Sports / The Prairie Fire / February 23, 2011

Roundup: swimming and wrestling at conference

The Midwest Conference championship did not go as Knox’s men’s and women’s swimming teams had hoped. A year after setting a new standard, both teams finished in eighth place at the meet in Grinnell, Iowa.

Junior Tory Kassabaum led the Prairie Fire, setting three new school records in the course of the three-day meet. After narrowly missing the school record in the 500 yard freestyle on day one, Kassabaum broke two records Saturday.

In the 100 yard backstroke, Kassabaum’s record-setting time of 1:03.67 was good for ninth place in the MWC. And in the first leg of the 800 yard freestyle relay, Kassabaum’s time of 2:01.64 set a record for 200 yard freestyle.

In the 400 yard freestyle relay on Sunday, Kassabaum’s lead-off time of :56 broke the record in the 100 yard freestyle. According to an article published by Knox’s Sports Information Department, the 100 yard freestyle record stood for 15 years.

“I didn’t swim really well in the mornings during [preliminaries],” Kassabaum said. “So I didn’t get to place really well, but I’m happy with my times.”

The women’s team finished in eighth place out of nine with 167 points. Ripon College edged them out for 7th place with 174 points. Kassabaum was satisfied with the team’s performance.

“We were at a disadvantage because we didn’t have a lot of people,” Kassabaum said. “We had fewer points because of that. But everyone dropped a lot of times.”

The men’s team also finished in eighth place, tied with Illinois College. They were led by junior Tyler O’Neill, who finished 10th in the 200 yard backstroke. O’Neill was also on the 400 yard medley relay team that finished eighth.

Wrestling at NWA meet

Freshman Eric Steingruber won the 149 pound weight class at the Northern Wrestling Association championship. The team finished fourth overall with 55 points.

The Prairie Fire had four wrestlers place aside from Steingruber. Senior Edel Vaca and junior Alex Faulkner finished in second place at 133 pounds and 174 pounds respectively. Senior Isaac Juarez finished fourth at 184 pounds, while junior heavyweight James Wagner finished third.

Knox will next compete at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional at Lakelond College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin this Saturday. Competition begins at 9 a.m.

Kevin Morris

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