Albion rallies to win MIAA men's swim/dive championship

Albion rallies to win MIAA men's swim/dive championship

HOLLAND, Mich. – Albion College made the most out of its last 20 swims and the 400-yard freestyle relay to rally for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Men's Swimming and Diving championship at the Holland Aquatic Center.

It is Albion's second MIAA championship in the last three years.

Albion rolled up 310 points in Saturday events to finish the meet with 912 for a 26-point margin of victory over Calvin College. The Britons trailed Calvin by 15 points heading into the final day of the meet.

"We knew we had a chance (coming out of Friday) and that was a big motivator," Albion Head Coach Nick Stone said. "We swam out of ourselves in the dual meet versus Calvin in January, thinking we had to win every event. We went in to this meet with a motto of business as usual and we held each other accountable.

Albion erased the deficit by outscoring Calvin, 65-40, in the 1,650 freestyle. Mac Robertson was second, followed by Noah Mitchell (third), Tommy Trueax (fifth), Chris Breen (ninth), Andrew Jonna (12th), and Matt Anderson (13th).

"We had great swims during the morning preliminary session and cleaned up in the mile," Stone said.

Albion was also dominant in the 200 breaststroke as it swept the medals. Tyler Kimbrell won his second goal medal of the meet, adding to his title in the 100 breaststroke, with a time (2:00.77) that currently places him in top 12 according to the Division III performance list. Jake Huttenlocher claimed the silver medal with a 'B' cut qualifying time (2:00.93) and Connor Robertson earned bronze. Jonna, who achieved a lifetime best time of 2:08.30 in the preliminary to move on and finish fifth, and Hunter Jackman, seventh, also reached the championship race.

Evan Wonner picked up Albion's other individual event win Saturday, edging Hope College's Daniel Keith by two hundredths of a second in the 100 freestyle. Wonner touched the wall in 45.74 seconds. Len Ciemniecki won the bronze medal at 45.90.

While it didn't finish first in the 200 butterfly, Albion finished ahead of Calvin's swimmers in the championship race. Nate Kozycki and Drew Fogel claimed the silver and bronze medals, respectively, and Mitchell was sixth.

Albion nearly matched Calvin's scoring in the 200 backstroke. Ian Moran earned the silver medal and he was joined in the championship race by Kurt Jolly placing fifth and Erik Halboth in sixth.

Albion put the exclamation point on the meet with a B cut of 3:02.63 in the 400 freestyle relay. Wonner, Huttenlocher, Kozycki and Ciemniecki formed the team.

Another exclamation point came when senior diver Jake Burris was named the Most Valuable Diver for the fourth time. He won gold in the 1-meter completion and silver in 3-meter. Burris will move on to the NCAA Regional meet at Wabash College next weekend.

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