By Sam Murphy, Conributor
This past weekend was a first for the UNO swimming and diving team. The Mavs packed their bags and rolled into Rochester, Mich., home of Oakland University, to compete in their first swimming and diving conference championships as members of The Summit League.
The Mavs opened the meet in third, moved into second thanks to some strong Friday performances but edged out on the final day of competition by IUPUI.
In the preseason Summit League poll released last September, UNO was picked to finish third in their first year of full conference membership. A strong season and a strong finish in Oakland allowed the Mavs to live up to those expectations.
Things got started in historic fashion when the 200 medley relay team of seniors Cami Hansberry and Anna Haxby, junior Madeline Hutt and sophomore Jenna Foiles broke the school record in the event with a time of 1:44.23. The team’s time was good enough for third in the event behind Oakland and IUPUI.
Day one success continued with more success by another relay team. The 800 freestyle tem of Mattie Forsbender, juniors Whitney Korgan and Erin Wright and freshman Natalie Renshaw posted a time of 7:37.06, also good enough for third. The Mavs total team points after the first day of competition was 64. Host Oakland led with 80.
A day after setting one school record, the Mavs did it again the second day of competition, this time in the 200 free relay. Hansberry, Haxby, Korgan and Renshaw touched the wall at 1:33.96, beating the previous school record set last season by over a second.
Later in the day Renshaw finished third in the 50 free, just 0.17 seconds ahead of Hansberry (fifth). Senior Mattie Fosbender ended the 500 free in 15th place, but her time of 5:10.51 set a new personal best.
In the diving competition, freshman Miranda Knipfer was fourth on the three-meter board (227.80 points) while sophomore Maddie Richardson was seventh (182.30).
Day three was the most successful day of competition for UNO. Sophomore Lexi Bergeron was fifth in the 400 IM, Wright took fourth in the 200 free and Hutt grabbed another top five finish, this time taking second in the 100 breaststroke.
Earlier in the day Hutt competed alongside Renshaw, Foiles and Hansberry in the 400 medley, taking fifth with a time of 3:52.04.
Renshaw rounded out day three by getting sixth in the 100 backstroke. On the board Knipfer finished third in the one-meter competition with a score of 236.10.
Saturday, the fourth and final day of competition saw Renshaw was fourth in the 100 free. Hutt landed another strong finish in the breaststroke, this time taking third in the 200. Teammates Hannah Alexander, Jordane Linhart and Katie Meier were eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively, in the same event.
Foiles finished her 2013 championships with a sixth in the 200 fly while sophomore Christen Young was ninth. Korgan, Wright, Renshaw and Hansberry produced another successful result in a relay. The team was fourth in the 400 free.
When it was all said and done, the host team, Oalkand captured their record setting 14th straight Summit League swimming and diving championship with a team total of 977 points.
The Mavericks, in their inaugural Summit League Championship appearance finished third with 512.5 total team points.
Next year, the Mavericks return twenty swimmers and divers with the hope that this season’s momentum can carry the team to bigger and better results in the near future.