Indian River wins at the Spartan Invitational

Indian River wins at the Spartan Invitational

This past weekend saw the Indian River swimming teams compete in Clearwater Florida in the Spartan Invitational hosted by the University of Tampa. IRSC's athletes had some very good performances against some of the top NCAA Division 2 colleges in the country and came away with a team victory for the men, and 4th place for the women. Other teams competing in the competition were NCAA Division 2 powerhouses NOVA Southeastern University, competition hosts University of Tampa, Florida Southern College, St. Leo University, and Rice University women (winners of the women's meet).

Day 1 of competition started off with a sixth place showing from the women's 200 medley relay and a third place showing for the men in the same event. In this event freshman, Ruben van Leeuwen led off the relay with a NJCAA National Record split in the 50 backstroke. His time of 22.38 took half a second off the old time of 22.78 set in 2016.

In the 1000 freestyle event, top finisher for the women was Sule van der Merwe (12th), and for the men it was Niko Milosavljevic (5th), and Ryan Pilkington (6th).

In the 200 freestyle relay, IRSC women placed 5th while the men placed 3rd.

On day 2 of competition, top individual scorers in the 500 free came from Elizabeth Watts (5th), and Sule van der Merwe (8th). For the men, it was Ruben van Leeuwen (2nd), Luka Tomic (4th), Ryan Pilkington (6th), and Kevin Bargate (7th). In the 200 IM for the men, Gabi Sasia placed 5th. In 50 free, Sophia Diagne placed 5th for the women, while for the men it was tied for first by Guillaume Bolivard and third place from Ryen van Wyk. In the final event of the night, the women's and men's 400 medley relays teams placed sixth and third respectively.

On Day 3 of competition, Malin Wallen earned a 6th place finish in the 400 IM, and for the men it was Connor Lynch taking 4th, with Niko Milosavljevic in 7th. The 100 butterfly placed Sophia Diagne in 5th position, and 4 river men in the final with Ruben van Leeuwen (2nd), Gabi Sasia (3rd), Ryan Pilkington (6th), and Ryen van Wyk (7th). 200 freestyle was up next and the men saw Luka Tomic place 2nd, while Kevin Bargate placed 8th. For the 100 Breaststroke, Courtney Perrett took 4th, Olivia Berglund 7th, and for the men Eric Veit took 8th. The final individual event of the evening, the 100 backstroke, Courtney Stewart placed 5th for the women, while 4 River men made it to the finals with Ryen van Wyk (3rd), Gabi Sasia (4th), Conor Lynch (5th), and Jared Ingram (6th).

The women's 800 freestyle relay had the River women place 7th, while the men just missed the NJCAA record by a tenth of a second in winning the event.

On the final night of competition, the possibility of a men's team victory was at stake, and the River men would need to score high points to overcome for the lack of equal number of opportunities as their closest rivals, Nova Southeastern. In the first event, Niko Milosavljevic took 6th in the 1650 freestyle. Next up was the 200 backstroke with Sule van der Merwe taking 6th for the women, while Luka Tomic threatened the NJCAA record narrowly missing the standard in his victory. Also scoring were Connor Lynch (6th), and Gabi Sasia (7th). Sophia Diagne placed 6th for the women in the 100 free, while for the men, Ryen van Wyk took 3rd, and Guillaume Bolivard placed 4th. Up next was the 200 breaststroke with Olivia Berglund taking 4th, and Christian Nishimura and Eric Veit taking 5th and 8th respectively. In the final individual event of the competition, Ruben van Leeuwen broke the 200 butterfly NJCAA record winning the event, while Ryan Pilkington took 3rd.

The final event of the competition was next, the 400 freestyle relay with the women's team taking 4th, but at this point, IRSC men were down just a few points behind Nova Southeastern University in team competition and would need to outscore them in the final relay event. Their 1st and 6th place finishes were enough to do that and secure the Team victory.

Women's Team Scores

1 Rice University                              1,134

2 Nova Southeastern University         861. 50

3 University of Tampa                       761. 50

4 Indian River State College              366

5 Florida Southern College                 340

6 Saint Leo University                       245


Men's Team Scores

1 Indian River State College              918. 50

2 Nova Southeastern University         909

3 University of Tampa                       740

4 Florida Southern College                 592

5 Saint Leo University                       541. 50