University of North Dakota Athletics

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Annually, the University of North Dakota swimming and diving teams travel south during the winter break to train in a warmer climate. This season the Fighting Sioux have traveled to Fort Myers, Fla. While there, the teams not only have the opportunity to train outdoors, but also to compete against teams not normally found on the schedule.

The Fighting Sioux women opened the New Year with a dominating win over the Howard Bison. UND won all but one of the 10 events as the team swam only exhibition in the mixed 500 free.

"The swimmers had fun and swam well," said UND head coach Steve Parsons. "Our main focus right now is training.

"The competition was a nice break from the work and it is always great to swim against new competition and this meet gave our athletes a chance to swim some off events."

The 200 medley relay team of Sami Puk (Fr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Rachel Lee (Sr., Corvallis, Ore.), Madison Porter (Fr., Dickinson, N.D.), and Samantha Simon (Jr., Barrington, Ill.) clocked in at 1:58.78 to take first place. The 200 free relay team of Devonne Dalin (So., Sioux Falls, S.D.), Kaitlin Bolinske (Fr., Williston, N.D.), Morgan Lynch (Fr., Elk River, Minn.), and Porter won the event with a time of 1:47.80.

Lynch went on to win the 200 free with a time of 2:02.34 and Dalin took first in the 100 free clocking in at 54.92.

Freshman Camille Merwin (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) picked up a pair of event titles winning both the 50 fly (28.95) and the 50 breast (31.94). UND finished 1-2-3 in the 50 breast with Kathryn Fristad (Sr., Grand Forks, N.D.) in second (33.68) and Veronica Medon (So., Huntsville, Ontario) in third (34.25). Medon also won the 50 free with a time of 1:03.20.

Freshman Alyssa Bailey (Spearfish, S.D.) won the 50 free with a time of 26.91 and sophomore Kara Fisher (Fergus Falls, Minn.) placed first in the 50 back (31.44).

Freshman Kelsey Richels (Wahpeton, N.D.) clocked in UND's top time in the mixed 500 free (5:17.19).

"Now we have to get back to work and focus on the big picture," said Parsons. "For us to swim fast in February, we have to get in more training."