Tuesday night was senior night for the “Storming” Vikings swimmers as they faced the challenge of a tough opponent that they had not beaten in at least a dozen years.  Despite the smaller crowd due to the pandemic, there was great excitement in the air and the home team did not disappoint as they rose to the challenge in claiming a tightly contested 50-44 victory over Grinnell-BGM.

 

Coming into the meet, it appeared Grinnell had the slight edge based on seed times, but the Vikes rose to the occasion claiming several key upset victories.  With the usual strong swims of Carter Kirtz (first in the IM and 500), Isaac Allsup (first in the 200 and 60), and Isaac Allsup (first in the Fly and Back) the Stormin’ Vikes won 6 of 8 individual events – and along with Bradyn Schlief, won 2 of 3 relays.  But this wasn’t going to be enough to win.  Winning would require big contributions from the rest of the lineup.  And that is what happened.

 

The narrow six-point victory actually broke down to a few close races where the Vikes won, sometimes by a fraction of a second.  Five races, in particular, held the key, and the Vikes got all five of them.  The night began with the Medley Relay B, seeded about 1 second slower than the Grinnell B team, pulling off a big win. That group of Wes Farrell, Ryan Williams, Reid Hermanson, and senior Elias Colsch came through besting their opposition by nearly 4 seconds and causing a two-point swing in the score. 

 

In the next event, the 200 Free, Ian Allsup won convincingly but the Vikes needed their second swimmer, Aleric Weber, to beat Grinnell’s B swimmer for the third-place point.  Despite being seeded a second slower, Aleric came through with the close victory (1/3 of a second) while dropping more than 5 seconds off his 200 time.  That provided another 2-point swing in the meet.

 

In the 60 Free, also won by Ian Allsup, senior Andrew Jessen came up big defeating a higher-seeded Grinnell swimmer by half a second to score the third-place point.  Yet another 2-point swing.

 

Another big boost came from junior Bradyn Schlief in the 100 Free.  Seeded third, the Vikes faced the prospect of being outscored 7-1 for the event.  Schlief crushed his personal best time by more than three seconds in going 54.76 to edge his opponent for second place by less than a half a second.  This provided a 4-point swing in the meet score.

 

Finally, in the 100 Backstroke, won by Isaac Allsup, freshman Wes Farrell came from behind at the end to get third in the 100 Back against another higher-seeded opponent.  Wes dropped almost two seconds in scoring that point and swinging the standings by another two points.

 

Sometimes looking at the score does not fully depict how close a meet really was and how easily it could have gone the other way. 

 

Despite the small crowd, there was a lot of energy as the team knew the score, knew what they needed to do, and then got it done.  Often people talk about simply doing your best but as Winston Churchill once said, “sometimes it is not enough to do our best, we must do what is required”.  Vinton-Shellsburg hadn’t beaten Grinnell in a long time so the win is great.  But what was so impressive wasn’t the win, but getting to watch this team rise to the challenge and find a way to win. To dig deep and do more than they thought they could.  To do what was required.

 

Click to view times for each swimmer.



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