Senior Meet Success for Swimming Friday
Friday, January 26, 2024
Senior Meet Success for Swimming Friday

The Valpo swimming senior class was recognized on Friday evening at the Valparaiso Aquatic Center prior to the final home meet of their collegiate careers, and once the swimming got underway, the Beacons enjoyed a successful meet, as the men defeated Bethel 144-76, while the women battled Bethel to a 102-102 tie. The dual meet win was the men’s fourth victory of the season, the most in a single year by a Valpo men’s team since at least 2000-01.

Recognizing the Seniors

  • Valpo honored the six members of its senior class before the meet got underway. On the women’s side, Bridget Pollard (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) is the team’s lone active senior — she placed second Friday in the 200 fly, leading Valpo in that event, and also had an individual swim in the 200 free. Pollard ranks among Valpo’s all-time best in all three fly distances, as well as the 500 free.
  • On the men’s side, the Beacons recognized a trio of seniors. Drew Wilson (Sugar Grove, Ill./Aurora Central Catholic) swam to a second-place finish in the 200 IM and also competed individually in the 200 breast. He sits ninth in program history in the 100 IM.
  • Logan Lorr (Wonder Lake, Ill./Woodstock North) competed individually on Friday in both the 100 free and the 200 free.
  • Ian Jaegers (Los Alamos, N.M./Los Alamos) swam a leg for the Beacons in both the 400 medley relay and the 400 free relay Friday. Jaegers ranks among Valpo’s all-time best at all three back distances and is a member of four of Valpo’s school-record relays.
  • Team managers Tina Berger (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) and Kenzie Conn (Celina, Ohio/Celina) were recognized as well — both began their time at Valpo as swimmers before transitioning to team manager roles. Conn ranks among Valpo's all-time top-10 at all three back distances.

How It Happened

  • The Valpo men won both relays and seven of nine individual events to earn the meet victory.
  • A pair of Beacon men posted two individual event wins apiece. Junior Andrew Berzai (South Bend, Ind./Mishawaka Marian) led a sweep of the top-four spots for Valpo in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.24 and later touched the wall first in the 200 breast as well.
  • Sophomore Anthony Martin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) claimed top honors in both the 200 free (1:45.19) and the 100 free (47.81).
  • Other Valpo individual event wins came courtesy of a trio of sophomores —Ricky Helmboldt (Tucson, Ariz./Arizona Connections Academy) in the 1000 free (10:09.75), Matthew Mantz (Spokane, Wash./Mead) in the 200 fly (1:59.59) and Jackson Oostman (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) in the 200 back (1:59.40).
  • With every point critical in what ended up being a tie on the women’s side, Valpo won a trio of events and had six second-place finishes. The Beacons racked up the points by sweeping the top five spots in the 50 free, led by freshman Faith Bargwell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Rockford), who touched the wall first in 25.41.
  • Freshman Bri Keese (Brighton, Colo./Brighton) came in right behind Bargwell in the 50 free with a time of 25.74, and later finished second as well in the 100 free (56.48).
  • Sophomore Natalie Eaton (Tulsa, Okla./Tulsa) led a 1-2-3 Valpo finish in the 200 breast with a time of 2:31.45, while junior Sara Strauss (Spring Lake, Mich./Spring Lake) came in second with a time of 2:32.12.
  • Freshman Olivia Tressler (Las Vegas, Nev./Desert Oasis) got the women off on the right note with a win in the first individual event, covering the 1000 free in 11:28.09.
  • Freshman Lily Kirkpatrick (Parker, Colo./Legend) came home second in the 200 back (2:13.66) and sophomore Emma Schmidt (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley) claimed a runner-up spot in the 500 free (5:36.13).

Next Up

Valpo closes out the weekend of competition on Sunday at the Butler Invitational in Fishers, Ind. The eight-team meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CT.