East Lansing for the regularly scheduled dual meet due to inclement weather. Instead, the afternoon was used to motivate the team as they were given the opportunity to push themselves to season-best times and earn a Monday morning practice off. The meet was capped off by the women’s 200 freestyle relay team of Summer Strickler, Brooke Telander, Sarah Love and Emily Parsons that broke the pool record.
“I think they all did well,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “I think the seniors all performed really well. Obviously, it was really strange circumstances and we did some things to kind of jazz it up a little bit, but I think by and large they all preformed really well. It would have been nice to have an opponent here, and I feel badly because I was really looking forward to the meet. Overall, I think they did well.
The meet had quite a twist as swimmers competed in unofficial events such as the 100 and 500 individual medley were added to the meet list. The highlight of the meet, however, was centered around the women’s attempt to break the pool record in the 200 freestyle relay. Seniors Summer Strickler and Brooke Telander, led off the relay, followed by Sarah Love and Emily Parsons. When all was said and done, the women were able to best the previous relay record set by the Michigan Wolverines last year with a time of 1:33.22.
“Well Michigan broke it last year and our girls we really close to it as well,” Gianiodis said. “So that was one of the things that we wanted to do with Denison if they were going to come up. Their coach was gracious enough to do that event. So we wanted to do that event because the girls were talking about breaking the pool record, so that was really cool to do. Its great for Summer (Strickler) and its great for Brooke (Telander).”
In order to “jazz up” the meet, both the men and women’s teams were challenged to beat a certain point total by earning points based on whether they swam season-best times in their respective events. The women, with the help of the record-setting relay, were able to reach their goal and earn practice off this coming Monday morning. The men, however, fell just short of their goal.
15 Spartan Seniors bid farewell on Senior Day in their last event at McCaffree Pool. Though the atmosphere wasn’t that of a dual-meet, it was still a heartfelt goodbye to the great careers of the Spartan swimmers.
“They did great,” said Gianiodis. “As a matter a fact that was probably one of the nicest things. It wasn’t really rushed; kids got to take some time between races and get pictures with their parents, so we weren’t really rushed through Senior Day like we usually are when we have to get the meet started.”
The Spartans will take a weekend off before they continue their busy meet schedule as the team heads to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face in-state and conference rival Michigan. The women will take on the Wolverines on Friday, Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Spartan men will have a dual meet at Michigan at 12 p.m., while the women travel down to take on Toledo at 1 p.m.