Underclassmen took center stage over Fall Break for the Colorado College swim & dive team as they competed at the Trinity Tiger Invitational in San Antonio. The Tigers faced tough competition against Division III and Division II schools, including Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals Trinity University and Southwestern University.
CC showed up with some strong performances, most notably from underclassmen. On the women’s side, Key Macfarland ’22 placed an impressive third overall in the one-mile freestyle race. Maddy Amick ’22 also performed well in the mile, sneaking in just behind her teammate at sixth place. Alexia Preston ’21 was quick to single out Amick for her outstanding performance. “Maddy was a standout competitor,” Preston said. “She finished the mile and then went straight to an individual final right after, which was super impressive.”
Jio Chang ’20 was also a standout onfthe day, as she took first in the 200 butterfly in a very competitive field. The women placed third overall in the meet, trailing behind Trinity University and Henderson State University.
For the men, Cade Thumann ’22 finished the 200 butterfly in 10th position while his brother and fellow triplet, Cole Thumann ’22, placed 15th in the 200 breaststroke. Michael Heinonen ’20 spoke on the importance of the brothers to the team and their performance throughout the season: “They were both very solid. Cade and Cole have been playing a big role on our men’s side.”
Heinonen had a successful meet as well, placing 14th in the mile freestyle in a solid performance. On the diving side, Casey Black ’21 finished third in the 3-meter diving competition, while teammate Keelan Woodard ’22 placed fifth. As a whole, the men’s team finished an impressive sixth overall.
Younger competitors proved an important part of the Tiger’s success in San Antonio, continuing a trend of their importance throughout the season. “Our freshmen did a lot of the heavy lifting and all did very well,” Heinonen said. “We had a super strong class come in and they are really starting to make a difference.”
The impact of the underclassmen on the team isn’t just felt in the results but also physically in the team numbers. “Our team is growing on the back half as our upperclassmen numbers aren’t huge, but the freshman and sophomore classes are big,” Heinonen said.
Looking forward, the goal for both teams is to compete for the SCAC title at conference championships in February. On the men’s side, Trinity and Southwestern both pose the biggest threat to the Tigers as they look set to be a three-horse race for the title. “Trinity is great competition and they had a really strong incoming class too,” Heinonen said. “It’s going to be a close race for first through third.” The women’s team are in a similar position and look poised to compete for the title with Trinity.
The Tigers will return to action when they host Norbert College on Dec. 7 at home in the Schlessman Natatorium.