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Utah Swim & Dive Drops Season Opener to California

Oct 12, 2022

BERKELEY, Calif. – Divers Holly Waxman and Kathryn Grant posted NCAA Qualifying marks and several swimmers claimed multiple top three finishes for the University of Utah swimming and diving team, but the Utes men's team was defeated 185-107 and the women fell 169-123 in the team's 2022-23 season opener against the California Golden Bears on Wednesday at the Spieker Aquatics Complex.
"I think we did pretty well today," said coach Jonas Persson. "We had some good races. We also had some people who were nervous and some who need to make some improvements for our upcoming meets. Overall though it was a good first away dual meet of the season and we're on the right path for a successful year. We're going to make changes for our meet tomorrow and hopefully we can keep working on getting better."

In the Pool
The Utes took two of the top three spots in the first individual race of the day, the women's 1000 freestyle. Taylor Kabacy snagged the second spot by logging a personal-best at 10.10.99 and Cameron Daniell was right behind her in third, establishing a new career-best of her own at 10:14.78. Brandon Miller clocked in at 9:26.22 in the men's 1000 free to land in third. In the 100 backstoke, Norah Hay swam her way into second place with a mark of 57.10 and Ryan Garstang placed third on the men's side, finishing in 48.63.
The women's 100 breaststroke saw Utah collect two more top-three finishes, highlighted by an excellent first impression from freshman Hilja Schimmel, whose time of 1.03.05 was good enough for second, narrowly ahead of Charity Pittard's 1.03.76, which put her in third. Jaek Horner took home the third spot in the men's event, coming in at 55.69.
Summer Stanfield only just missed out on winning the 200 butterfly, but by finishing in 2.00.59, she posted a mark that goes down as her fastest time in that event and the eighth quickest in Utah history. The men's 200 fly ended with Evan VanBrocklin taking third, reaching the finish in 1.48.98 and the Utes picked up another top-three finish in the 50 free, where Lucas Calderon swam into third place. Meanwhile Reagan Cathcart marked down her new fastest time in the women's 50 free, completing the race in 23.37
Finn O'Haimhirgin touched up in 45.72 to take third in the men's 100 free, while Stanfield's second top-three finish of the day came in the 200 back, thanks to a time of 1.59.90 and Andrei Ungur landed in bronze position in the men's 200 back, reaching the wall in 1.50.87. Schimmel collected her second top-three finish when she ended the 200 breaststroke in 2.16.44 to snag second, followed by Baylor Lewis capturing third on the men's side.
Taylor Kabacy's time of 4.58.52 earned her second place in the women's 500 free and Dylan Becker swam the men's 500 free in 4.36.85 to collect third.
The Utes had some of their strongest showings in the competition's final races. They took the top four spots in both the women's and men's 100 fly, as Kayla Miller, Harper Lehman and Katie Hale combined to go 1-2-3 on the women's side, while Marko Kovacic, Evan VanBrocklin and Noah Carlson, respectively, were the top three finishers in the men's race. Lehman's mark of 57.08 goes down as a new personal best, as does Kovacic's 48.66.
The women's and men's 200 individual medley races were also dominated by Utah, as Stanfield won the women's event, followed closely by Pittard and Miller and first place the men's competition belonged to VanBrocklin, with Lewis in second and Lex Hernandez-Nietling in third.
On The Boards
Waxman and Grant both got their seasons off to an excellent start by posting NCAA Qualifying marks in the 1m, Grant earning a score of 268.10 and Waxman winning the event, notching a 274.85. Third place was occupied by Lizzy DeCecco, who recorded a score of 254.80. In the men's 1m, two more Utes claimed spots in the top three, as Luke McDivitt's mark of 277.80 put him in second, one spot ahead of Ben Smyth, who logged a 259.80.
In both the women's and men's 3m, Utah collected each of the top three spots, with DeCecco coming out on top on the women's side and Smyth besting the field in the men's event. DeCecco recorded a mark of 261.10, followed Grant's 241.45 and Waxman's 241.05. Smyth's score of 308.75 put him just ahead of Jenner Pennock's 303.55 and McDivitt landed in third with a mark of 299.75.
"Today went about as expected," said coach Richard Marschner. "Our divers did pretty well, considering how early it is in the season and we were better on our stronger events. It was good to get couple zone scores out of Holly and Kathryn and we'll build from there."
Next Up
The Utes will be back in the pool on Thursday, when they'll square off against the Stanford Cardinal in a meet scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
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