Trailblazers take home team loss after first swim meet

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Dixie State University women’s swim team hosted its first home meet of the 2017-18 season against Loyola Marymount University on Sept. 30.

The Trailblazers are in their second season and  are currently in the building phase of NCAA competition. This is the first time the two teams have met.

The Trailblazers took off in the 200-yard medley relay with a first place victory courtesy of Anna Ward, Hannah Hansen, Audrey Parrish and Miriam Gonzalez with a time of 1:50:7, which was two seconds faster than their opponent.

“Swimming has helped me to compete with athletes at my level,” said Audrey Parrish, a sophomore from Wenatchee, Washington. “Though this is only my second year, I think the season will go really well.” 

The Trailblazers also finished with a third and fifth in the womens’ 200-yard medley relay. Shelby Graves came in with a strong third place finish in 1000-yard freestyle.

Megan Ruppenthal grabbed a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:59.88. Ward came back in the 100-yard backstroke to swim to a third place finish.

The Trailblazers pushed away the competition in the 100-yard backstroke with a first place by Hansen;  second by Emily Morris, and third by Bodkin.

Sienna Smith came in with a fourth place finish in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:26:74. Then Gonzalez secured first place in the 50-yard freestyle,  who was one second faster than Anna Gasiorowski of Loyola Marymount University.

“We have done a lot of good technical work thus far, but there is a lot of conditioning work left to be done before we are racing at our best,” Head coach Benjamin Rae said. “Hopefully, we will be ready to swim fast by the first part of December,”.

The 100-yard free had many victories for the Trailblazers: Gonzalez 55.06, Parrish 55.96, McKenna Fowler, 58.85 and Lexi Taylor 1:02.56.

“I think we are faster than we were last year, and we’re making history for DSU,” said Saydria Russell, a sophomore nursing major from Worland, Wyoming. 

Ruppenthal lead the pack in the 200-yard backstroke with a third place finish while teammate Sydney Anderson came in fifth.

The Trailblazers ploded  in the 200-yard breaststroke with a first and second place finish by Hansen and Bodkin.

Hansen broke DSU’s 100 and 200 breaststroke records in the Trailblazers’ season debut .

Graves, earning more points for her team, swam the 500-yard freestyle and snatched third place, while teammate Katie Pack earned fourth.

The team found success in the 100-yard butterfly with a third, fifth, sixth and seventh place finish.

DSU wasn’t able to get a team win and lost the meet to Loyola with 138 to 123.  The team will continue practicing and look to get a win against PSCS  Pentathlon and Relay Meet in La Mirada, California, Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.

“As expected, this was quite a competitive meet coming down to the last relay,” Rae said. “In the end, we just didn’t have enough to win the meet. However, we competed hard and should be encouraged as we move forward.”

For this team it is typical to have more freshmen than any other class because athletes retire from sports prior to graduation. The team will bring in ten new athletes each season.

The programs welcome backs eight returning swimmers and 12 newcomers to the program this year. The season will include eight regular season meets and the 2018 PCSC Championships in February.