Screaming fans filled the stands and teammates crowded the edge of the pool cheering on those who swam their hearts out during the Liberal Arts Conference Championship meet at Principia College, where the Scarlet Hawks Swimming and Diving team competed in one of the most important meets of the season. For a few this past weekend was the last competition of the season, while for many others it was the chance (and success) to qualify for the National Championship meet. The men’s team definitely brought their A game and tied for 2nd of 11 with one of the strongest teams at the meet (Luther College), while also qualifying many of their swimmers for the National meet. The 200 Freestyle Relay of senior Carlos Tejero, sophomore Yoni Pruzansky, junior Eric Grunden and senior Max Ramminger got the team started off on a high note taking 2nd in the event with a 1:25.47.In the 500 yard Freestyle, Pruzansky finished 10th with an outstanding swim and a National qualifying time of 4:49.51. Sophomore Michael Bodzay finished 9th in the 200 yard Individual Medley with a National qualifying time of 1:57.21, while Grunden and sophomore Felipe Bergh also qualified (11th and 12th place respectively). In the 50 yard Freestyle, Ramminger won the 1st place medal with a 20.72, while Tejero took 7th with a 21.70. Senior Jeff Reilly qualified for Nationals on the 1 Meter board (after coming up just points shy in his last two meets) with a score of 356.20 for 11 dives, while junior Ian McNair took 2nd with a 476.20, and the 400 Medley Relay of Tejero, Grunden, Bodzay and Ramminger finished 3rd overall with a time of 3:31.98. Day two fared even better for the team, with the 200 yard Medley Relay coming in 2nd (Tejero, Grunden, Bodzay and Ramminger), and Bodzay and Bergh both qualifying for Nationals in the 400 yard Individual Medley (4th with a 4:15.40 and 5th with a 4:19.27 respectively). Pruzansky finished 3rd in the 200 yard Freestyle with a National qualifying time of 1:43.36, and Grunden took 6th in the 100 yard Breaststroke with a 1:00.30, followed closely by freshman Billy Bafia in 8th with a 1:01.58. Ramminger took 9th in the event (59.02) while freshman Matt O’Rourke took 13th (1:03.63). In the 100 yard Backstroke, Tejero took 4th, while junior Matt Rosenfeld took 8th with a National cut (54.32) and senior Ryan Tapak took 15th with a lifetime best of 58.56. The 800 yard Freestyle Relay took 5th overall with a time of 7:13.84 (senior Tomasz Chojnacki, Bergh, Bodzay and Pruzansky). On day three, Tapak destroyed his own personal best in the Mile, completing the event in 18:41.80 and taking 13th, while Tejero took 6th in the 200 yard Backstroke (1:55.20) and Rosenfeld took 9th with a National qualifying time of 2:00.30. In the 100 yard Freestyle Ramminger took 1st with a new meet record of 45.80, and Pruzansky took 7th with a time of 47.57. In the 200 yard Breaststroke, Grunden finished 3rd with a final time of 2:11.77 and Bergh took 4th with a National cut of 2:12.97. Bafia took 8th in the event with a 2:17.11 and freshman Dan Sommerfeld took 14th with a 2:23.10. Bodzay placed 4th overall in the 200 yard Butterfly with another National cut (1:57.76), McNair finished 2nd on the 3 Meter board for diving with a final score of 514.60, while Reilly finished 4th (339.25) and the 400 yard Freestyle Relay (Grunden, Pruzansky, Tejero and Ramminger) placed 2nd with a final time of 3:08.94. The women’s team overall qualified 4 individuals for Nationals in 8 events, as well as five well placed relays, taking 6th out of 13 teams. Highlight swims include the 200 Freestyle Relay (senior Andrea Zuniga, junior Aimee Dewante, and seniors Morgan Curran and Melanie Koto), which took 7th with a 1:45.26. In the 200 yard Individual Medley, Dewante took 3rd and Curran placed 6th, each with National qualifying times, while the ladies 400 yard Medley Relay of Zuniga, senior Julia Duarte, Dewante and Koto took 4th overall (4:09.89). On day two of the meet, the 200 yard Medley Relay placed 6th (Zuniga, Duarte, Curran and Koto), and Dewante took 2nd in the 400 yard Individual Medley (4:49.06). Koto placed 7th in the 200 yard Freestyle with a National cut (2:01.86), while Duarte placed 6th in the 100 yard Breaststroke, qualifying for Nationals with a 1:10.24. Curran took 11th in the event with a 1:12.62, and Zuniga placed 8th in the 100 yard Backstroke with a 1:03.95. The 800 yard Freestyle Relay (sophomore Abigail Maze, Dewante, Curran and Koto) took 3rd with a season best of 8:14.86. The final day of the meet saw Koto placing 13th in the 100 yard Freestyle (56.55) and Duarte taking 9th in the 200 yard Breaststroke with a National cut (2:34.67). Dewante placed 3rd in the 200 yard Butterfly also with a National qualifying time of 2:19.23, and the 400 yard Freestyle Relay of Maze, Curran, Zuniga and Dewante took 6th (3:47.23). With just a week left in the season, the swimmers and divers who qualified will train their hardest to reach their peak performance level for the National meet, which will be held February 29th through March 3rd in Oklahoma City.