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Swimming and diving captures first win of season

Members of the UNK swimming and diving team throw their Lopes during their home meet. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

The UNK swim team got first place in their only home meet of the season under a new interim head coach.

Former swimming head coach, Becky O’Connell resigned after the first meet this season, putting Abe Sala as interim swim and dive head coach the remainder of the season.

“It’s always different, it’s something I’m not used to but there’s a lot of learning on the fly, allowing myself to fail and work with the others,” Sala said. “Trying to learn everything in a matter of a couple of months is not ideal but it’s getting better.”

This meet was the Lopers first place win of the season over three competing schools, and it all came down to the last relay. 

The Lopers had all three relay teams score in the final event, including one team in second place, putting them in the lead.

UNK had 901.5 points across both days, beating Colorado State University-Pueblo, 883, Midland University, 453.5 and Adams State University, 401.

“It really came down to a whole team effort,” said senior Katie Cornelio. “I think that’s a smaller image of what our team has been through this season, it’s not just up to a few individuals, it’s really a team effort to make sure we get the victories we’ve worked so hard for.”

Cornelio recorded a time of 2:29.02 on the 200-yard butterfly, putting her in fourth place in that event. 

UNK finished first in two events including the 1650-yard freestyle, where freshman Katia Neufeld-Barclay finished with a time of 20:13.47. Senior Emily Miksch tied for first place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.20.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Maggie Waddington was 0.73 seconds short of second place.

The Lopers took second place in the 400-yard Medley Relay with 4:11.85.

“I think them having a good attitude and having a more cohesive team environment is going a long way especially after the difficult season that we’ve had,” Sala said. “They’re doing really well, they’re swimming really hard and it’s our home arena so we want to compete the best that we can.”

The Lopers will travel to Oklahoma this weekend for their next three-day meet. 

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Shelby Berglund
Shelby Berglund, Photography Editor
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