Despite placing eighth of twelve overall at the Rochester Invitational in Minneapolis over the weekend, the St. Olaf women’s swimming and diving team featured a significant bright spot, one that will go down in the history books as one of the school’s top all-time racing performances.
After winning the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke races this fall against Gustavus, not to mention placing first in 100 yard breaststroke and anchoring St. Olaf’s second place finish in the 300 yard breaststroke relays at St. Thomas, Sophia Nevin ’21 set the all-time school record in her specialty race, the 100 yard individual breaststroke, with a blistering time of 1:04.73 last Saturday. The standout performance solidified her status as one of the MIAC’s top swimmers, making an immediate positive impact for the Oles during her first season. She was the only contender to complete the race with a time under 1:05.00, besting second place finisher and Minnesota State Mankato’s top performer Lily Borgenheimer, who posted a time of 1:05.30.
Nevin’s standout performance is the first and only time under 1:05.00 in St. Olaf history, demolishing the previous record of 1:06.00 set by Maggie Boling ’14 in 2012. On a larger scale, her time ranks 17th overall within the entirety of NCAA Division III this season, the best time in the event throughout the MIAC conference by 2.30 seconds (Carleton’s Morgan Mayer, 1:07.03). For her extraordinary efforts, Nevin was named the MIAC women’s swimming and diving athlete of the week, the first Ole to claim the honor since Claire Walters ’17 nearly one year ago.
Considering she’s only a first year and has already thoroughly smashed a formidable school record, Nevin possesses the realistic potential to become one the conference’s premiere swimmers throughout her time with St. Olaf, perhaps becoming a national DIII threat in the process. The Oles have themselves a star.