History was made this weekend when the Minnesota State women’s swimming and diving team won its first NSIC Championship.
What was a nail biter all the way to the finish resulted in the Mavericks tasting gold for a first time in the program’s history.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to win a championship title as a team,” senior Chelsea Calhoon said. “The program has been improving and building every year and we had the opportunity to showcase our hard work and talent this past weekend.”
The champions finished on top of the diving board with 973 points, ahead of runner up St. Cloud State who had 953 points. These two great whites clobbered the competition and it all came down to the last relay, the 400-yard freestyle relay, for a victor to be crowned.
“After finding out the team score standings before the relay, I knew that both of our relay teams had to step up and give it all they had,” Calhoon recalls in the moments before the relay.
They sure did, as the Mavericks swam to two top 5 finishes in the race, clinching a spot in the NCAA championship. Calhoon, Cecilia Hake, Maggie Knier and Taylor Bass won first place finishing at 3:25.23. Emelia Selkey, Rylie Parman, Kirsten Siebenga and Kylie Gath got fifth place with a time of 3:33.45.
Reminiscing of the same race last year, Calhoon recalls another one of her favorite memories as a member of the swim team other than winning the championship, and rightfully so.
“With the contribution from Taylor Bass, Cecilia Hake, Cheyenne Rova, and myself, we were able to place our relay sixth in the nation. This helped move the team to the highest finish at the national level, 13th place, the Mavericks have ever had in our program history,” Calhoon said.
Calhoon not only assisted the team to a birth in the 2018 NCAA Championship, she also earned all-conference honors in 200-yard backstroke clocking in at a little over two minutes. No doubt she will be proud of this accomplishment.
“It’s a very rewarding experience to earn those honors,” she said. “I knew at the conference meet that it was my last shot to get the time I needed, so it was a huge relief to have a great swim at the end of the meet.”
With that time, the senior found herself in the top 10 in the conference for times in the event this year, and beats her previous record by two seconds.
The senior wasn’t the only one who shined in the spotlight last weekend. Freshman Lily Borgenheimer experienced her first NCIS Championship win as well, recording a time of 2:17.68 in the 200-breaststroke race.
On the diving board, freshman Amanda Hernesman and junior Hannah Guy represented the Mavericks. In 3-meter diving, Amanda Hernesman almost reached her personal best with a score of 377 and placed seventh place. In front of her finishing in sixth was Hannah Guy, who scored a 383.95.
Moving forward, the team captain has no worries about the direction of the team after Calhoon graduates.
“I think the future of the team will be in good hands. The program and its coaches are well equipped with history and knowledge, along with a lot of depth and experience among the swimmers and divers. The team will continue to grow and improve, which will lead to success and good standings within our conference and division.”
The Mavericks will celebrate their first championship and get ready for the NCAA Championship this weekend.
Photo: The swim team shows their horns following their win. (Courtesy of msumavericks.com)