Smyth Earns Second on Platform to Lead Utah on Final Day of Pac-12's
TUCSON, Ariz. & FEDERAL WAY, Wash.- The Utah dive and women's swimming team completed the Pac-12 Championships today, recording multiple all-time top-10 times in program history. The Utes were highlighted by freshman Ben Smyth, who finished second on the platform.
In the Pool
Utah kicked off the final evening of the Pac-12 Championships with three Utes finishing in succession in the 200 back and all recording times that moved them up or into the all-time top-10 at Utah in the event. Summer Stanfield paced the Utes touching in a season-best time 1:55.54 to place 11th as Emma Lawless (1:55.87), and Norah Hay (1:56.91) both recorded new personal-bests and finished in 12th and 13th, respectively. Mandy Gebhart rounded out the competing Utes, placing 24th in 2:01.56.
In the 200 back prelims, Gebhart set a new best time of 1:57.19 and moved herself up the all-time list in the 200 back at Utah.
Moving to the next events, senior Leyre Casarin and freshman Milla Ruthven were the lone Utes in their respective events. Casarin competed in the 100 free B-finals and put her name on the top-10 list in the event finishing 11th in a personal record 48.88 while Ruthven posted a 2:05.37 in the 200 fly.
Charity Pittard secured the highest finish of the day for Utah placing 10th in the 200 breast, touching in an NCAA B time of 2:12.72.
Marlene Sandberg, another of Utah's talented freshman, led the Utes in the 1650 free placing 11th in 16:41.16, joining the list of swimmers who have entered the all-time lists at Utah. Fellow freshman Molly Jacobson placed 16th in 16:46.85 while Ruthven captured 22nd (17:11.76). Sophomores Cameron Danielle (16:52.53) and Taylor Kabacy (16:53.72) finished back to back in 18th and 19th, respectively.
Utah closed out the championships with the 400 medley relay that saw the Utah 'A' squad of Casarin, senior Katie Hale, junior Maddie Woznick and senior Emma Lawless finish in 3:20.08, their fastest time of the season.
On the Boards
The men closed out the Pac-12 Diving Championships on Saturday with the platform event and saw three Utes advance to the finals, the most of any school.
In the prelims, junior Jenner Pennock placed third with a season-best score of 331.45, while freshman Ben Smyth (309.45) and redshirt junior Luke McDivitt (307.20) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Moving into the finals, Smyth led the Utes with a score of 345.40 to bring home the second-place podium finish. Defending platform champion McDivitt just missed out joining Smyth on the podium totaling 335.10, good for fourth. Pennock posted a 313.60 to earn sixth.
"Today was another huge day for us on tower and we continue to mystify our competition with how good we are despite not having a 10m. Ben had a solid day and he did the best inward three and a half I've ever seen him do," head diving coach Richard Marschner said. "I'm really proud of Luke and his grit and determination to even compete. He was hours away from an emergency surgery that would've ended his season and he competed like the Pac-12 champion he is."
Marschner continued, "We're carrying some great momentum into zones and have the opportunity to qualify our largest team ever to NCAA's."
Pac-12 Diving Championship Quick Hits
- Each of the divers on the men's squad had at least one top-four finish.
- The men finished second as a team (129), trailing on Stanford (131). Arizona (92) followed Utah along with USC (70), ASU (31) and Cal.
- For the women, USC totaled the most points (287) with Stanford (265) and Arizona (168) rounding out the top three. Utah followed in fourth (153) and UCLA (138) in fifth.
- This marks the second highest point total for both the men and women, trailing only last year's performance at the conference championships.
The focus now turns to the men's swim team as they'll make the trip up to Federal Way, Wash., to compete at the Pac-12 Swimming Championships, March 2-5.
Competition will be held at the Weyerhaeuser King Aquatic Center and Fans can watch all finals sessions of the championships as they'll be streamed live through Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app. Those planning to attend the conference championships, proof of vaccination or negative test is required to attend and face coverings must be worn at all times indoors.