Ian Heye, Staff Writer
From Feb. 6 to 9, the University of Missouri–St. Louis Men’s and Women’s swim teams finished their season at the Great Lake Valley Conference (GLVC) conference championship with a successful four days of competition. The Tritons saw multiple team records, both relay and individual, broken and a record high finish for the men’s team.
“We had amazing performances where everyone swam for each other,” said head coach Tony Hernandez. “We had 14 total team records broken and the men’s team finish in fifth place, the highest in our programs history!”
During Day One of the GLVC conference championship, Patryk Golinski, junior, media studies, broke his previous 1000-yard freestyle record swimming 9:21.43 in the race. Additionally, Radoslaw Chupka, senior, business administration; Gabo Jimenez, junior, civil engineering; Austin Stevenson, freshmen, computer science; and Aiden Clark, freshmen, biology, set a new team record in the 200-yard medley relay at 1:30.66.
Day Two of the championship meet saw another record set by Golinski in the 400-yard IM at 3:57.27, beating his previous record by three seconds. Agnieszka Blocka, junior, graphic design and Amber Visser, senior, criminology and psychology, set records in the 20-yard free and 100-yard butterfly, respectively, at 1:53.3 and 56.95. Jimenez, Clark, Golinski and Stevenson also set the 200-yard freestyle relay record at 1:21.78. Additionally, Bella Kudanovych, freshmen, nursing, Mailin Gupta, junior, psychology, Visser and Blocka set the new women’s team record in the 400-yard medley relay going a time of 3:56.45.
During Day Three, the relay team of Merel Visser, junior, criminology, Stephanie Schoemans, freshmen, biology, Amber Visser and Blocka broke the previous 800-yard freestyle relay going a time of 7:48.67. Also, Amber Visser broke her previous school record in the 100-yard breast, swimming a 1:04.23. On the men’s team, Esteban Pombo, senior, finance broke his previous school record in the 200-yard butterfly, going a time of 1:50.31.
The Tritons concluded the meet on Day Four with three new team records and a tie on a previous one. Amber Visser broke the Women’s 200 breast record swimming a 2:19.82 and helped set the 400-yard freestyle relay record with Blocka, Schoemans and Merel Visser. Chupka broke the men’s 200-yard back record swimming a time of 1:48.72 and the relay for Jimenez, Clark, Pombo and Golinski tied the previous school record.
The Triton’s will be saying goodbye to five seniors, three men and two women, but will be gaining 16 freshmen, with the possibility of more.
“I believe the team is heading in a positive direction. The team is getting bigger and we’re becoming stronger. I’m excited to meet all the incoming freshmen as each of them are a great fit for the team,” said Blocka.
Although the season is over for the Tritons, Hernandez will be taking Merel Visser, Austin Stevenson, Golinski, Jimenez and Clark to a last chance meet hosted by Drury University to qualify for the Division 2 National Championship meet in Indiana.
“We got so close to the national cut in our 200-yard freestyle relay and it would be an amazing experience to be able to go to nationals as a freshman,” said Stevenson.