Swimmers get feet wet at Open Water Nationals

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If any Billikens swimming fans were wondering how SLU’s performances in swimming pools would translate to swimming like they did in ancient times, in a lake, they just received their answer. Te SLU women’s swimming team finished fifth overall in the first- ever College Swimming Coaches Association of America Open Water Nationals, while the Men’s A Team finished third and the Men’s B Team finished sixth. All participants swam in a 5K race.

The event took place at Lone Star Lake, which is near Lawrence, Kansas, and was scored similar to a cross country meet. Cumulative times of a team of three were added together to come up with a team time, and then each team was placed accordingly.

Considering that this was the first-ever collegiate open water championship, swimSwimmers get feet wet at Open Water Nationals swimmers and coaches could be forgiven for not quite knowing what to expect from their teams. However, SLU’s performances in the competition were strong, and provide a strong starting point as the team competes this season.

The women’s team’s fifth place finish with a time of 3:33:50.93 came behind swims from the trio of junior Mina Glenesk, freshman Olivia Wanasek, and junior Elaine Mahon. Glenesk finished in 14th overall, with a time of 1:09:14.54. Wanasek completed the race in 1:10:46.90, which was good enough for 18th overall. Finally, Mahon finished off the women’s team with a 1:13:49.49 time, good enough for 27th place individually.

The men’s A Team finished third with a team time of 3:14:46. The swimmers on this team included freshman Tyler Guist, freshman Scott Street, and junior Jeremy Goodison. Guist finished 5th individually, swimming the 5K in 1:04:16.62. Street swam the course in 1:04:26.59, good for 9th place individually. Finally, Goodison rounded off SLU’s top finishers with a 13th place result, earned with a time of 1:05:58.74.

The men’s B Team was not far behind in 6th place, and a team time of 3:25.07. The trio swimming on the B team included sophomore Isaiah Williams, senior Nick Jessee, and freshman Nick Belecanech. Williams completed the race in 1:06:47.91 in 16th place. A time of 1:09:20.49 earned Belecanech 20th overall. Finally, Jessee’s time was 1:09:42.15, good for 23rd overall.

Up next for the Billikens will be the annual Alumni Meet, which will take place on Sept. 24 at the Simon Recreation Center. The Atlantic 10 Championships for swimming will take place in February.