USD Men’s Swimming & Diving Wins First Summit League Championship

Coyotes Claim First Conference Title In More Than Two Decades
Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Dakota News Now) - Fittingly, the South Dakota men’s swimming and diving team put an exclamation point on its first-ever Summit League Championship.

The Coyotes, who opened the finals on Thursday with a win in the 200 free relay, closed the meet in style on Saturday by winning the 400 free relay, their third relay win of the championships.

South Dakota piled up 915.5 points in claiming the Summit League title for the first time in school history and giving the men’s program just its third overall conference title, joining the 1997 and 1999 NCC teams.

The margin of victory was 88 points over rival South Dakota State while seven-time defending champion Denver was third, some 340 points behind.

Jason Mahowald, in his 16th season as head coach, was named Summit League men’s coach of the year, the third time in his career he has earned coach of the year honors.

Zachary Kopp was named men’s swimmer of the championships after winning two individual titles, swimming on all three winning relays and adding a fourth in the 100 free. He is the first Coyote to earn this honor.

A trio of Coyotes swam to Summit League individual titles on the final day as Mack Sathre, Jack Leichner and Charlie Bean touched the wall first in their respective events.

Sathre, a sophomore, swam 51.21 in the finals to win the 100 IM after posting a career-best 51.11 in the prelims, good for the second fastest clocking in school history.

Leichner, a junior, becomes the first Coyote to win a league individual title in back-to-back seasons after finishing in 2:01.39 to win the 200 breaststroke, one year after winning the 100 IM league title.

Bean, a junior, swam 44.92 to win the 100 free for his first league individual title.

Seth O’Dea set a new personal best in the three-meter diving event, scoring 311.15 points to finish second. Parker Sonnabend placed second in the 100 IM (51.56), a new personal best that moves the freshman up to fourth on the Coyote Top 10 chart.

Griffin Wolner set a new personal best in placing second in the 200 fly in 1:52.19 while Keegan Henning placed third in the 1650 free in 16:08.54, a new personal best that pushes him up to sixth on the all-time charts.

South Dakota women finished third in the final team standings, scoring 663 points.

Maddie Lavin was second in the 200 butterfly in 2:04.84 and Cassie Ketterling placed second in the 100 IM in 58.66.

Lucie Anderson finished third for the second straight season in the 200 backstroke in 2:02.85 while Isabel Fairbanks was third in the 100 IM in 58.71.

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