February 9, 2013 - More records fell, and the ladies on the Hillsdale College women's swimming team wrapped up a very impressive showing at the 2013 GLIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday in Canton, Ohio.
The Chargers put together their finest performance at the conference meet in four years, finishing in fifth place with 359.5 points. It was the most points the team has scored at the GLIAC meet since 2009, and tied for its best finish at the meet since 2006.
Wayne State was the conference champions with 861.5 points. Indianapolis took second with 554.5, followed by Northern Michigan and Grand Valley State.
Wrapping up a spectacular weekend, freshman Zoe Hopkins smashed another school record Saturday. She finished the 1650 free (AKA the mile) with a time of 17:41.49, besting the old record by 23 seconds. Her time was good for seventh place overall at the meet.
Also finishing strong was junior Becca Remmes, who broke a school record for the second day in a row, this time in the 200 back, with a time of 2:06.63. She finished in eighth in the conference in that event. Senior teammate Sarah Leitner was right behind Remmes, and placed ninth.
Sophomore Rachael Kurtz, no stranger to school records, furhter distanced herself away from the rest of the competition in school history in the 100 free, finishing seventh with a time of 51.71 seconds.
In the final event of the season, the 400 free relay team of Leitner, Sami Ward, Jordan Rucinski and Kurtz took sixth with a time of 3:32.84, two seconds below its seed time.
February 8, 2013 - The Chargers stand in fifth place through the third day of the four-day 2013 GLIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, being held in Canton, Ohio.
Hillsdale accumulated nearly 100 points during Friday's action, and have 272.5 points, 33 beind third-place Grand Valley State.
The team's top performance on the third day came from junior Becca Remmes, who set a new school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.25 seconds, good for eighth place.
Senior Catherine Shilka was the highest finisher on the team on Day 3, finishing in fifth place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.7 seconds. Three swimmers - Sarah Leitner, Rachael Kurtz and Jordan Rucinski - finshed between seventh and 11th in the 200 free.
Other swimmers to achieve PR's Friday were sophomore Ali Bauer (1:06.6) and freshman Sarah Rinaldi (1:06.86), both coming in the 100 breaststroke.
February 7, 2013 - Heading into the second half of the four-day 2013 GLIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, Hillsdale College is performing as well as it ever has.
Through the completion of Thursday's competition, Hillsdale sits in fourth place with 175 points. The highest the Chargers have ever finished at the conference meet is fourth, and matching that achievement is now well within the team's sights.
Leading the way for the team in day 2 of competition was sophomore Rachael Kurtz, who broke her own school record in the 50 free with a time of 23.61 seconds, good for fourth place overall.
Sophomore Jordan Rucinski and freshman Zoe Hopkins finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 500 free, each finishing in less than 5:12. This was Rucinski's best-ever finish in a conference meet, while Hopkins continued to score the team points after a memorable first day that saw her finish as the conference silver medalist in the 1000 free.
Early in the day, freshman Sarah Rinaldi secured the program's first number one seed in a finals race in the 200 IM. She later finished in sixth place in the event with a time of 2:07.64, ranking her No. 2 in school history in that event, only trailing former All-American Linda Okonkowski.
Finishing up the day was the 200 free relay team's school-record time of 1:36.31. The combo of Kurtz. Sami Ward, Rucinski and Sarah Leitner gave the Chargers a fifth-place finish in the event, scoring more crucial points.
"We are certainly the most overachieving team at the meet so far," said a delighted coach Kurt Kirner. "Our times are dropping more signifcantly than any other team here."
February 6, 2013 - In her very first conference championship meet, Hillsdale College freshman Zoe Hopkins swam into uncharted waters.
Hopkins finished in second place in the 1000 free event on the first day of the 2013 GLIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, being held this week in Canton, Ohio. It is the highest-ever conference meet finish for any swimmer under current head coach Kurt Kirner (he started prior to the 2007-08 season).
Already a standout in an impressive freshman class, Hopkins finished the race in 10:29.26, shattering the old school record by an amazing 10 seconds, a record set by teammate Jordan Rucinski last year.
But Rucinski wouldn't go unnoticed in the race either, finishing in fourth place in the 1000 free with a time of 10:32.9, which would have been a new school record, were it not for Hopkins' performance. As it is, it's both a personal-best and an NCAA B-cut time for Rucinski. Both swimmers are pictured on the medal stand at right.
In all, Charger swimmers earned four NCAA B-cuts in the first day of conference championship competition.
The 200 medley relay team of Becca Remmes, Cayley Cruickshank, Catherine Shilka and Rachael Kurtz also earned B-cut status with its time of 1:47.12, which was under its seed time. Kurtz anchored the group with a 23.2 in her leg of the relay, which finished in seventh place and also set a school record.