Valparaiso’s women’s swim team started off strong on Thursday evening at the Calvin Invitational, and sits in fourth place out of nine schools after the first two events of the three-day meet in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Crusaders scored 38 points on the opening day.
Grand Valley State leads the way with 157 points with Hillsdale (71 points) and Calvin (61 points) also both ahead of Crusaders. Valpo has a five point lead over fifth place Kalamazoo and an eight point advantage over Northern Michigan.
The Crusaders began the meet with an eighth place finish in the 800 freestyle relay. Laura Rickey (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville H.S.), Alizabeth Taubert (Bloomington, Ill./University H.S.), Andrea Bretl (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.) and Stephanie Ferschl (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago H.S.) combined to turn in a season’s best time of 8:08.07.
The only individual event of the night saw all three Crusaders post season best times in the 1650 freestyle. Ferschl led the way for the Brown and Gold with an 11th place finish turning in a time of 18:40.38. Bretl placed four spots behind her teammate with a time of 19:07.77 while Katie Meunier (Mukwanago, Wis./Mukwanago H.S.) posted a time of 20:56.44.
Valparaiso will return to the pool for day two of action on Friday. Preliminary heats begin at 9 a.m. CDT with finals slated for 5 p.m.