HOLLAND, Mich. – Sebastian Tostado touched the wall first in the 200-yard backstroke and 200 individual medley – the first time he has swam anything but freestyle since October – to lead Albion College to a 166-131 victory over Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rival Hope College.
"It's a strong indication that his back is in a better spot than any time since the fall," Albion Head Coach Jake Taber said.
The two-time MIAA champion in the IM and defending champion in the backstroke, Tostado is an important piece if Albion is to dethrone Calvin College as league champion in February. The meet at Hope gave Albion an opportunity to preview the facility which will host the championship meet.
"My expectation is our time will be well spent come February," Taber said. "We spent additional time in the competition pool, getting used to the blocks, the bulkhead, the lighting."
Albion jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the meet, earning first and second place in the 200 medley relay. Ian Moran, Mac Robertson, Alec Nyboer and Len Ciemniecki achieved a time of 1:36.72. Tostado turned in an anchor split of 21.04 as his team (Parker Belmore, Derek Bosko and Nate Kozycki) finished second in 1:37.67.
Albion's best individual event was the 200 breaststroke where Gerardo Huidobro set the winning time of 2:16.69. He was followed by Robertson in second (2:17.12) and Lucas Harder in third (2:20.96). Hunter Jackman would have added fourth place points (2:21.90) had he not competed as an exhibition.
Albion also took a one-two finish in the 100 breaststroke. Bosko, the defending MIAA champion in the sprint freestyle events, took a rare swim in the stroke and finished first in 1:01.60. He was followed by Robertson in 1:02.39.
Also scoring first place points for the Britons were Matt Anderson in the 200 freestyle, Nyboer in the 100 backstroke, and Belmore with a fine swim of 47.51 in the 100 freestyle.
Albion, ranked 15th in the latest Division III poll conducted by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, will swim for an undefeated season against MIAA rivals in duals Feb. 3 when it hosts Olivet College inside the Dean Aquatic Center.
"We haven't focused on (completing an undefeated dual season against MIAA rivals)," Taber said. "It's more icing on the cake.
"Our confidence continues to grow and we have competed very well this year," he added. "Hopefully, these lessons and steps will lead us into a great conference meet."
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