The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swimming concluded the first day of action of the Phoenix Fall Classic at the University of Chicago on Friday. Teams got underway with six events to start the weekend, with the remaining events taking place over the course of Saturday and Sunday. The day was highlighted by freshman Isabel Jenny (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) setting a program record in the 100 backstroke as the lead leg of the 400 medley relay.
How It Happened
- Valpo got things started in the women’s 200 free relay, where freshman Maddie Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honors), junior Erica Martins (Hartland, Wis./Lake County Lutheran), freshman Chiara Robinson (Castle Pines, Colo./Rock Canyon) and junior Paige Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honors) got the job done in 1:39.64, narrowly missing a top-10 time in program history. They placed sixth overall in the event, just .04 out of fourth position.
- Freshman Alexis Orange (Porter, Ind./Chesterton) led the way for the Valpo women in the 1650 free, taking fifth place overall and stopping the clock at 18:16.67 for the 10th-fastest time in program history. Her freshman classmate Maddie Wright came in at 18:58.95.
- The final women’s event of the first evening, the 400 medley relay, saw Jenny, junior Emily Baumgartner (Fishers, Ind./Fishers), Martins and Paige Wright register the third-fastest time in program history, completing the race in 3:59.75 to finish in seventh position.
- Jenny led off the 400 medley with a 58.15 split in the opening 100 back, topping Paige Wright’s program record in the event by over a half-second.
- In the men’s events, senior Dylan Kirar (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley), senior Mac Sogandares (Reston, Va./South Lakes), freshman Dominic May (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central), and freshman Billy Bennett (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) got things started in the 200 free relay, finishing with a 1:26.63 time, good for seventh overall. The quartet missed cracking Valpo’s all-time top-10 in the event by just .03 of a second.
- Valpo earned a fifth-place finish in the men’s 1650, as Kirar stopped the clock at 16:11.45 – less than four seconds off his program record time in the mile. Kirar’s classmate, Robbie Bretl (Wautwatosa, Wis./Marquette University HS), finished eighth overall at 16:46.91.
The second day of action commences with prelims on Saturday morning at 10 a.m., with event finals set to begin at 6 p.m.