Holland, Mich.- The Alma College swimming and diving team continued competition at the MIAA Championships at the Holland Community Aquatic Center on Thursday (Feb. 16), with one swimmer qualifying for the evening finals. The meet's first full day was filled with several collegiate and lifetime best swims for the men and the women in the preliminaries.
After Thursday evening's events, the women's team is in fifth place out of six schools with 86 points, while the men are in sixth place out of six teams with 82 points.
The MIAA championships continue on Friday, Feb. 17, with the preliminary races at 10:00 a.m., followed by the finals at 5:30 p.m.
Day 2 Finals
In the evening finals, the all-senior women's 200 freestyle relay team of Brianna Yaroch (Sanford, Mich./Meridian)), Sydney Hooker (Wayland, Mich./Wayland Union), Emily Price (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids West Catholic) and Alex Horan (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) opened the session with a sixth-place finish, combining for a time of 1:47.51. On the men's side, freshman Nathan Wilburn (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney Community), sophomore Eric Ferrara (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson), freshman Cole Mahoit (Canton, Mich./Canton) and junior Nick Fuller (Ionia, Mich./Portland St. Patrick) placed sixth in 1:38.55.
Individually, senior Brianna Bianconi (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) finished 13th in the women's 200 individual medley, placing fifth in the consolation final. Bianconi touched the wall with a personal-best time of 2:18.51, shaving a second off of her previous lifetime best, recorded earlier in the day during the preliminaries.
Ferrara improved upon his personal best time from the morning, placing fifth in the 500 freestyle consolation final with a time of 4:56.80.
In the final event of the evening, the women's 400 medley relay team of Hooker, Bianconi, Lehman and Price placed fifth, while the men's team of Wilburn, Ferrara, Malhoit and Fuller was sixth. All eight splits in the final relay races were season bests.
Day 2 Preliminaries
Price led the women in the 500 yard freestyle with a 17th-place finish, entering a time of 5:28.48. Freshman Maya Heibel (West Olive, Mich./Grand Haven) and junior Taylor DiSantis (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) finished with times of 6:29.48 and 6:52.77, respectively. In the men's 500 free preliminary, Ferrara came in 12th place with a 4:56.81 finish to earn a spot in the evening session. All four swimmers clocked in with collegiate-best times.
In the men's and women's 200 yard individual medley preliminary races, Bianconi and Malhoit both earned lifetime bests with their times of 2:19.55 and 2:10.26. Bianconi qualified for the 200 IM consolation finals with the 12th-best time.
In the 50 yard freestyle preliminaries, three Scots earned lifetime bests. Yaroch and freshman Molly Heitchue (Royal Oak, Mich./Royal Oak) ended the race with times of 27.24 and 28.84, respectively, while in the men's race, Wilburn finished with a time of 24.10.
Emily Jodway, Sports Information Student Assistant, contributed to this story.