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Knights’ defeats Olaf on Senior day thanks to squad depth

The Carleton College men’s swimming & diving team celebrated Senior Day by winning 10 events to secure a 189-89 victory over crosstown foe St. Olaf College.

This was also the final dual meet of the season and the final time the seven seniors on the Carleton men’s roster would compete at Thorpe Pool. During the middle of the meet, the Knights held a special ceremony for seniors Ari Conati (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnetonka), Jack Dalluge (Delano, Minn./Watertown-Mayer), Sam Darwish (Akron, Ohio/University School), Christian Heuchert (Dallas, Texas/Lone Star), Eric Meyer (Potomac, Md./Wootton), Nick Reeves (Kirkland, Wash./LW), and Ryan Wetzel (Salem, Ore./West Salem)

“Overall, just a very good meet for both of our teams against St. Olaf,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “Having the chance to honor our senior class always brings importance to this meet but also having the chance to race against a program with the integrity and grit that St. Olaf possesses just heightens the need for all our athletes to dig a lot deeper to bring out the strong performances we needed to win both meets.

“For the guys, it was a numbers game. While we had some great swims, we ultimately had more depth across each event which put us in a great position to win the meet. In the end there were so many good performances from virtually everyone on the team which is exactly what we like seeing prior to going into our taper phase.

“The seniors have given so much to the program over the years and knowing this was the last dual meet of their careers made everyone more motivated to press harder in their events, and it definitely showed.”

The days started with a Knight victory in the 200-yard medley as Conati and Reeves teamed with Jack Heinzel (Jr./Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) and Andrew Chang (Jr./Vancouver, Wash./Union) to win with a season-best time of 1:37.17.

Heinzel then won the 100-yard breaststroke, swimming at 1:01.11, and Teagan Johnson (Fy./Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) secured second place with a time of 1:02.30.

Stevie Fitch (Jr./Woodinville, Wash./Tesla Stem) and Chang secured first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard butterfly with Fitch swimming a season-best 2:00.45 and Chang at 2:00.84. Fitch added season-bests in the 100-yard butterfly, earning him the team’s Can of Corn Award.

In the 50-yard freestyle, Reeves earned first place with a time of 22.24 and Conati claimed second at 22:70.

The Knights swept the top three places in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard breaststroke races. Leading the 100 freestyle was Heinzel at 48.74, Conati at 49.10, and Dalluge at 49.63. The 200 breaststroke featured Johnson at 2:15.81, Kevin Chen (Fy./Normal, Ill./Normal Community) at 2:17.91, and Ryan Wetzel (Sr./Salem, Ore./West Salem) at 2:18.10 in first, second, and third places, respectively.

Phil Donnelly (So./Claremont, Calif./Claremont) posted season best scores in winning both the 1- and 3-mter diving competitions.

Johnson won the 200-yard individual medley by touching the wall in 2:05.05.

The Knights closed out the meet the with another first place relay, as the 200-yard freestyle team including seniors Reeves, Conati, and Dalluge along with junior Heinzel swam a time of 1:27.93.

UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTS: Carleton College will compete at the Minnesota Challenge on Friday, Jan. 31 at 6:00 PM and against on Saturday, Feb. 1. That competition is held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis.

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