By: Kelly Shipp
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The 2019 Summit League Swimming and Diving Championships presented by U.S. Air Force Special Operations began Wednesday night at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. For the first time in two-years Denver will not leave the Championship with every swimming medal.
South Dakota senior Sarah Schank earned her first career Summit League Diving title with a victory in the 3-meter dive. Schank posted a six-dive final score of 279.75 to defeat the field of 14 divers. Schanks' teammate Haley Pederson finished second (270.50) while Denver's Zora Opalka finished third (256.25).
In the pool, Denver picked up where they left off last year as the won the first event of the night. The Pioneer women took home the gold in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:38.38. The Pioneers winning relay team consisted of Annelyse Tullier, Brandi Vu, Josiane Valette, and Lauren Moden. Rounding out the top three were South Dakota and Omaha.
The Pioneer men didn't disappoint in their first event of the Championship as they walked away with the title in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:26.41. The Denver relay team was made of Neil Wachtler, Cy Jager, Adriel Sanes, and Cameron Auchinachie. Rounding out the top three were South Dakota and Western Illinois.
In the 800-yard freestyle relay, the Denver women notched their second victory of the evening. The Pioneers won the event with a time of 7:15.79. Their winning team was made up of Annelyse Tullier Andi Johnston, Josiane Valette, and Aysia Leckie. Rounding out the top three were Omaha and South Dakota State.
Things got interesting in the men's 800-yard freestyle relay as South Dakota walked away with their programs first-ever title in any swimming event. Denver touched the wall first with a time of 6:36.09 but where disqualified giving the title to South Dakota who touched the wall in a time of 6:43.22. The Yotes relay team consisted of Jacob Leichner, Elbert Chuang, Stephen Johnson, and Jacob Won. Rounding out the top three were Eastern Illinois and South Dakota State.
1. South Dakota – 74
2. South Dakota State – 62
3. Eastern Illinois – 62
4. Western Illinois – 62
5. Denver – 40
6. Valparaiso – 28
1. Denver – 120
2. South Dakota – 114
3. Omaha – 104
4. South Dakota State – 7
5. Western Illinois – 65
6. Eastern Illinois – 52
Women's 200 Yard Medley Relay – Denver (1:38.38)
Men's 200 Yard Medley Relay – Denver (1:26.41)
Women's 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – Denver (7:15.79)
Men's 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – South Dakota (6:43.22)
Women's 3-meter – Sarah Schank, South Dakota – 279.75
Day Two of the Summit League Swimming and Diving Championships presented by U.S. Air Force Special Operations begins tomorrow with prelims at 10 a.m. CT followed by finals at 5 p.m. CT. The entire championships can be live streamed HERE and followed via Twitter @summitchamps.