Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Swim teams take second and third at conference championship

The Pioneers took home numerous individual honors and a number of special awards at this year’s Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Championships, held Feb. 28–March 1 in Nashville, Tenn.

The Pioneers men’s team finished second with a team score of 654 points and the Pioneers women’s team finished third with 705 points.

Brian Schrader, the Pioneers men’s and women’s head swimming and diving coach, was named the Male Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Junior Blake Worsley was named the SBC Male Swimmer of the Year, and for the second straight year Senior Kelsey Totura was named the Women’s Swimmer of the Year.

Worsley won his third sprint conference championship March 1 when he won the men’s 100-freestyle with a conference record and NCAA ‘B’ standard time of 44.29, just .13 ahead of second place Ignacio Gayo of Missouri State. Worsley also won the 500-freestyle and 200-freestyle during the championships.

Totura made history by winning her fourth consecutive SBC title in the women’s 200-backstroke with an NCAA ‘B’ standard time of 1:58.42. Totura already qualified an NCAA ‘A’ cut earlier this season and will swim at the NCAA Championships later this month.

DU diving coach Erik Cook was named SBC Diving Coach of the Year and junior Aaron Feight, who won his third 1-meter diving conference championship on Feb. 28, was named Male Diver of the Year.

DU got another championship from freshman Grace Kittle, who won the 200-breaststroke and qualified for the NCAA Championships with an ‘A’ standard time of 2:13.85, a DU school record. Kittle swam a dominating race in which she won by nearly a full second over Sara Giovanni of Florida International (2:14.80).

DU’s women won its third relay title of the championships in the 400-free relay, as the ‘A’ team of Katy Motsinger, Kittle, Melissa Greeves and Totura won with a conference record time of 3:24.80.

The Pioneers had a host of medalist honors March 1, including three runner-up finishes. Senior Marcus Christianson was the first runner up for DU in the men’s 200-breaststroke, as he was edged despite breaking the conference record of 2:01.65. Greeves finished second in the women’s 200-butterfly with a time of 2:03.28 and freshman Garth Summers swam an NCAA ‘B’ standard time of 1:47.89 to finish second in the men’s 200-butterfly.

Other medalists for the Pioneers included senior Nathan West with a third place finish in the men’s mile at 15:43.60, and sophomore Sterling Slocum in the women’s 200-breaststroke at 2:19.91.

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