A four-day stretch which has seen massive movement in the record book for Valpo men’s swimming reached its apex on Saturday at the final day of the MAC Championships, as the Beacons combined for 15 top-10 times in program history.
How It Happened
- Valpo’s final relay of the meet — a quartet of three freshmen and one junior — moved into ninth place in program history in the 400 free relay, as Jackson Oostman (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy), Ian Jaegers (Los Alamos, N.M./Los Alamos), Luke Snider (Germantown, Tenn./Memphis University School) and Anthony Martin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) came home in 3:10.50.
- Four Beacons posted top-10 swims in the prelims of the 200 fly on Saturday morning, led by Martin, whose time of 1:52.57 moves him up to third in program history in the event. Freshman Tim Mai (St. Johns, Fla./Creekside) now ranks fourth in Valpo history with a time of 1:52.75. Freshman Garrett Hoppman (Midland, Texas/Midland) cracked the top-10 with his time of 1:55.20, good for seventh, while freshman Matthew Mantz (Spokane, Wash./Mead) sits ninth with a time of 1:55.62.
- Sophomore Andrew Berzai (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) paced a trio of top-10 times in the 200 breast prelims, touching the wall in 2:05.32 to move up to fourth all-time at Valpo. Sophomore Brendan Stangeland (West Fargo, N.D./Sheyenne) posted a time of 2:09.47 to crack the chart in seventh position, while freshman Eli Liebmann (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) ranks 10th with his time of 2:10.43.
- In the mile, Valpo’s top-three swimmers already resided among the top-10 in program history, but the trio all bested their PRs in the event. Freshman Ricky Helmboldt (Tucson, Ariz./Arizona Connections Academy) moved up to third all-time at Valpo as he finished 15th with a time of 16:22.85, while sophomore Alex Koetter (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) ranks seventh with a time of 16:35.97 and freshman Cole Kennedy (Bradenton, Fla./Braden River) sits ninth with a time of 16:46.75.
- Not only that, the aforementioned trio’s 1000 splits in the 1650 were all PRs as well and all ranked among Valpo’s all-time best in the 1000 — Helmboldt hit the 1000 mark in 9:57.43 (fifth in program history), Koetter in 10:00.87 (eighth) and Kennedy in 10:07.43 (ninth).
- Rounding out the Beacons’ plethora of record-book placements on Saturday, freshman Dathan Wolf (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East) completed his 200 back prelim swim in 1:56.09, seventh-fastest in program history.
- Jaegers and Snider paced the Valpo contingent in the 100 free prelims with times of 48.15 and 48.20, respectively.
- Valpo concluded the championship meet with 99 points, placing seventh as a team.
- The Beacons combined for 31 swims among the top-10 in program history over the four-day event.