Swimming turns focus to GLVC Championships

In the final meet before the GLVC Championships, Truman State University Swimming faced off against No. 7 Washington University-St. Louis. The Bulldog women pulled out a 145-117 win, but the men’s team took a narrow 140-122 loss.

On the men’s side, the Purple and White carried eight wins with its performance, while the Bulldog women raced to the top of the podium seven times.

Men’s wins

Freshman Lliot Gieseke: 50 meter free

Sophomore Sam Heveroh: 100 meter free, 200 meter free

Sophomore JT Thayer: 500 meter free, 1,000 meter free

Senior Neil Girmus: 100 meter breaststroke

Junior Will Shanel: 200 meter individual medley

200 meter freestyle relay team: Shanel, Girmus, Gieseke and Sophomore Austin Baker

Women’s wins

Redshirt senior Evyn Spencer: 100 meter backstroke, 100 meter fly, 200 meter individual medley

Sophomore Emma Barnett: 200 meter backstroke, 500 meter free

Freshman Maggie Hickey: 200 meter fly

Junior Jasmine Roghair: 1000 meter free

Junior Kortney Betz said the meet took place on the Bulldogs senior day, so the team was “pumped up and excited to get going,” and the results speak for themselves. In preparation for the GLVC Championships, Betz said the team’s depth will play a big part in the Bulldogs’ performance. She said by maintaining focus, taking events one step at a time and showing a strong start in the preliminary rounds, the women can match the high energy level they had last year when the team won the GLVC Championship.

Head Coach Ed Pretre said the GLVC meet will be a series of strategic battles that will test the depth of the team as a whole. He said on paper, other teams in the conference may have faster top times but are not as strong as Truman when it comes to capturing second, third and fourth place finishes for points. Pretre also said team spirit will play a big part in pushing the athletes beyond their limits at the meet.

“The team has to cheer for each other,” Pretre said. “Not just for individuals or themselves — it has to be unified. They have to have each other’s backs — that’s the difference between the average and the really good teams, and something we’re really going to harp on in the next few weeks.”

The GLVC Championship is a four-day event that takes place from February 8-11 in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The Bulldog men are trying to improve on their fourth-place finish last year, and the Bulldog women are trying to land their second-straight championship title.