Elsah IL – Principia Athletics

Day 2 – Prelims 

The Liberal Arts Championships began February 8, and the first men’s swimming and diving event started on the morning of February 9th. The 200 Free Relay was the first event, and senior captain Hunter Mehring, freshman Liam Anderson, sophomore Garrett Barner and senior Zacher Lewis finished with a season best of 1:31.86. 

During the 500 Free event, Lewis swam a season best with a 5:22.01. Two events later, during the 50 Free, Anderson swam a season best with a 23.92. Many athletes on the team also swam season bests, including sophomore Andrew Boyd with a 23:18, Barner with a 22.97, and freshman Walker Hannigan with a 23.48. 

At the end of the swimming portion the 400 Medley Relay team, including Mehring, Anderson, Barner and Lewis, swam a season best and will be competing in the fastest heat in finals tonight.

The 3 Meter – 11 dive event began in the early afternoon. Freshman JC Vogt, a first year diver, competed well and scored a 306.90 which is a lifetime best. He qualified for finals and will be diving again tonight. 

After a good start to the championships the team looks forward to some fast swims and great dives tonight during the first portion of finals which will begin at 7pm.


The first night of finals kicked off with the 200 Free Relay. Mehring, Liam, Barner and Lewis swam a season best in the final heat. Mehring set a new team record leading off the relay with a 21.12!

Vogt dove in the finals for 3 Meter Diving, and earned a lifetime best with a 312.50, finishing in fourth place overall. 

It was an exciting night filled with fantastic races and dives. The third day of the competition will begin with prelims at 10am tomorrow.

Day 3 – Prelims 

The 200 Medley Relay team swam the first event of the morning, it was a good start to the competition. Boyd, Mehring, Barner and Hannigan finished with a 1:41.38, a season best. They will be swimming in the consolation heat tonight. 

During the 100 Fly, Barner swam a season best with a 56.29, Hannigan also swam a season best with a 58.76. A few events later, Anderson swam a season best in the 100 Breaststroke finishing with a 1:09.13. 

The last individual event of the morning was the 100 Backstroke. Boyd swam a lifetime best and broke the 1:00 barrier with a 59.47! Mehring finished with a 52.77 and will be swimming in finals tonight.

Finals will begin tonight at 6pm, starting with the 200 Medley Relay event.


The second night of finals proved to be even more exciting than the first. Boyd, Mehring, Barner and Hannigan competed in the consolation heat for the 200 Medley Relay and finished with a season best, 1:40.43. 

Hunter Mehring swam against some tough competition in the 100 Backstroke, but finished in third place with a 51.80! 

The team looks forward to the last round of prelims tomorrow, which will begin at 10am.

Day 4 – Prelims 

This was the last prelims of the Liberal Arts Championships. It was a great morning with several season bests. 

In the 100 Free event, Boyd swam a season best with a 52.41, and Lewis swam a season best with a 52.30. Barner also swam a season best in the following heat with a 51.23. Mehring finished with a 46.95, the third fastest time in that event this morning, he will be competing in finals. 

During the 200 Breaststroke event, Anderson swam a season best with a 2:38.76. 

The last event of the morning was the 400 Free Relay. Hannigan, Barner, Lewis and Mehring finished with a 3:21.14 and qualified for the final heat tonight!

Finals will begin tonight with senior recognition at 5:50pm.


Finals began with senior recognition, a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of the seniors on all of the teams in the conference. This year Principia’s seniors Hunter Mehring and Zacher Lewis from Principia College were recognized at the event, they have made great contributions to the success of the swimming and diving team.  

Mehring swam the 100 Free event in the finals heat. It was a very close race between the top three swimmers, Mehring finished in second place with a 46.50, a lifetime best and a new team record!

Later on in the evening freshman JC Vogt competed on the 1 Meter Boards. He scored a total 316.60 points, a season best. 

The night ended with the 400 Free Relay. The Principia men competed in the final heat. They all swam faster than they did in prelims and finished with a 3:19.58. Walker Hannigan swam a lifetime best split with a 52.48, Garrett Barner swam a lifetime best split with a 50.04, Zacher Lewis swam a lifetime best split with a 51.12 and Mehring swam a lifetime best split of 45.94. The men competed well and ended the championships with a bang!

Image courtesy of Gemma Ritchie

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