The University of Alaska at Fairbanks swim team may not be taking home the top prize, but there were plenty of Nanooks who made their school proud this past week.
The Nanooks spent Wednesday through Friday competing in the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships. As a team, UAF finished in 7th place out of 12 teams competing in the women’s bracket. The Nanooks didn’t compete in the men’s bracket as there are no men on the team.
The swim team finished day one in 7th place with 124 points thanks to a great effort by the team. The first event was the 200-yard freestyle relay in which Oda Bygdnes, Shannon McCallum, Lainey Lioi and Whitney McArthur represented UAF. That group finished in 6th place with a time of 1:40.83.
The second event was the 500-yard freestyle. Tori Shoemaker was the top Nanook, finishing 15th overall a time of 5:19.67. McCallum finished 26th at 5:29.57 and Taryn Aho placed 30th with a time of 5:33.40.
The third event was the 200-yard IM. Caroline McCormick was the leader for UAF, finishing 21st overall with a time of 2:18.89,. Mesa Moran placed 32nd with a time of 2:27.03.
The fourth event was the 50-yard freestyle and there were plenty of Nanooks representing in that one. McArthur pick up the top spot for the Nooks, finishing 17th with a time of 25.12. Lioi wasn’t far behind, placing 20th at 25.32. Erika Kakazu (27th, 26.09), McArthur (30th, 26.54) and Gabrielle Davy (41st, 28.07) rounded out the 50-yard free for Alaska.
The final event of day one was the 400-yard relay in which UAF took 7th. Kakazu, McArthur, Bygdnes and Lioi combined to put up a time of 4:03.42.
From there, the ladies were onto day two of the action in which the Nooks remained in 7th place after earning 337 points through two days. However, it was Bygdnes who made UAF the proudest of any day of the competition.
The first event was the 200-yard medley relay in which Kakazu, McArthur, Bygdnes and Lioi earned UAF a fifth place finish with a time of 1:49.70. It was the second event, however, where UAF brought home some serious hardware.
The second event was the 100-yard butterfly and Bygdnes blew everyone out of the water. The senior finished in first place in the event with a time of 56.61, a full three seconds faster than her seed time. It was the lone event of the weekend in which any Nanook earned a 1st place finish.
Davy finished the event in 23rd place with a time of 1:03.03 while Moran took 25th at 1:04.06.
The 400-yard IM was the third event of the day with McCormick as the lone Nanook racing. She finished in 15th place with a time of 4:53.81.
The 200-yard freestyle was next up for the Nooks and McCallum made Alaska proud. She finished the race in 22nd place at 2:00.61. Lioi was right behind her, taking 25th place at 2:01.57. McArthur and Jasmine Cheung finished in 31st and 35th place, respectively.
Next up was the 100-yard breaststroke. McArthur was sensational, finishing in 9th place overall at 1:09.18 while Aho ended up in 20th at 1:18.27. The penultimate event of the day was the 100-yard backstroke and Bygdnes led the way once more, this time with a 5th place finish time of 58.90. Kakazu also earned a top ten finish, ending in 9th with a time of 1:00.66. Cassie Erdman took 29th place with a time of 1:12.49.
UAF wrapped up day two with the 800-yard freestyle relay. Davy, Aho, Shoemaker and McCallum swam to an 8th place finish time of 8:21.80.
The third and final day of the championship was Friday with UAF staying in 7th place overall with 512 points over the three day period.
Kakazu and McCallum led the way for the Nanooks in the 200-yard backstroke as Kakazu finished 17th at 2:14.37 and McCallum finished in 22nd place. Kakazu posted a 2:14.37.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Bygdnes was Alaska’s top finisher, ending up in 13th place with a time of 53.64. McArthur was the next Nanook to hit the finish line, racing to a time of 54.97. Lioi checked in next in 28th place with a time of 55.59. McArthur, Cheung and Erdman rounded out the event finishing times of 57.45 (34th), 1:00.75 (44th) and 1:02.52 (47th), respectively.
McCormick grabbed 10th place with a time of 2:33.54 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Shoemaker took 14th place with at time of 2:35.92.
In the 200-yard butterfly, Davy led the way, placing 14th with a time of 2:16.60. Moran ended with a time of 2:23.65 for 17th place. Cheung checked in with a 19th place finish and time of 2:37.37.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Shoemaker had the best day of any Nanook. She finished in third place with a time of 10:46.61. Aho joined Shoemaker in the top-10, finishing 10th with a time of 11:17.35.
The final event of the day and UAF’s season was the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Nanooks finished in eighth place with a time of 3:40.47.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/hpisani91.