Lindenwood swimming finishes historic season

At+the+St.+Peters+Rec-Plex%2C+the+Lions+compete+in+the+Lindenwood+Invitational+on+Oct.+26%2C+2019+in+St.+Peters%2C+Mo.

James Tananan Kamnuedkhun

At the St. Peters Rec-Plex, the Lions compete in the Lindenwood Invitational on Oct. 26, 2019 in St. Peters, Mo.

Billy Woods, Reporter

Lindenwood men and women’s swimming finished their record-setting seasons strong at the NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships this past weekend, where both teams placed in the top-five in the same season for the first time in school history.  

Men’s

The men’s swimming team placed first in two of their four meets this season, including the Delta State Christmas Invitational. The men also finished third in the GLVC championship and fifth in the D-II National Championship, where the men scored 315 points, the second most points scored at any national championship for Lindenwood.  

The season was highlighted by some record-setting performances, including Matheo Mateos-Mongelos, who was the individual conference champion in the individual 200-meter, where he owns the school record of 1:46.16. Mateos-Mongelos, along with Gerald Brown, Elliott Irwin and Zach Linder, broke the school record for the 400-meter medley relay at 3:11.40. The same group finished second at the conference championship.  

Brown won his first national title in the 100-meter breaststroke, where he broke the school record time at 52.77.  

More school records set during the season include the 200-meter freestyle relay time of 1:18.44 by Linder, Irwin, Brown and Patryk Winiatowski; the 400-meter freestyle relay time of 2:54.50 by the same group of men; and the 800-meter freestyle relay time of 6:32.26 by Mateos-Mongelos, Winiatowski, Linder and Vincent Jaworski. The same 800-meter freestyle relay team finished second at the conference championship. This was the most school records broken in a single season since 2016. 

Other accolades include eight first-team All-American individual events and 11 honorable-mention All-American individual performances. All relay teams earned first-team All-American (the first time all relays earned first-team All-American in a single NCAA championship), and the 400-meter freestyle relay finishing third, which is the highest finish in school history.  

Women’s 

The women’s swimming team finished first in three of their four regular season meets, including the Delta State Christmas Invitational. In the GLVC conference championship, the women finished first, including four individual conference champions from Beata Maruszczyk in the 100-and 200-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter freestyle, and Elle Christie in one-meter diving.

At the conference championship, there were 17 performances in the top-three, which included all relays finishing top-three and the 400-meter freestyle relay finishing second to secure the conference championship for the women.  

At the Division-II championship, the women placed fourth, which is the highest in team history. There, the women set the school record in the 400-meter medley relay of 3:43.61 led by Stephanie Marks, Lexie Winnett, Kirsten Votava and Maruszczyk. The 200-meter freestyle relay team of Votava, Winnett, Marks, and Hellenschmidt set the new school record of 1:32.73. 

Individual school records broken during the season include Maruszczyk for the 100-meter breaststroke at 1:01.93, the 200-meter breaststroke at 2:12.94, the 200-meter medley at 2:10.36, marks for the 100-meter backstroke at 54.35, and the 200-meter backstroke at 1:58.89; Winnett for the 100-meter butterfly at 54.68; and Jana Hellenschmidt for the 400-meter medley at 4:16.39. 

For the women, there were 11 first-team All-American individual performances, highlighted by Hellenschmidt and Winnett, who finished as first-team All-American in all of their individual events. There were also nine honorable mention individual performances. All relay teams finished as first-team All-American for the first time in school history, including the 800-meter freestyle relay finishing third. Both Christie for one-meter diving and Katie Werkema for three-meter diving were named first-team All-American, a first for Lindenwood since 2016.  

“This will be remembered as a special season,” coach Jason Owen said. “We made the most of our opportunities and remained focused through many challenges during the season. It was a historic season in every way. I have never been prouder of this team and I am excited to see what this momentum will do for our program moving forward.”