By Jake Loel
On Saturday, the University of Dallas Swim Club competed in the Southwest Swim League Championships (SWSC), where the swimmers faced the club teams from schools such as the University of Texas-Dallas, Dallas Baptist University, Baylor University, Louisiana Tech University and the University of North Texas.
The meet began with the 200-meter freestyle relay. The women’s ‘A’ relay team, made up of juniors Lucy Bennett and Elizabeth Schmitz, and freshmen Julia Ringel and Audrey Zohorsky, took fourth overall in the event with a 1: 59.54. This impressive time would have scored at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship (SCAC) meet had they competed at the Division III level this year.
The men’s ‘A’ relay team, which also took fourth in the event, was made up of sophomores Andrew Jacob and Nicholas Dodson, and juniors James McGregor and Jacob Loel.
In the women’s 50-meter butterfly, Zohorsky took bronze with a finishing time of 30.02 seconds, while Ringel managed to snag an eighth place finish in the event with a 31.54. On the men’s side, Loel took bronze as well with a time of 25.91.
In the 50-meter freestyle, Zohorsky came in fifth (28.50), while freshman Eva McLaurin tied for sixth with a 28.71. Although Ringel swam a 28.90, only .18 seconds off of Mclaurin’s time, she was unable to score, and she took ninth place. For the men, McGregor threw down a blazing fast 22.85 finish, which was good enough for a bronze medal. Dodson and Loel managed to score as well; Dodson swam a 23.67 and Loel a 23.80.
In the 50-meter breaststroke, freshman standout Emily Miller shocked the crowd with her time of 34.89 seconds, which earned a bronze, even though she had not been seeded to score at all before the race.
Although the all-freshman squad of Zohorsky, Miller, Ringel and McLaurin was not enough to break the school record, the women’s 200-meter medley was easily the highlight of the meet for the Crusaders, who took second with a time of 2:08.05. The men’s relay (Jacob, Dodson, Loel and McGregor) managed a sixth place finish with a time of 1:50.58.
The women’s 100- meter breaststroke saw Miller take fourth with a 1:18.19, and Dodson took home a silver for the men (1:10.60). Both times were not only enough to score at the SWSC championships but also would have put them in scoring position at the SCAC championships. Upon being asked the secret to his success, Dodson said simply, “Hard work, and dedication.”
In the final event in which the Crusaders competed, the 100-meter fly, Loel broke the minute barrier for the first time with a 59.52. Despite being seeded to finish fifth in the race, his time was good enough for second place.
The University of Dallas Swimming Club brought home a total of four bronze medals and six silver medals. In this league of collegiate club swimming, such a feat is very impressive. While many schools supply their swim clubs with coaches, gear and almost unlimited pool time, UD Swimmers train with student-made workouts, use an off campus pool for much of their limited practice time and they can often be found out in the water in the early morning or after dark.