OMAHA, Neb. The Simpson men's swimming team broke seven school records and the women's team swam well against scholarship-level competition at the Mutual of Omaha Invitational hosted by the University of Nebraska-Omaha last weekend.
The men's team finished fifth of five teams while the women placed ninth of nine. The tournament field included Division I schools like Colorado, Northern Iowa, Northern Colorado and Nebraska-Omaha.
The Storm set school records in four of the five relays swam at the event, including the 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay. The team of Nathan Schneider, Scott Wailes, Kyle McKim and James Tillison swam each of the relays, as the 400 medley placed fourth (4:15.33) and the 200 freestyle (1:39.11), 400 freestyle (3:40.61), and 200 medley (1:52.62) all placed fifth.
Tillison turned in Simpson's best individual performance of the day when he set the school record and placed fifth in the 200 butterfly (2:17.64). He also took seventh in the 400 IM (5:03.97).
Schneider broke the school record in the 400 IM, shaving nearly eight seconds off his preliminary time of 5:07.78 to finish in 4:59.99 and place sixth.
McKim broke the other individual record by placing eighth in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.86).
"The guys setting seven records in a single meet is great," interim head coach Eric Crawford said. "It really shows what a great core group of swimmers the team has this season. We have a couple of other guys who are fighting to be on the relay, which creates a friendly but competitive work ethic at practice. I am excited to see how many more records they can get this season."
The storm faced a stacked field of swimmers, as Division I teams Northern Colorado, Nebraska-Omaha, UNI and Colorado made up the top four team finishers.
"The points don't do any justice to our women's team," Crawford said. "If the point system was set up the same as they had it for the Division I teams there, we would have placed very well against the other non-DI schools. This meet wasn't meant for smaller, Division III teams like ours, but our women stepped up and swam their hearts out."
Simpson's top effort of the day came in the 800 freestyle relay, where the team of Christina Amburgy, Megan Lein, Marissa Stepleton and Hannah Yarbrough placed fifth (9:18.16). The 400 medley relay team of Amburgy, Lein, Stepleton and Katie Malone came in seventh (5:00.92).
Lein had the Storm's top performance in an individual event, placing sixth in the 400 IM (5:23.07). She also took 10th in the 200 breaststroke (2:50.21).
Amburgy came in 12th in the 500 freestyle (6:15.76) and Stepleton placed 12th in the 200 breaststroke (2:58.43).
"The women did great," Crawford said. "We knew we had some challenges ahead of us heading into this meet. Being the only Division III school, we wanted to focus on setting season and personal best times and we did just that. We had a few races that really allowed me to see where our team can make some major improvements during the next couple weeks of training."
Simpson's hosts Iowa Central in the first home dual of the season on Friday, Dec. 7. Start time is set for 6 p.m.