Forester Men Finish Second, Women Third at 2019 MWC Championships

Photo by Emma Varsbergs
Photo by Emma Varsbergs

Freshman Alec Pittman led a pair of 1-2-3 finishes for Lake Forest on Sunday as the men's team gained a little ground but still finished second while the women placed third at the Midwest Conference Championship Meet at Grinnell College.

Grinnell finished first in both of the team standings, the men with 821 points and the women with 973. The Foresters were second on the men's side with 741 while Monmouth College was a distant third with 379. Lawrence University was the runner-up in the women's standings with 651 points, 38 more than Lake Forest.

Friday was the third and final day of competition and the evening finals session began with the fastest heat of the women's 1650-freestyle. Junior Ani Karagianis was the Foresters' lone entry in the race and she placed third with a time of 18:39.70. Lake Forest dominated the men's race with the top three and four of the top five finishers. Pittman won the race in 16:18.96, just .18 seconds ahead of freshman Aaron Helms. Sophomore Max Rowland, who won the 500-freestyle on Friday and the 400-IM on Saturday, was third in 16:27.00 and freshman Jeffrey Nebel finished fifth with a time of 16:43.04. The top three swimmers now rank second, third, and fourth in program history in that event and each of their splits at the 1000-yard mark rank in the top five in team history for that distance.

The Forester women and men each had a pair of representatives in the A-final of the 200-backstroke. Sophomore Fallon Longfield was the runner-up in the women's race with a time of 2:10.40 while classmate Sarah Truxton finished eighth in 2:23.72. Senior Frederick Weichmann closed out his career with a third-place showing and time of 1:57.18 and sophomore Nathan Ulm was sixth in 1:59.37.

A day after defending her conference title in the 100-butterfly, sophomore Susan Guo added her second runner-up finish of the weekend in Sunday's 100-freestyle. After matching her previous career-best time of 53.94 in the morning prelims, she finished in 53.52 seconds in the finals and climbed a spot to fourth in the program's all-time rankings in that event. Freshman Kylie Morgan (54.36) and Kerry Mullen (55.36) placed fourth and eighth, respectively. Freshman Graeme Witte reached the A-finals on the men's side and finished fourth in 47.24 seconds.

The Forester men added two more top-five finishes in the 200-breaststroke, where freshman Sebastian Wagoner was fourth with a time of 2:12.36 and sophomore Ryan Casseday fifth in 2:13.46.

Junior Rachel Trevillian added her name to the list of the best 200-butterfly performances in school history. Her time of 2:10.65 was good for third in the meet and fourth in team annals. The Foresters registered their second 1-2-3 finish of the day in the men's race with sophomore Thomas Anderson earning the victory in 1:55.46, classmate Evan Weller placing second in 1:56.70, and Helms finishing third with a time of 1:58.21 less than two hours after competing in the 1650-freestyle.

The final event of the meet was the 400-freestyle relay, which included runner-up finishes by both Forester teams. Guo, Morgan, Mullen, and Longfield finished the women's race in 3:37.83 and Ulm, Rowland, Witte, and senior Blake Rhodes posted a time of 3:09.80.

In addition to honoring the top eight finishers in each of the final few events after the meet, the league also announced the winners of its yearly awards. Lake Forest junior Lizzie Johns and senior Heath Ogawa swept the Most Outstanding Divers of the Year honors. Johns won Friday's 1-meter competition and was third in the 3-meter event on Saturday. Ogawa prevailed off both boards for the third year in a row.

The Foresters won nine events on the weekend, set a pair of school records, and made 19 new entries on the program's list of the top five performers in each event.

Friday's Day 1 Recap | Saturday's Day 2 Recap