DeRyk Earns Second-Team All-American Status In 50 Free Thursday At NCAA Championships
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ute swimmer Cooper DeRyk opened the NCAA Championships for Utah this morning and after the evening session walked away as a second-team All-American in the 50 free to highlight Utah's opening day at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Getting NCAA action in on Thursday as well was Utah's 400 medley relay team and divers Luke McDivitt and Tony Chen.
"I am very happy about today and super proud of Cooper," said associate head coach Jonas Persson. "I think Cooper did a really nice job and it is certainly hard to come to a meet like this and record a personal best. It was his first time at NCAAs and first time making it to the finals. He had some really great swims and continued that momentum into the relay and had a 45.29, which is his best split ever and was more than a second faster than the fly split at conference. That is a great sign for him heading into tomorrow's 100 fly."
DeRyk got it going first thing on Thursday morning after recording a personal-best time of 19.37 seconds in the 50 free prelims. He then backed up the performance in the prelims with his second-best time ever of 19.41 seconds to finish tied for 14th in the finals and earn second-team All-American status in the 50 free.
Continuing the momentum, the 400 medley relay team of Andrei Ungur, Andrew Britton, DeRyk and Finn O'Haimhirgin closed out the night by finishing with a time of 3:07.58 to place 21st overall and move up a few spots from where they came in seeded as. Ungur swam back, Britton swims breast, DeRyk swam fly, while O'Haimhirin wrapped up the race swimming free.
"Andrei had a really nice swim in the relay too and it was his second-best time ever," said Persson on the medley relay team. "Andrew and Finn were a little off from where they had been and where they wanted to be, but they were not bad swims. It was Andrei and Finn's first time at NCAAs and Andrew's second, so once again, it is certainly challenging to come to this caliber of a meet and start strong right away. We moved up a couple spots from our seed time and were happy about that. Tomorrow is a big day for Utah with Cooper in the 100 fly, Andrei in the 100 back and the 200 medley relay in the evening. We have a great chance to place well and score points."
On the diving side, Tony Chen and Luke McDivitt got NCAA action underway Thursday morning on the 1-meter boards. Chen finished 22nd in the prelims with a score of 291.15 to lead the way, while McDivitt placed 45th at the national championships with a score of 216.55. Both Utes will be back in action tomorrow on the 3m, while McDivitt will also compete on platform this weekend.
"It was great to get the guys going and into the competition," said head diving coach Richard Marschner. "Today was the weakest event for Tony and Luke, but they competed well and Tony was right there at the end with a chance to advance. I'm looking forward to what we can do over the next two days because I think we were able to get rid of the nerves that come with competing at this meet for the first time and now we can just dive relaxed."
DeRyk will compete in the 100 fly and Ungur will compete in the 100 back with prelims beginning tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. MT. McDivitt and Chen will compete on the 3m with prelims scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. MT. Finals will begin at 4 p.m. MT. Live scoring for the swimming events will be available here, while live scoring for diving can be found here. There will be a stream available of the prelims and finals here.