The Tiffin Swimming and Diving Team took to the pool for their first home dual meet of the season against Gannon University on Saturday. The Men's team came away with some solid swims while winning seven of the twelve contested events. The Women's team also showed their skill by winning five of the thirteen events they had. Even with the solid performance, both teams fell shy of the win. The men fell 51-48, while the women fell 66-43.
"Pretty much what I expected. Some slightly better swims and some lessons, hopefully learned from what I anticipated and saw today," Coach Noah Moran stated. "The day goes to Gannon and we appreciate their efforts. We will have to continue trying to be better."
On the women's side Olivia Salome and Morgan Dunleavy each won two events for the Dragons. Salome won the first event for the women in the 200 freestyle, leading the entire race, in a time of 1:56.33. Her other win came later in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:19.25. "Olivia had some good swims today. I think she was hoping for better and let the anxiety get the better of her technique. She knows she can be better and has been very motivated this year." Dunleavy took her first place finishes on the diving boards with scores of 264.84 and 201.23 for the 1 meter and 3 meter, respectively. "Morgan had some fun today which showed in her 1 meter scores. That score is an NCAA pre-qualification score so she was happy with that. I think she knows, and is working to be more consistent on the 3 meter board. That is one of our goals for this year." Anastasiia Kvitchenko was the other winner of the women today. Kvitchenko won the 200 Individual Medley in a time of 2:14.34.
Three of the Tiffin men won twice to set a high bar for their fellow Dragon team members. Matt Laporte won the first individual event for the men, the 1000 freestyle. "Matt continued to do what he does very well, consistent pacing for an entire race. Felt he looked more comfortable in the water and knew what he was doing the entire race," Coach Moran said. "His 500 free was very similar to the 1000, a hint to him he can be better." Lucas Merigue Bernardo followed the Laporte and Salome wins to make it three in a row for the Dragons. His 200 free time of 1:46.07 was just over three-and-a-half seconds faster than his teammate Adam George, who placed second in a time of 1:49.63. Petko Toromanov took his first win in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:01.54. "Petko was Petko again today. His swims were good as he is still working on a lot of things to build upon. He recognizes he is still behind where he was last year. As he listens more, he will continue to improve." Merigue's second win came shortly afterward in the 100 freestyle. "Lucas has found this good rhythm for some of his swims right now. We are working to widen his range for some of the other events. The 48:00 is close to where he was last year, but he seems smoother in the water right now, less effort." James Keen was the other Dragon with a win. Keen's 100 backstroke time was :53.85 in the win. Laporte took the final win for the TU Dragons in the 500 freestyle. He put himself comfortably in the lead from the beginning to go with hIs winning time of 5:00.11.
There were a few other Dragon swims that placed well. Mari Johnson took second place finishes in both of her individual swims on the day, the women's 50 freestyle (25.94) and women's 100 Butterfly (1:00.78). Ygor Zanardo Bortolato was second in the men's 50 freestyle in a time of :22.44. Kvitchenko, along with her prior win, went :55.69 to take second in the women's 100 freestyle. And Cassie Van Ooyen placed second in the women's 100 backstroke with a time of 1:03.39.
The Dragon Swimming & Diving Team will travel to Muncie, Indiana for their next dual meet November 5, at Ball State University. "I have a lot of respect for Bob Thomas, the men's head coach, and have been lucky to converse with him over the years. Both Kristy Patterson, the women's head coach, and Bob do a great job and I am excited about being able to have them on our schedule. I hope this is a meet that we continue to have in the future."