Panthers in 6th place of conference championships


Sean Hastings

Freshman Sarah Lohman swims the women’s 200-yard freestyle, where she took second place against Valparaiso Jan. 20 at the Padovan Pool. Eastern’s swim team wrapped up the first day of the Summit League Championships Wednesday.

Adam Shay, Swim Reporter


After the first day at the Summit League Championship, the Eastern women’s swim team finished sixth and the men’s swim team is tied for fourth.

At sixth place, the women’s team finished with 52 points and at fourth place,and the men’s team scored 58 points, tying them with Western Illinois. The first day consisted of two events each: the 200-medley relay and the 800-freestyle.

The first event of the day was the 200-medley relay, which included senior Dani DiMatteo, juniors Lauren Oostman and Martee Grainger,and sophomore Rachel Mandersheid, finishing sixth with a time of 1:48.01, scoring them 26 points.

The other women’s team that competed in the event included seniors Emily Stroud and Renae Johnson, and sophomores Jaelyn Williams and Julia Martin as they finished with a time of 1:53.06.

As for the men’s team, seniors Steve Fishman and Matt Jacobs, junior Nick Harkins and freshman Ivan Escott finished fourth in the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:32.16, putting them at 30 points.

Despite finishing fourth, the 200-medley men’s squad broke the Eastern record with their time. When the swimmers finished the race, the four swimmers were unsure if they had broken the record.

“When we went over to (head coach) Jacqueline (Michalski)  and found (out), we were all very excited,” Harkins said. “I think it’ll set the tone for the meet and get other people ready to go up and swim fast.”

Also swimming in the men’s 200-medley was seniors Ben Pitlock, Patrick Wood and Brandon Robbins and junior Tyler Parrish as they finished with a 1:37.40 time.

The men’s team breaking the school record not only influenced their own confidence, but their success is spreading confidence through the entire team.

“Our relay may have gotten sixth,” Oostman said. “But watching our boys break the record right after definitely gave me motivation to stay positive for my other individual events.”

Individually, Oostman has set goals for herself in Thursday’s events, specifically, aiming for a record in her individual medley. Also, Oostman said she would like to make finals as she is seated 16th and only 16 swimmers make finals.

The third event of the day was the 800-freestyle where the women’s team finished sixth (8:00.07) and scoring them 26 points. The women swimmers were sophomores Karleen Gernady and Gloria Gonzales, junior Caro Lamarque, and freshman Sarah Lohman.

Even though the women’s team is in sixth place, the Panther swimmers have a positive mentality and will look back at those relays and study what they need to work on.

“It was a good first race of the meet for us to work out some details, such as our turns,” Lamarque said. “The energy on deck was really strong and makes us excited to start individual races tomorrow.”

For the final event of the day, the men’s team finish fifth in the 800-freestyle with a time of 6:50.52, giving them 28 points. Those swimmers were freshman Scott House, Fishman, Escott, and Harkins.

The other quartet that competed in the 800-freestyle included seniors Brandon Robbins and Bryan McPherson, sophomore Ethan Wallace and freshman Chris Dixon with a time of  7:04.55.

Going into tomorrow’s events and coming off a school record, Harkins has set two goals for himself and is confident that both will be achievable.

“First one is to make it back in the 50-free; I think that’ll be relatively easy to obtain,” Harkins said. “Second is to break 21 seconds for the 50. (I) should get two chances at it, so I’m ready to go.”

Atop the men and women’s team leaderboard is Denver as it finished first in both events, totaling their score to 80 points. For Thursday, the individual preliminary events will start at 10 a.m.

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]