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Swimming and Diving Updates from the Desk of Matt Gianiodis

Oct. 26, 2006

I actually have something real to write about this week--meets and results. Our women opened the season against Akron this past Friday night. Akron is a strong team and they will improve as the season goes on, but our team really competed well and opened up a very good lead early and never looked back. The meet ended in a 186-114 score as we won 12 of the 16 events. It was a particularly good night for Katie Edwards as she won both boards and qualified for the NCAA Regionals.

The next day we took on Illinois. They finished ninth in the conference last year with a senior Big Ten Champion in the sprint events, and sent four members of their team to the NCAA's. Based on how well they did last year, we knew that they were very good. We were hoping, however, with the strength of our diving and maybe a little luck, we might be able to upset them. We got off to a tough start when our "A" medley relay got disqualified and we lost nine points. We fought hard to stay with them all the way; the meet peaked in excitement in the two-event stretch of the 500 and the 100 fly. In the 500, Mara Loniewski just touched out the Illini and we had the momentum. The next event saw Megan Reponen get edged in the 100 fly. The meet ended up as a 166-134 Illini win. It was a very good learning experience for our young team and hopefully we can bounce back this week.

Some of the notable performances from the weekend:
• Allie Sayers, Amy Schmidt, Katie Edwards and Alycia Mokedanz all qualified for the NCAA regionals. Katie won both boards on Friday and Saturday.
Sasha Lewerenz won both of the backstroke events each days. Her times of 57.14 and 2:03.38 put her in the top four in program history.
• Julie Kahn won the 50 and the 100 freestyle against Akron.
• Emma Schaefer set personal-best times in both the 1000 freestyle and the 400 IM.
Laura DeFord set a personal best of 2:24.82, winning the 100 breast against Akron.
Marlys Fuqua won the 1000 freestyle on Friday and Saturday.
Mara Loniewski won the 200 freestyle on Friday and the 500 Free on Saturday.

Next week I will recap both the two meets against Michigan and Iowa. Iowa marks the 2006-07 debut of the men's team. Soon, (after the signing date on Nov. 8), I hope to have an update on our recruiting.

Please don't forget to support MSU Swimming and Diving by renewing your Ralph Young Membership.

Until next time,
Matt G



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