'This Is A Family Win'

'This Is A Family Win'

HOLLAND, Mich. - Albion College put the exclamation point on its first Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's swimming and diving championship since 1971 when the 400-yard freestyle relay team achieved what is believed to be one of the best times by a Division III foursome this season.

"The championship is special for the program," Head Coach Jake Taber said. "The investment everyone has made – this is a family win."

Sebastian Tostado, Len Ciemniecki, Parker Belmore and Derek Bosko set a school-record time of 3:01.30 which is sixth in the nation according to the list available on the collegeswimming.com website.

Tostado, selected as the MIAA's Most Valuable Swimmer, got the Britons started by covering the first 100 yards in 45.01 seconds. Ciemniecki and Belmore put up splits of 46.03 and 45.8, respectively, before Bosko anchored in 44.46.

"The most important part of the relay is it likely punched the ticket for Len and Parker's trip to Texas for the NCAA Championship," Taber said.

Tostado also gained his third individual gold medal of the meet when he achieved a NCAA 'B' cut time of 1:50.19 in the 200 backstroke. He finished 2 ½ seconds ahead of the runner-up, and teammate Ian Moran was third, reaching the wall in 1:53.48.

In addition to his work in individual events, Tostado swam on four gold-medal winning relays during the meet.

Not to be outdone, Gerardo Huidobro achieved a school record in winning his third individual gold medal of the meet. The sophomore from Peru swam past the field in the 200 butterfly in 1:51.77, edging teammate Nate Kozycki by 19 hundredths of a second.

Earlier in the meet, Huidobro mined gold in the 500 freestyle, 400 individual medley and 400 medley relay.

First-year swimmer Tyler Kimbrell swept the gold medals in the breaststroke events when he won the 200-yard event Saturday night in 2:05.77. Kimbrell beat teammate Lucas Harder, the runner-up, to the wall by nearly three seconds.

Albion had five up on the blocks for the 200 breaststroke championship race. A.J. Mattson was fifth, Matt Hooper was seventh, and Hunter Jackman was eighth.

"The breaststroke events were monster point getters for us," Taber said.

Albion had three up on the blocks for the 100 freestyle. Bosko finished second, edged at the wall by six hundredths of a second. Belmore was third and Ciemniecki was seventh.

First-year swimmer Mac Robertson was Albion's top performer in the 1,650 freestyle, finishing fifth in 16:57.02. Kyle Harvey was sixth, Nick Deppner was seventh, and A.J. Mattson was ninth.

While the diving competition wrapped up Friday night, sophomore Jake Burris was selected as the MIAA's Most Valuable Diver for the second year in a row. The sophomore from Chelsea, Mich., won the 1- and 3-meter events. Burris and teammate Henry Swett, the runner-up in both diving events, will travel to Grand Rapids next weekend for a regional meet which will determine those advancing to the NCAA Championship.

In all, Albion rolled up 985 points, the highest total by a champion (male or female) since the MIAA went to 16-deep scoring in the championship in 2009. 

For the swimmers, they have to wait a few days for the official announcement of the individuals and relays qualifying for the NCAA Championship, which run March 15-18 at the CISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas.

"We will enjoy today and get back to work," Taber said. "The next two weeks are important from a training standpoint."

Get the latest information on the team by following @AlbionSwimming on Twitter. General athletics news can be found @gobrits on Twitter and Albion College Athletics on Facebook.