The Minnesota State University, Mankato’s women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Sioux Falls this past weekend in the hopes of claiming their third NSIC Championship in program history. The team finished Saturday evening with 1,079.5 points, which was enough to claim first ahead of second and third place St. Cloud State and Augustana.
The Mavericks have previously won the NSIC during the 2017-18 season as well as the 2020-21 season.This was the third NSIC Championship the team has won and marks their first back-to-back victory of the NSIC in team history.
Along with the championship came other rewards for members of the team, with head coach Nathan Owens being named the NSIC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. In addition to Owens, senior swimmer Kate Flynn earned recognition as the NSIC Swimmer of the Year.
Flynn is the first Maverick to win the award for the first time since Emily Green in 2014.
Junior swimmer Mari Dougherty explained, “We kind of knew going into the final day because of how ahead we were in points… We were ecstatic to be able to do it together as a team” when commenting on the Championship win.
The Mavericks came home with medals in a multitude of events, with Flynn highlighting the swimmers in the 100 freestyle. Flynn won the race with a time of 50.11 with sophomore Ella DeFever finishing second right behind her at the 51.57 mark.
Senior swimmer Anja Enervold went on to win the 200 backstroke event, finishing with a provisional qualifying time of 2:01.27.
The three girls competed with sophomore Elise Mishmash in the 400 freestyle relay, where the team took first place with a time of 3:25.88.
Freshman Sydney Hanson, junior Ayla Taylor, and freshman Aspen Warnygora also claimed their provisional qualifying spot with great scores in the 1 meter diving event. The three divers finished back-to-back-to-back taking fourth, fifth, and sixth in the event with diving scores of 408.60, 400.30, and 391.35.
The Mavericks now look forward to the four-day NCAA Championships which begin on March 9 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in North Carolina. The team plans to watch their fellow swimmers compete from a watch party back home in Mankato.
The Mavericks finalized their season ranked No. 11 according to Swimcloud with fellow NSIC opponents St. Cloud, Augustana, and Sioux Falls following closely behind to round out the top 25.
Header photo: The Minnesota State swim team celebrates their second straight NSIC championship in Sioux Falls. (Maverick Athletics)
Write to Kole Buelow at firstname.lastname@example.org.