A record-setting pool performance

Kaslik sets CMU mark in 500 free at Mesa Invite

Colorado Mesa’s Kent Olsen-Stavrakas dives into the water on his way to winning the
50-yard freestyle race Thursday night during the first day of the Colorado Mesa Invitational at El Pomar Natatorium.

Tyler Kaslik didn’t expect to set a record, but he did.

The Colorado Mesa senior had a disappointing prelim swim earlier Thursday and gave it all he had in the 200-yard freestyle relay right before the 500 freestyle.

Still, Kaslik broke his previous school record in the 500 and placed third in the Colorado Mesa Invitational at El Pomar Natatorium.

“To be honest, that 500 originated from the (200 freestyle) relay,” Kaslik said. “I came in tired, but we were jacked for 200 relay. That motivation and hype followed over.

“I was kind of worried, because I put all of it into the 50 (of the relay). I was a little nervous, but I was so stoked, I felt I might as well put all of it into the 500 as well.”

Kaslik finished the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes, 42.94 seconds, but with the altitude adjustment (4:37.94), broke his previous school record of 4:38.29 set last year.

“This morning, my second 100 of my 500 was a little bit slower than what he wanted, so (Coach) said take it out a little bit faster,” Kaslik said. “I was kind of cautious, I didn’t want to die or anything, but I did it. After that second 500, I felt good. I saw my teammate and I started chasing him.”

The Mesa men lead the three-day meet against all of its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foes with 268 points. California Baptist is second with 254 and Colorado Mines is third with 216.5.

Cal Baptist leads the women’s meet with 317 points followed by Mesa with 243. Mines is third with 180. The invitational continues through Saturday at El Pomar Natatorium.

“What I told them today, if we want to be in a position where we win a conference championship, we need to be consistent coming from prelims to finals and going faster in prelims to get where we need to be in finals,” CMU coach Ron Allen said. “There were women with times that would’ve been in the top eight if they did those times in prelims. They need to go in prelims. Those that went flat in finals need to find a way to be consistent.”

The Mesa men’s 200 freestyle A relay team took first place with an NCAA provisional time of 1 minute, 23.81 seconds. Kaslik swam the anchor leg of the relay.

“I knew since I haven’t been on it many times, it was my one time to shine,” Kaslik said. “I felt like I stepped up. The three guys ahead of me swam so well, I wanted to finish it and say we got the B cut.”

Kent Olson-Stavrakas swam the first leg of the relay, then topped off his night by winning the 50-yard freestyle sprint in 21.21 seconds.

“I changed it up a little bit,” Olson-Stavrakas said. “I kind of did a high elbow, with which I gained some time. My focus was to be smooth, have a good transition and try to make everything perfect. When you have perfect form, speed usually comes with it. When we taper down, speed really comes with it.”

Briana Purkapile led the women with a third-place finish in the 200 individual medley. She had an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 2:07.81.

“I felt really happy with it,” Purkapile said. “I was trying to go under a 2:10. I swam my race, did what I needed to do and felt comfortable.”

CMU diver Amanda Jennings took third place in the 1-meter diving with a score of 395.55. Teammate Savannah Craft was fourth with 340.65.

“I think our divers had a bit of an awakening,” Allen said. “They’ve got some challenges from the Cal Baptist divers.”


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