A young Butler women’s swimming and diving team will head into the Horizon League Championship meet coming off of a second-place finish at the Rose Hulman Triangular meet Feb. 5.
The Bulldogs showed promise early in the contest when they recorded a victory in the 200-meter medley relay.
Freshmen Lauren Need, Lauren Lambrecht and Kathleen Brannen and sophomore Kyle Johannsen were able to claim the win with a time of 1:54.48.
Butler’s strong start continued in the 1000-yard freestyle. Johannsen, a freestyle specialist, collected the team’s first runner-up finish, posting a time of 11:28.22.
As the meet went on, more solid performances were turned in by the Bulldogs.
In the 200-yard free, Need’s time of 2:07.00 was good enough for second place. She finished just seventh-tenths of a second ahead of her closest competitor, IUPUI freshman Amanda Janda.
Minutes later, Lambrecht recorded a time of 26.84 in the 50-meter free to pick up another second place finish for Butler. She finished behind another IUPUI freshman, Lindsey Hurst, who swam the race in 24.84.
In the 100-meter backstroke, Brannen gave the Bulldogs their fourth second-place finish, completing the race in 1:06.60.
One of the closest races of the meet was the 100-meter breaststroke. When all was said and done, freshman Rosalie Fidanze took third in the event for Butler, finishing with a time of 1:11.28.
The meet concluded with the 200 free relay. The relay team, consisting of Lambrecht, Fidanze, Brannen and freshman Katie Ring, delivered the Bulldogs’ fifth and final second-place finish with a final time of 1:46.95.
“I feel like I enjoyed this meet more than most simply because it seemed like everyone went out and exceeded expectations,” Brannen said. “In almost all areas of competition, as a team, we were doing something great.”
Head coach Maurice Stewart expressed a similar outlook on the entire season.
“It’s amazing to look back on how well the girls have adjusted,” Stewart said. “It’s clear, now, that they’ve begun to understand that it’s up to them to take this team where they want to go.”
After a long season that has included several meets and a training trip in Florida, the Bulldogs are looking ahead to the Horizon League Championships. The meet, which will span four days, will be held in Cleveland, Feb. 23-26.
“I feel ready,” Stewart said. “It has been a great environment to work in this past year and I feel that everyone, including myself, has grown and learned from one another.”