The USD swim and dive team had relay and individual successes at the Summit League championships last week in Sioux Falls.
Overall, the men’s team placed second with a total score of 695 points, breaking four school records and placing just 30 points ahead of the SDSU Jackrabbits.
The women’s team placed fourth with a team score of 593, and freshman diver Haley Pederson earned first place in the three-meter dive, according to goyotes.com. Her 255.45 score now puts her as the sixth best diving score in USD history.
Pederson said she had no idea that she was on track for place first.
“I actually had no clue until I was done,” she said. “On the scoreboard, it posted the score you got for each dive, and I don’t like to watch it because it makes me nervous. Once I finished, I looked up at the board and I was shocked.”
Senior swimmer Eric Erlenmeyer was also surprised when he beat his own school record in the 100 yard individual medley, shaving off nearly half a second with a time of 51.25.
“I actually didn’t know when I got out of the water, it was really close,” he said. “When someone told me I broke (the record), I was actually kind of surprised because I hadn’t been doing too well at the meet up to that point. It was kind of like a turning point.”
Not only did he break an individual record, but in the 400 yard free relay, he broke the previous school record of 3:01.92. With the help of his fellow teammates Grey Determan, Steve Wascom and Hunter Padgett, they out-swam the record by nearly two seconds at 3:00.09 for bronze.
Padgett said he had anticipated beating the record.
“I was pretty confident we were going to break them,” he said. “Everybody swam fast, we all trained well this year. So those were kind of the ones we were ready to break.”
Padgett said the team’s encouragement was what helped the relay team prepare for the races.
“Having them cheer loud makes us more hyped up, more amped up to swim, and we just feel better when we jump into the water having that huge team support behind us,” he said.
Sara Schank and Issac Morris qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in the one and three-meter dive. They will be held in Minneapolis, Minn. from March 5-7.