Loyola put together an all-around effort Friday and Saturday at Fenwick to capture the MCAC championship and earned two individual honors in the process.
Senior Nathaniel Guenther was the team’s only first-place finisher, but it was enough for the Ramblers to win the 13-team event. Loyola scored 330 points to edge out Marmion (317) and Fenwick (303). It was Loyola’s first league title since 2014.
“We game-planned for this,” said Loyola head coach Mike Hengelmann, who was given the Lawless Award at meet’s end. “Everyone had a job to do, even if it was finishing fourth or fifth place in a race.”
Guenther, another Lawless Award winner, swam season-best times in both of his individual races. He got things going by finishing first in the 200-yard IM in 1 minute, 59.49 seconds and then took third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.50.
“It was nice to swim some fast times [Saturday],” Guenther said. “It’s a great indicator of where I am heading into the state meet.”
While Guenther was the star, Hengelmann said there were several other standout swims Saturday.
The 200 medley relay featuring senior Zach Holecek, junior Tommy Barr, sophomore Ben Dukes and Guenther placed third in 1:42.33. The 200 free relay foursome of senior Danny McGowan, freshman Luke Maurer, Holecek and Barr finished fourth in 1:30.79.
Individually, Maurer was the runner-up to Guenther in the IM, touching out in 1:59.57. Holecek finished fifth in 100 butterfly (55.16), Barr was fifth in the 100 freestyle (49.45) and McGowan placed fifth in the 500 (4:47.05).
Hengelmann said he was impressed by Barr’s performance, which also included taking 10th in the 50 freestyle (23.27).
“He played basketball as a freshman and now is an impact guy as a junior,” Hengelmann said. “He’s our most improved guy and a legit swimmer. We had so many guys swim well [Saturday].”
In Friday’s diving competition, senior Christopher Canning totaled 512.70 points, losing out on the championship by less than one point to Mount Carmel junior Eric Correa, who finished with 513.40. Loyola junior Alex O’Toole took third with 435.00 points.
“The team title was the cherry on top of a great day,” Guenther said.