Utah Swim & Dive Has Hot Start To 2021
SALT LAKE CITY- The Utah swim and dive team kicked off the 2021 slate Friday, beginning at the Utah Diving Invite in Salt Lake City before the Utah men's swim team competed at the BYU time trials in Provo.
The diving team picked up where they left off in early December and this time placed all four student-athletes from the women's team and all four from the men's team in the top-five on the day.
Women's diving had an impressive showing in the 3m finals, with all four athletes qualifying after the preliminary rounds. Sophomore Lexi Mills led the Utes, taking first place on the 3m with a score of 602.25, while senior Emma Ruchala placed third with a score of 533.20. Right behind was sophomore Lizzy De Cecco, coming in fourth with a score of 527.35, and Regan Caufield placing fifth with a score of 507.55.
Junior Tony Chen led the men's diving team and picked up Utah's second win of the day, placing first on the 1m with a score of 677.05. Sophomore Luke McDivitt also took a spot on the podium, placing third with a final score of 623.20. Sophomore Jenner Pennock and followed right behind in fourth with a score of 616.85, and redshirt sophomore Chase Hindmarsh came in fifth with a score of 576.85.
"Every meet this year is a little victory," said head diving coach Richard Marschner. "Just showing up and having the chance to compete is already a victory, but we have done so much more than that. For the second meet in a row, we have opened by winning both the men's 1m and women's 3m events against some stiff competition. Lexi Mills put together her best collegiate meet and first collegiate victory and ran away with a 25-point win. Tony Chen continued to show his consistency with a very solid 1m victory. Luke McDivitt dived for the first time in over 3 weeks and took third, while Jenner Pennock set a new PB in his first meet in over 2.5 years! We have shown that whatever the circumstances and whatever the situation, we will be ready to compete and that is a testament to our team's mental toughness and overall resiliency."
Then on Friday night in Provo, the Utah men's swim team competed in the BYU time trials. It was not a team-scored event. The Utes filled the podium in the 100 back with Andrei Ungur running away with the win (48.30). Parker McOmber placed second (49.88) and Ryan Garstang completed the podium in third (49.95). Utah dominated the 100 fly as well after picking up the top four spots. Cooper deRyk finished first (48.75), Felix Chiun came in second (49.64), Max Hernandez-Nietling placed third (50.28), while Holden Ellsworth rounded out the group in fourth (50.54).
Nathan Ramey placed first in the 1000 free (9:38.11) with teammate Rhys Winters finishing behind in second (10:00.34). Continuing the event titles, Winters tallied a win in the 500 free (4:47.98) and deRyk in the 50 free (20.33). Ellsworth picked up the win in the 200 back (1:50.21), while McOmber earned another second place finish (1:52.00), and Connor Elwyn tabbed third (1:54.81). Utah also saw its 200 free relay team of Chiun, deRyk, Finn O'Haimhirgin and Santiago Contreras win the event with a time of 1:20.79.
Andrew Britton (55.07) and Lex Hernandex-Nietling (56.74) placed second and third, respectively, in the 100 breast. Sam Lucas (1:53.17) placed second in the 200 fly and Max Hernandez-Nietling (1:55.26) tabbed fourth. O'Haimhirgin and Contreras finished second and third in the 100 free with times of 45.14 and 45.22, respectively.
For complete results from the BYU time trials, click here.
The Utah Diving Invite will continue Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. MT. The Utah women will compete at the BYU time trials at 11 a.m. MT.