Sports / The Prairie Fire / November 6, 2013

Knox swims away with victory to open season

On Saturday, Nov. 2, the Knox College Prairie Fire’s swimming team collected two wins against Eureka College in their opening swim meet of the 2013-2014 season. Knox won the meet with a score of 88-20, setting two records in the process.

Junior Nick Polizos felt great vibes from the beginning of the meet.

“Prior to the meet we had a team breakfast and the team dynamic was great.  As a whole everyone was really supportive and we were all looking forward to the meet,” Polizos said. “The Eureka home meet is usually a lot of fun.  Being a home meet, it is a great way to start the season for those who are new to the Knox swim team.  Also, it is always great swimming against Eureka. We have had a good relationship with them for a while and it is nice to see that continue this year.”

Freshman Madeline Bruce was a stand out in the meet, winning three events, setting records in two of them and swimming in the winning 200-yard medley team. For her performance, Bruce was recognized by the Midwest Conference, earning the Midwest Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week award.

Polizos agreed with the MWC’s nod.

“The swimmer of the meet was most definitely [Madeline],” he said. “She broke two pool records (200 IM, 100 Fly) in her first meet at  Knox.  If that isn’t a great way to start a season I don’t know what is.”

As for her own performance, Bruce said, “For the first meet of the season, I’m very pleased. I didn’t really know what to expect timewise going into the meet, but I felt good knowing I made enormous strides over the summer. On a personal note, my parents drove out to see the meet, which meant a whole lot. They were the first ones I looked to after each race.”

Sophomore Jiaqi Li practices her butterfly stroke during swim practice in the Lay Natatorium Tuesday, Nov. 5. (Casey Mendoza/TKS)

Sophomore Jiaqi Li practices her butterfly stroke during swim practice in the Lay Natatorium Tuesday, Nov. 5. (Casey Mendoza/TKS)

Bruce was one of the four Knox swimmers for the women’s team who compiled at least three wins in both individual and relay races. The others were sophomore Maddie Boehm who finished first in the 50-meter freestyle and butterfly. She also was on the winning 200 freestyle and medley teams. Freshman Laura Lee won two events, the 100 breaststroke and the 500 freestyle, while aiding in the 200 freestyle victory. The final womens’ member of the winning team is freshman Clarice Bernett. She won the 200 freestyle and was an integral part of both the 200 freestyle and medley teams.

On the men’s side, sophomore Chris Walsh carried the team, swimming his way to first place on the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter backstroke while aiding in the 200 freestyle and medley relays.

Sophomore Samuel Chen also had a great day in the water, winning the 100 freestyle, the 50 meter butterfly and swimming in both winning relay teams.

Polizos finished the meet with first in the 50 and 100 meter backstroke races while combining with Chen and Walsh on the 200 freestyle and medley races. First year Benjamin Heichman won the 200 and 500 meter freestyle, and was also on the 200 freestyle team.

“I have a extremely good feeling about this season,” Polizos said. “We started it with two wins and there were a lot of great showings, pool records as well as personal records were broken and this was only the first meet.  The team dynamic is great, the times were great, I have no doubt that the rest of season will be the same.”

Recap of the meet

Bruce earns MWC honor

Tags:  benjamin heichman chris walsh clarice bernett laura lee maddie boehm madeline bruce nick polizos samuel chen

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