Swimming: Men, women win with ease in the Bayou

Josh Buckman

After a long trip, Western’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams showed no signs of jet lag, defeating Louisiana-Monroe and Centennary in convincing fashion over the weekend.

“I was pleased,” head coach Bill Powell said. “Four or five events in, we knew we were going to win.”

In their first real competition of the season, the men were solid, defeating ULM 139-103 and Centennary 52-23. The Hilltoppers won seven of 13 events in starting the year 2-0.

Senior Jerrod Janes won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle with times of 21.35 and 47.38, respectively. Janes also was anchor on the 400-yard freestyle relay that won in 3:12.28.

“We’ve been training really hard,” said Janes, a transfer from St. John’s. “I don’t think it’s going to be a surprise.”

Freshman James Campbell also had a good day in the distance events, winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:42.99 and the 1000-yard freestyle in 9:42.20.

“I was just really comfortable,” Campbell said. “I paced myself well.”

The biggest surprise for the men was Chris Tarter, who won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:11.13. The breaststroke events were supposed to be one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.

Lady Toppers

The women’s team came out swinging – and swimming – as they won the first five events and beat ULM 148-88 and Centennary 52-23.

The Lady Toppers won nine of 13 events and would have won 10 had they not declared the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay an exhibition in an effort not to run up the score.

Freshman Rachel Buncher won the 100-yard freestyle in 54.85 seconds and the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.11.

Stacy Schortgen was the biggest surprise of the day, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:35.94 – a 25-second improvement over her time last week.

“It was great, but I was happy I could help out the team,” Schortgen said. “I went after it a little harder. I was better prepared.”

The win was sweet for the Lady Toppers, who have been viewed as young and inexperienced.

“We want to prove to each other that we can compete even though we lost a lot of people,” senior Carol Brown said.

Beating ULM as easily as both teams did surprised Western’s coaches and swimmers.

“We’re a lot better than we thought we’d be,” Powell said.

Both teams get another test this weekend when they travel to Wisconsin for a three-day showdown. They’ll swim against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday and Saturday and Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sunday.

Other Hilltoppers that won this weekend include:

Men’s 400-yard Medley relay: Gord Veldman, Chris Tarter, Ryan Crosby, Chris Nalbone 3:27.63

Men’s 400-yard Freestyle relay: Matt Nalbone, Nick Bracco, Gord Veldman, Jerrod Janes 3:12.28

Women’s 400-yard Medley: Deanne Thomas, Lucy Faria, Meredith Mountjoy, Carol Brown 4:03.29

Women’s 50-yard Freestyle: Carol Brown 25.41

Women’s 200-yard Individual Medley: Meredith Mountjoy 2:11.83

Women’s 200-yard Backstroke: Alexis Rieck 2:11.10

Women’s 500-yard freestyle: Lisa Ross 5:10.83

Women’s 200-yard Breaststroke: Lucy Faria 2:25.67

Women’s 400-yard Freestyle Relay (Exhibition): Rachel Buncher, Lisa Ross, Alexis Rieck, Meredith Mountjoy 3:43.60