This season has been something that Thunder swimming and diving fans have almost come to expect from the incredibly successful men’s and women’s teams. The women won their 20th CCIW Championship, while the men took third place. Over the course of the season, the women were 4-2 and the men were 3-3, with both teams going 3-1 at home.
At the NCAA Championships, the men’s team placed 35th and the women placed 16th. The men had two swimmers qualify for the Championships. Junior Chris Dingfield qualified for the 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly and 100-yard butterfly. Sophomore Chris Szymczak qualified for the 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard backstroke. He reached the consolation finals of the 200-yard backstroke, placing 10th.
The women had three swimmers and five team relays qualify for nationals. Senior Erin Bagley swam the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard freestyle. She finished seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke and 50-yard freestyle championship finals, earning two individual All-American honors for her effort. Sophomore Brooke Barnes also swam the 100-yard freestyle. Junior Kayla Roberson competed in the 200-yard breaststroke as well as the 200-yard and 400-yard IM.
The relay teams that competed were the 200 and 400-yard medley as well as the 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle. Wheaton’s 200-yard medley team entered the consolation finals, coming out in eighth place. The 400-yard free relay, made up of senior Jennifer Barich-Mooday, Barnes, Roberson and Bagley, qualified for the championship finals and earned All-American honors.
This past season also marked the 41st year of head coach Jon Lederhouse and his 49th career CCIW Championship (25 women, 24 men). He was also named CCIW Women’s Coach of the Year. Lederhouse is stepping down as head coach, with Jacob and Meghan Ayers replacing him next season as the men’s and women’s head coaches, respectively.
“I am so excited for them to usher in this new era,” junior Meredith Clarkson explained. “They are so dedicated to swimming, to this team and to God.”