MONMOUTH, Ill. - Western Illinois swimming and diving earned a total of 17 first place finishes, notched nine runner-up spots and recorded 12 season best times en route to its first triangular meet victory of the season on Saturday (Feb. 2).
The men defeated Monmouth 96-28 and Augustana 76-51, while the women overtook Monmouth 74-55 and Augustana 70-60.
"We had a great meet on both sides of the team and definitely showed that we were the superior team as the meet carried on," head coach Greg Naumann said. "We were a little behind after the first couple of events, but then we were able to show our training and talent as we got further into the meet. We had the option to give our teams some different events to swim, which helped them out mentally. The wins were very numerous, and exactly what we saw when we were able to win against Eastern and South Dakota two weeks ago. Having the wins on both sides of the meet should give them a little more confidence moving forward toward conference."
Leading the way for the men recording two event titles apiece were Matt Abercrombie and Austin Payne. Abercrombie posted two season-best times in his first place finishes, the 1000 free (10:01.28) and 200 back (1:59.95). Payne took first in the 100 back (1:04.50), which marked a season top time, and the 100 free (49.09).
Also contributing first place efforts for the Leathernecks were Jacob Shain in the 200 breast (2:21.00), Tyler Neaveill in the 100 fly (54.40) and Josh Davis in the 200 IM (2:03.17). The men's squad also took first in the 200 medley relay (1:38.86) and the 200 free relay (1:29.06).
In the women's competition, Abby Hansen notched two victories in the 200 free (2:04.17) and the 200 back (2:20.85). Her 200 free performance marked a new season-best time. Joining her with two first place finishes was Julia Rassmussen who took the 100 back (1:05.72) with a season top time and the 100 free (55.50).
Others earning first place event finishes included Kelsey Kirchhoefer in the 200 fly (2:22.35), Megan Popp with a season-best time in the 500 free (5:24.29) and Lizzie Hollopeter in the 200 IM (2:15.69).
The 200 free relay team also took first posting a time of 1:29.06.
The Fighting Leathernecks are back in the pool on Friday (Feb. 8) at Iowa. The meet is the final competition of the regular season and is slated to begin at 5 p.m. The Summit League Championship follows beginning on Feb. 20 at Oakland in Rochester, Mich.