The Augustana women’s swimming and diving team won its first NSIC championship, earned 16 all-conference selections and earned seven event championships at the NSIC Championships in Fargo, North Dakota, from Feb. 8 to Feb. 11.
The Vikings held off Mankato State 979.5 to 969 to secure the victory and even left with NSIC Swimmer of the Year and Coach of the Year titles.
Freshman standout Bryn Greenwaldt, who earned five all-conference performances and won both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, helped lead the Vikings to victory.
“Our team is so cool,” Greenwaldt said. “We would not have won if we did not have every single person. Everyone’s attitude helped us win.”
Greenwaldt was named NSIC Swimmer of the Year and head coach Lindsie Micko was named NSIC Swim Coach of the Year at the meet.
“Being named coach of the year means that we’ve done some good things along the way,” Micko said. “It is a staff award, and we couldn’t have done what we did without Shelby Bartlett, our diving coach, and Taylor Beagle, our graduate assistant.”
Greenwaldt competed in the 200-yard freestyle relay along with senior Kamryn Robarge and sophomores Angelina Chan and Makoa Montgomery. The group won an NSIC title with the time of 1:36:09.
The 800-yard freestyle relay group of Robarge, sophomores Amaya Street and Meesha Montgomery, and freshman Maija Kangus broke both Augustana and NSIC records with a time of 7:33.29.
The 400-yard medley relay squad of Greenwaldt, Chan, Meesha Montgomery and sophomore Nesrine Jelliti finished with a time of 3:47.20, which was fast enough to crown them NSIC champions.
Jelliti also earned a first place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.77, which earned her an NCAA “B” cut time.
The tournament came down to one last competition: the 400-freestyle relay. The Vikings never let it get close, winning by just under five seconds. The relay team consisting of Greenwaldt, Street, Robarge and Meesha Montgomery broke the school record with a time of 3:25.93.
Augustana divers Kate Robbins, a sophomore, and Clare Duplissis, a freshman, also placed 10th and 13th respectively, helping bring Augustana to victory.
“This is the first year we have ever been able to score diving, and we were able to contribute some points for the team which was awesome,” Duplissis said.
On the last day of competition the women got a boost when some of the men’s swimming and diving team drove up to Fargo to support their teammates.
“Having the boys was a huge boost for the women,” Micko said. “They brought a lot of energy and the girls really fed off of that. We have such a great group of kids that really support each other.”
The women will be back in action on March 8 when they travel to Indianapolis to compete in the NCAA championships.