Swim & Dive Shows Out on Senior Day
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah swimming and diving team celebrated its Senior Day on Saturday at the Ute Natatorium and were completely dominant in the meet taking home victories in 26 of the 32 total events. In their first action of 2022, the Utes came away victorious against two opponents in fourth-ranked Colorado Mesa University (489.00-110.00), according to the latest CSCAA DII rankings and the University of Denver (437.00-163.00).
In The Pool
The Utah swimming team wasted no time asserting their dominance today capturing the victory in the first nine events of the meet. Getting it all started was the team of Emma Lawless, Katie Hale, Leyre Casarin, and Madison Story who combined to win the 200-yard medley relay in 1:42.18. The men followed suit, as Matt Wilcox, Andrei Ungur, Cooper deRyk, and Finn O'Haimhirgin combined to win in 1:30.01.
Freshman Marlene Sandberg paced the women in the 1,000 free placing first in 10:31.05, followed by sophomore Taylor Kabacy who finished in 10:35.77. It was sophomore Dylan Becker who lead the charge for the men in the 1,000 free as he captured the event in 9:38.22 with junior Nathan Ramey touching second in 9:43.25. Becker would capture his second victory of the day in the 500 free finishing in 4:38.99.
Junior transfer Summer Stanfield competed as a Ute for the first time after joining the team in January and immediately showed her value taking home the event win in the 200 free (1:52.83) and 200 back (2:03.22).
Senior Ben Waterman earned his first victory of Senior Day in the 200 free finishing in 1:40.84. Waterman added to his senior day with a victory in the 100 fly (48.63).
The women made their presence known in the 100 back finishing 1-4. Lawless lead the way touching first in 55.26 as sophomore Kate Leary (56.92), freshman Norah Hay (57.88) and fifth year Mandy Gebhart (57.94) finished second, third and fourth, respectively. The men joined the fun as the top five finishers in the 100 back were all Utes. Ungur captured the victory (48.85), redshirt sophomore Parker McOmber finished in second (50.02) and junior JP Hynes placed third (50.55).
Junior Charity Pittard won the 100 breast in 1:04.48, but the streak of nine event wins in a row came to an end in the ensuing race.
The Utes got back in the win column as sophomore Marko Kovacic cruised to a victory in the 200 fly finishing in 1:52.13.
Right before the first break of the meet, both the men and women swept the 50 free. Junior Finn O'Haimhirgin (20.74) and Casarin (23.43) earned the victories. O'Haimhirgin and Casarin continued their strong performances as both won the 100 free.
It was the duo of Sandberg (5:07.77) and Kabacy (5:09.22) yet again finishing first and second in the 500 free, respectively.
Freshman Sydney Rogness touched first in the 400 IM (4:26.60) as Pittard followed behind finishing in second (4:31.58).
Casarin led off for the first-place 200 free relay (1:33.40), joined by Maddie Woznick, Emma Lawless, and Katie Hale.
Senior Cooper deRyk led off for the men in the 200 free relay, joined by O'Haimhirgin, Hynes and anchored by Ungur for the victory (1:21.88).
All in all, it was a banner day for the Utah program, capping the careers of several of its best swimmers. Despite the large gap in competitive action, Utah came out against two different opponents and showcased great performances.
"We are so happy to have a meet finally," head coach Joe Dykstra said. "We definitely had some rust to kick off but the effort was solid. We will look to build some momentum towards the end of the season."
On The Boards
Freshman Holly Waxman put together a top-ten performance all-time at Utah, finishing first in the 1m dive with a score of 298.85. Lizzy DeCecco (286.45) and Lexi Mills (271.40) followed Waxman finishing in second and third, respectively in the 1m. Waxman would later finish second in the 3m (276.70), trailing the first-place performance of teammate Mills (311.85).
The senior duo of Luke McDivitt and Tony Chen combined for excellence yet again, with McDivitt finishing first in the 3m (358.65) and Chen placing second (343.50). Utah blocked out the 3m, as freshman Ben Smyth captured third (266.25). Chen and McDivitt traded places on the 1m, with Chen scoring 321.15 and McDivitt finishing with a score of 319.95. Fellow Ute Jenner Pennock was third with 317.60, a personal-best.
"I'm really happy with how we competed today after such a long layoff," head diving coach Richard Marschner said. "We had two personal-best performances and some near misses at PB's, so it was really encouraging to see that our training is paying off and we're continuing to follow an upward trajectory heading into the final month of the season."
The Utes will travel south down I-15 next weekend, Jan. 28-29, to compete against in-state rival BYU for a dual-match inside the BYU Richards Building Pool. The two-day meet will begin on Friday at 5:00 p.m. MT with the diving events. On Saturday, the meet will start at 11:00 a.m. MT with the swimming events.
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