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Women's Swim & Dive Posts Best Pac-12 Finish In School History, McDivitt Becomes First-Ever Ute Diving Pac-12 Champion

Feb 27, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. – Luke McDivitt became the first-ever Utah Pac-12 diving champion to cap off the Utah men's diving team finishing first overall, while the Utah women's swim team concluded action at the Pac-12 Championships Saturday night and recorded its highest finish since joining the conference, placing fifth overall.

"It was just such a crazy and unbelievable year for everyone," said head coach Joe Dykstra. "There was not a team in this conference that didn't have ups and downs, depleted rosters and had to overcome adversity. I am just so proud of the resiliency our group showed and how they put everything they went through behind, put their heads down and went to work."

Dykstra continued, "We had the highest finish ever for the women since joining the conference and I just couldn't be prouder of they fight they showed and their effort here this week. Our divers were unbelievable and we are just so proud of all their hard work and Richard Marschner's work. Hats off to all our assistant swim coaches as well, who did a phenomenal job this year working with new training cohort plans, more hours due to COVID restrictions affecting practice and so much more. I could not be prouder of this staff and team."

The Utah dive team began action on Saturday, wrapping up the best showing in history as a team for both the women and men. Following the women's second-place finish yesterday, the Ute men posted their highest point total in school history (133) at the meet to finish in first place over Stanford, Arizona, USC and California. Only Stanford has recorded more diving points at the conference meet in the Pac-12 era, which was done in 2017.

Luke McDivitt had an absolutely incredible performance on Saturday on platform, scoring a school-record 400.75 to earn himself the title of the Pac-12 platform champion. He became Utah's first-ever conference champion in diving with the victory.

Utah men's diving had previously had top finishes of third place at the Pac-12 Championships until McDivitt took home the platform title today and Tony Chen recorded runner-up finishes on the 1m and 3m in the previous days. Chase Hindmarsh also posted the ninth-best score in school history yesterday on the 3m to highlight the week of strong performances. Overall, the Utah diving team with the women and men were combined team diving champions.

"What an incredible finish to the best meet we have ever had in Utah diving history," said head diving coach Richard Marschner. "It was an absolute battle and any mistake would have cost Luke the title, but he was locked in during finals and executed flawlessly. Considering we don't even have a full set of towers and have limited opportunities to train 10-meter, this is even more amazing. It goes to show how mentally tough and how much preparation and work Luke and the entire team has put in to make this happen. It wasn't just Luke that won today – this was a TEAM accomplishment."

Headed to Houston for the final night of competition at the Pac-12 Swimming Championships, the Utah women finished strong and posted 951.50 points for a fifth-place finish – the best since joining the Pac-12. Full results for the all events and final team standings can be found here.

On the final night, Utah was led by four swimmers record NCAA consideration times. Audrey Reimer placed third in the 200 back with a time of 1:52.91, while Emma Lawless posted a 1:56.22 to place 11th. Maddie Woznick posted a time of 49.43, which ranks No. 4 in school history, in the 100 free for her NCAA consideration time where she placed 15th, while Charity Pittard followed in the next event – the 200 breast – with a time of 2:12.73 to place ninth.

Sara McClendon (16:41.51) and Taylor Kabacy (16.42.88) finished sixth and seventh, respectively in the 1650 free to start the night. Mandy Gebhart placed 10th (16:52.68), while Cameron Daniell placed 11th (16:56.29). Sophia Morici and Elise Beller placed 14th and 15th, respectively.

Behind Reimer and Lawless in the 200 back was Emma Broome, who placed 20th with a time of 1:58.97. Along with Pittard's strong showing in the 200 breast, Sadie Edwards finished 18th (2:18.58), while Mckenna Gassaway placed 20th (2:26.70) and Elise Beller finished 21st (2:27.93).

Zofia Niemczak finished eighth in the 200 fly championship final after recorded a time of 2:02.39. Harper Lehman finished 14th with a time of 2:02.69. Morici (2:05.61) placed 19th and Taylor Alicea-Jorgensen (2:08.81) finished 20th. Utah rounded out the night with a sixth place finish in the 400 free relay, earning a time of 3:20.02 from Woznick, Reimer, Reagan Cathcart and Kayla Miller.

The Utah men's swim team will start its portion of the Pac-12 Swimming Championships Sunday night in Houston. Looking to continue the momentum, the Utah men will compete in the 800 free relay and 400 medley relay at 5 p.m. MT.