The Laker Men's and Women's Swimmers had many strong performances at this weekend's Midwest Cup Regional Meet on The University of Iowa campus. Ashley Commens, who joined the team in January, had a breakthrough meet, as she achieved her first national qualifying time in the opening event. Commens led off the 200 free relay with a 28.05, well under the 30.29 qualifying time. Relay lead-off splits may be used as individual times. Commens continued her strong performances throughout the meet with national qualifying times in the 100 free, 50 butterfly, 100 individual medley, and 50 and 100 breaststrokes. Juan Briseno had the best meet on the men's side. Briseno cleaned up with three new national qualifying swims in the 200 butterfly and 50 and 100 breaststrokes. Briseno also had a lifetime best in the 50 freestyle, swimming a 27.25. Head Coach Todd Peters had this to say about Commens and Briseno, "Our main goal for this meet was to get Juan and Ashley qualified in enough events for them to be able to swim four individual events at the national meet. Juan added three events, and along with his previous qualification in the 100 butterfly, he has his four events. Ashley was a pleasant surprise because she just joined the team in Mid-January. She qualified in every event she swam this weekend, giving her six total events to choose from when I do the national entries. Ashley is also going to help us on national relays and improve our chances of finishing top 5 in the team scores."
Other lifetime best performances on the men's side include Garrett Nielson in the 100 butterfly (57.93) and 200 freestyle (2:03.43), Gabriel Carmona in the 100 freestyle (50.35) and Jacob Bohnert in the 1650 free (19:37.92), 200 breaststroke (2:40.52), 200 fly (2:21.10) and 400 IM (4:35.62). Bohnert was a bit of an ironman on Saturday choosing to swim all seven individual events along with both relays. Bohnert took advantage of the no entry limit in the meet to accomplish this feat and race 3,200 yards over the course of the nine total events. Jacob competed for the first time ever in several of the events.
Lifetime best performances on the women's side include Liz Crewe-Brown in the 200 breaststroke (2:49.79), Gabriela Reis in the 100 backstroke (1:07.70) and Juliana Villa Rodriquez in the 100 IM (1:06.49).
The Laker Swimmers will now finish preparation for the NJCAA National Swimming and Diving Meet to be held in Buffalo, NY on March 6-9. Coach Peters seems excited as the team looks toward the final meet of the season: "We are ready for the National Meet after the great performances this past weekend. All the pieces seem to be fitting into place as we will continue to rest over the next 17 days. It is time to finalize our national meet entries and put the finishing touches on our starts and turns as we prep for the most important meet of the year."