HOLLAND, Mich. – With six gold medals Friday night, an Albion College season that started in September with pressure as a privilege as a mantra moved closer to mission accomplished.
Albion swept the medals in the 200-yard freestyle and it produced the top two finishers in the 100 breaststroke and 3-meter diving to widen the margin over second place Calvin College in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Swimming & Diving Championship.
Albion has rolled up 685 points after five sessions in the meet and holds a 163-point margin over Calvin.
Tyler Kimbrell and Nate Kozycki, swimming second and third, powered Albion to the lead in the 200 medley relay and Parker Belmore held off a challenge from Calvin's Jared Britton on the anchor leg and the night turned into a festive celebration for the Britons. With splits of 23.41 from Alec Nyboer, 25.47 from Kimbrell, 21.77 from Kozycki and 20.61 from Belmore, Albion set a NCAA B cut qualifying time of 1:31.26.
Kimbrell (56.43 in the 100 breaststroke) and Nyboer (49.17 in the 100 butterfly) achieved school records and NCAA B cut qualifying times in individual events later in the evening session.
"We've got a talented group of underclassmen, and this was a complete session for us," Head Coach Jake Taber said.
Not to be outdone, Sebastian Tostado added a school record and NCAA B cut qualifying time of 1:39.36 in leading Derek Bosko and Belmore to the wall in the 200 freestyle, and Gerardo Huidobro took his second individual gold medal of the meet with a NCAA B cut in winning the 400 individual medley in 4:04.37.
The session was complete with bunches of Britons in championship races. Matt Hooper gained the silver medal in the breaststroke, while Lucas Harder came in fourth and Hunter Jackman in eighth. Kozycki and Len Ciemniecki were fourth and eighth, respectively, in the butterfly. Kyle Harvey and A.J. Mattson finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the IM. Mac Robertson scored a seventh place finish in the freestyle.
And, if that weren't enough, Jake Burris and Henry Swett took gold and silver in 3-meter diving with Jake Maurer in eighth. Diving Coach Eric Burris said the Britons backload their routine, and despite a couple of early bobbles, they came up with high scores in the end. Jake Burris' final dive was awarded 61 ½ points and he finished with a 509 ½ total. Swett's final dive netted him 58.8 points for a 504.7 total.
Jake Burris and Swett will be in Grand Rapids next weekend to compete in a regional meet with tickets to the NCAA Division III Championships hanging in the balance.
"Eric is doing such a fantastic job with the group he has out there," Taber said. "Jake and Henry achieved national cuts, and we're hoping some of their momentum will carry over to women's divers Marisa DeCamp and Lauren Young in 1-meter diving tomorrow."
In consolation races Friday night:
- Harder and Jackman scored in the IM. Harder was second in the consolation race, with Jackman fourth.
- Troy Trombley was second in the 200 freestyle
In addition to women's 1-meter diving, Saturday events include the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, the 400 freestyle relay.