A Sign Of Early-Season Improvement

Senior Libby Hardwick posted solid times in backstroke events in both dual meets vs. MSU Moorhead & St. Catherine. She won the 50-yard backstroke vs. SCU.
Senior Libby Hardwick posted solid times in backstroke events in both dual meets vs. MSU Moorhead & St. Catherine. She won the 50-yard backstroke vs. SCU.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/05/16)— A pair of back-to-back meets in Moorhead showcased Concordia's improvement from the opening weekend as the Cobbers swam dual meets against MSU Moorhead and St. Catherine on Friday and Saturday.

The Cobbers made the trip across 8th street on Friday and lost 191-60 to the Division II Dragons on Friday. Concordia then hosted MIAC opponent St. Catherine on Saturday and was edged by a score of 161-126. CC is now 0-3 in dual meets this season.

Concordia had several outstanding early-season swims over the weekend and had four swimmers earn individual event wins over the two days.

Senior Sarah Nelson was the only Cobber athlete to post victories at both meets. She claimed the win in the 100-yard butterfly against MSU Moorhead and then won the 50-yard butterfly against the Wildcats at home on Saturday.

Nelson swam a 1:05.38 in the 100-yard butterfly to win the event vs. the Dragons by ,23 of a second. On Saturday she clocked a 29.21 in the 50-yard butterfly to take the race by .40 of a second over teammate Ann Marie O'Connell.

O'Connell also finished in the final individual event of the weekend. She swam a 2:29.31 in the 200-yard individual medley and was less than four seconds off the winning time.

Libby Hardwick, Joleen Plekkenpol, Alaina Dehnke  and Ciara White also had race wins on Saturday. Hardwick was victorious in the 50-yard backstroke as she excelled in that stroke all weekend long. She won the sprint backstroke with a mark of 30.28. Hardwick was also second in the 100-yard backstroke and third in the 200-yard backstroke against MSU Moorhead.

Plekkenpol was one of the shining stars of the weekend for the Cobbers. She won the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday with a mark of 59.80 which was 1.16 seconds faster than the runner-up time.  Plekkenpol was also second in the 50-yard freestyle vs. the Wildcats after touching the wall at 27.57. On Friday she was third in the 100-yard freestyle with a faster time of 58.52. That time was faster than she went all of last season and would have placed in the Top 30 at the MIAC Meet.

Dehnke, who had an excellent time in the 500-yard freestyle on Friday, won the 200-yard freestyle on Saturday. Dehnke claimed the win against St. Catherine with a time of 2:07.19. That won the event by a full six seconds. On Friday she swam a 5:37.94 in the 500-yard freestyle to earn third-place honors. That time is faster than any CC athlete recorded at the MIAC Meet last year.  

White continues to do well in the early stages of 2016-17. She won a pair of events in the season-opening meet at Morris last weekend and on Saturday she won the 200-yard breaststroke. White went 2:37.26 to out-touch her SCU opponent by .49 of a second. That time was a significant drop from her mark in the same event on Friday when she posted a time of 2:39.30 and finished second. Her winning time on Saturday is 4.03 seconds off the time she posted in the prelims at the MIAC Meet last year.

Andrea Kittleson was the distance freestyle queen for the Cobbers over the weekend. She swam the 1000-yard freestyle in both meets and had a significant time drop from Friday to Saturday. Against the Dragons she clocked a 12:31.35 and finished third and then she went 12:23.85 against the Wildcats. Her 7.50 second time drop earned her a fourth-place finish vs. SCU.               

Concordia will have a two-week break before returning to the competition pool. The Cobbers will host the University of Mary on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. in the Memorial Auditorium pool. The Marauders are in their first year of swimming on the varsity level.