URBANA, OHIO – Coach Mike Kroll, his staff and fans of Manchester University have plenty of reasons to look with anticipation to the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships.
The Spartans turned in big statements against NCAA Division II Urbana University Saturday, Jan. 27, at UU's Aquatics Center. In their final action before the February 8-10 inaugural league meet in Terre Haute, Ind., MU rolled a 79-22 men's and 132-81 women's dual victory over the host Knights.
Individual accolades were at a bushel basket full for both squads. Freshmen Katie Blystone (Carmel, Ind.) and Shelby Kell (Charlottesville, Ind.) resumed impressive first collegiate campaigns with two individual victories apiece, as Blystone claimed the 1000-yard freestyle (12:54.64) and 200-yard butterfly (2:44.33), while Kell was first in the 200-yard freestyle (2:10.77) and 100-yard freestyle (59.84 seconds) races. Blystone was part of a third event victory, leading off the victorious 400-yard freestyle quartet that included senior Megan Erwin (Attica, Ind.), junior Mikki Goetz (Highland, Ind.) and freshman Bailey Conder (Greenwood, Ind.) to a win in 4:20.32. Senior Emily Clark (Peru, Ind.) added a pair of firsts in the 100-yard butterfly (1:07.21) and 100-yard backstroke (1:07.39).
It was more of the same for the men. The trio of freshman Kole Kelley (Decatur, Ind.), sophomore Christain Poole (Anderson, Ind.) and junior Guerby Ruuska each was part of three event victories. Kelley did so in the 1000-yard freestyle (12:38.49), 200-yard freestyle (2:20.66) and 500-yard freestyle (6:09.18); Poole was first in the 100-yard freestyle (52.75) and 100-yard butterfly (1:00.70) along with the 400-yard freestyle crew that swam to a 3:59.42 in an exhibition opportunity; and Ruuska, also on the 400-yard freestyle relay, took top honors in the 200-yard individual medley, as an exhibition event, (2:24.35), and clocked a 23.32 in the 50-yard freestyle.