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Strong Performances Put Swim & Dive on Top After Day 1 of Big Al Invitational

Dec 3, 2021

PRINCETON, N.J.- The University of Utah swim and dive team opened up competition at the Big Al Invitational on Friday. The Utes captured four outright event victories on the day with both the men (345.5) and women (322) holding a strong lead over the other schools entering day two tomorrow.

The women's 200 free relay team of Casarin Layre, Madeline Woznick, Kayla Miller and Emma Lawless took home the first victory of the day finishing in a time of 1:31.33. The men's 200 free team of Cooper Deryk, Finn O'Haimhirgin, Santi Contreras and Lucas Calderon also took care of business touching first in 1:18.66, securing the Utes second win of the afternoon.

The men's B 200 free relay team (Marko Kovacic, JP Hynes, Andrei Ungur, Noah Carlson) finished two spots back in third in 1:20.01.

In the women's 500 free, freshman Cameron Daniell lead the Utes earning fifth (4:53.51) while Taylor Kabacy (4:53.61) and Molly Jacobson (4:54.20) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

In the men's 500 free, Utah had four swimmers place in the top-15. Sophomore Nick Becker finished fourth (4:26.62) with teammate Nathan Ramey in eighth (4:31.51). Dylan Becker (4:27.78) and Jackson Cunningham (4:30.73) rounded out the top finishes in 11th and 15th, respectively.

Moving to the women's 200 IM, the Utes saw four finish in the top-15 with Utah's Charity Pittard earning second in 2:00.93. Madison Story (2:03.41) and Kayla Miller (2:05.97) touched sixth and seventh, respectively as Anelise Hedges (2:07.76) rounded out the top finishers in 15th.

On the men's side, Ben Waterman led Utah in the men's 200 IM finishing third in 1:46.60. Baylor Lewis (1:48.53) placed seventh as Jaek Horner touched right behind in eighth (1:48.67). Lex Nietling-Hernandez placed 11th in 1:49.20.

Casarin won the 50 free in 22.72 as all the Utah entries finished in the top-12. Woznick (23.12), Lawless (23.20) and Miller (23.54) placed fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively. Katie Hale tied for ninth in 23.33 and Norah Hay touched in 12th (23.48) to round out the Utes.

The men placed four in the top-10 in the 50 free as Deryk tied for first with Jonas Kistorp from Columbia in 19.76. O'Haimhirgin finished fourth (20.09) with Contreras placing sixth (20.14) and Calderon in eighth (20.32) to round out the top finishers.

Utah had a great showing in the women's 400-medley relay placing four teams in the top-10. The A squad made up of Lawless, Pittard, Hale, and Casarin lead the Utes finishing second in 3:40.29.
The B squad of Hay, Story, Leary and Woznick placed sixth (3:45.99) and the C team comprised of Gebhart, Gassaway, Alicea-Jorgensen and Carlson finished eighth (3:46.86).

Closing out the swimming events for the night were the men in the 400-medley relay. All three of Utah's entries placed in the top-10, featuring the A squad of Ungur, Britton, Deryk and O'Haimhirgin finishing third in 3:10.36. Right behind was Utah's B team (Hynes, Horner, Waterman, Kovacic) placing fourth in 3:12.09.

Full results from day one of the Big Al Invitational can be viewed here.  

In the diving well, Lexi Mills (303.25) and Holly Waxman (284.10) got the Utes started earning second and third in the 3m dive, respectively. Lizzy DeCecco tallied 274.70 points to place sixth.

Tony Chen and Luke McDivitt continue to showcase strong performances securing first and second, respectively, in the 1m. Chen led Utah finishing in first (340.05) with McDivitt in second with 337.40 points. This score tops McDivitt's previous best and ranks ninth all-time at Utah.  Ben Smyth and Jenner Pennock also had solid showings. Smyth scored 292.60 to earn fifth and Pennock tallied 283.95, good for seventh.  

Women - Team Rankings 

1. Utah - 322 5. Rutgers - 147
2. Princeton - 268 6. Columbia - 25
3.  Denver - 172 7. TCU - 22
4. George Washington - 158

Men - Team Rankings

1. Utah - 345.5 4. Denver - 164
2. Princeton - 311 5. George Washington - 148
3. Columbia - 165.5 6. TCU - 11

The Utes will be back in action tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. MT, for day two of the Big Al Invitational. Fans can tune in to watch the prelims in the morning and then the finals starting at 4:00 p.m. MT on ESPN+.

For fans of the Utah men's/women's swimming and diving programs, follow the Utes on Twitter (@UTAHswimdive), Instagram (@utahswimdive) and Facebook (@UtahUtesSwimDive).