The Cardinals competed against a handful of the country’s top swimming and diving programs, including the defending Men’s swimming national champions, California, in the Minnesota Invite.
Despite only taking a handful of swimmers to the invitational and skipping day one of the competition, Ball State performed well with the underclassmen for the Cardinals and stamping more records for the program record book in Minneapolis.
Despite finishing seventh in his heat of the 500 freestyle, freshman Malcolm Slater won a moral victory, finishing above his teammate freshman Tommy Brunner (4:32.09) in the record books as the third-best time in program history in the event (4:31.74).
To round off Ball State’s first day of competition, sophomore Payton Kelly competed in the 50 freestyle, finishing fifth in the A Final. She also came close to breaking her program record time in the event but finished a tenth of a second late. In the men’s 50 freestyle, fifth-year senior Owen Cheye took third in the C Final in a fight until the last stretch, however, Minnesota’s Connor Groya beat Cheye to the block by mere milliseconds.
Kicking off the third day of the meet, fifth-year senior Bryce Handshoe got it started for Ball State in the 100 Butterfly, an event he currently holds the program record in, and finished eighth in the B Final. Later in the 200 freestyle, Slater finished seventh in the C Final.
Peyton Kelly made more marks in the program record book finishing with the fourth-best time in program history in the 100 Backstroke (54.91). Fifth-year senior Joey Garberick took home first place in the A Final in the 100 Breaststroke as well.
To finish off day three, the Cardinal raced their only relay of the entire meet in the 400 Medley Relay in the final heat of the night. The relay consisting of Joey Garberick, Aidan Biddle, Owen Cheye, and fifth-year senior Bryce Handshoe finished 11th out of all relays and also set another program stamp by adding the third-best time in program history (3:15.85).
On the final day of competition, the Cardinals added two more records, as Aidan Biddle posted the eighth-best time in program history in the 200 Breaststroke (2:04.99), while Slater finished the meet off for Ball State with the men’s 200 Butterfly by tying his fifth program best time (1:50.90).
With the end of the Minnesota Invitational, it marks the end of the final meet of the 2023 calendar year for Ball State as they will not be competing until the end of January.
Ball State Swim and Dive will be back in action as the women’s team comes home to take on Toledo Jan. 20, while the men’s team travels to Oxford, Ohio to take on Miami (OH) Jan. 26.
Contact Dane Massey with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danemassey22.