Swim & Dive Races Past UNLV in Dual Meet Sweep
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah swimming and diving team claimed first place in 25 out of 32 events and swept the UNLV Rebels in dual meet by scores of 196-101 on the men's side and 193-105 in the women's competition on Friday evening at the Don Reddish Pool at the Ute Natatorium.
"It feels good to pick up a win," said coach Jonas Persson. "I think the team responded really well to stepping up and racing and also responded well to the pressure we put on them to have good races. UNLV is a very good and very well-coached team, so I'm happy we're able to get the win today. A lot of people did really well."
This triumph also marks the first win as program head coach for Persson, who was named to the position in May.
In the Pool
The list of Utes who pocketed multiple first place finishes includes Summer Stanfield, Finn O'Haimhirgin, Hilja Schimmel and Evan VanBrocklin. Stanfield was the only competitor to take the top spot in three races, the third time in her career she's accomplished that feat. She started by besting the field in the 200 butterfly, logging a time of 2:02.11, then moved on to the 200 backstroke, where she posted a time of 1:59.95. Stanfield capped off her day in the 200 individual medley, which she completed in 2:03.54 for first place finish No. 3.
O'Haimhirgin reached the winner's circle for the first time in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 20.60, and his second top finish came shortly after in the 100 free, where he touched the wall in 45.25. Schimmel put together a first-place performance in the 100 breaststroke, posting a time of 1:02.55 and she followed that with a repeat showing in the 200 breaststroke, reaching the finish in 2:16.92. Schimmel's time in the 100 breast is good enough for 10th all-time in program history.
As for VanBrocklin, the 200 fly was the event that got his day started with a win, thanks to a mark of 1:50.05. He wrapped up his second triumph by outlasting his opponents in the 500 free and finishing in 4:34.05.
The Utes didn't lose a single relay all day and that accomplishment started with Norah Hay and Reagan Cathcart teaming up with Schimmel and Stanfield for a 400 medley relay win in 3:44.94. The men's 400 medley was won by Andrei Ungur, Jaek Horner, Marko Kovacic and O'Haimhirgin in 3:13.52. The meet was capped off by Erin Palmer, Maddie Woznick, Katie Hale and Cathcart capturing the 200 free relay in 1:33.44, followed by O'Haimhirgin, VanBrocklin, Ungur and Lucas Calderon triumphing in the men's 200 free relay, posting a time of 1:21.74.
Eight more Utes topped the leaderboard in their races, including Sydney Even with a mark of 1:53.07 in the 200 free, Hale in the women's 100 back, which she finished in 56.54, Ungur in the men's 100 back, clocking in at 49.24, Cathcart in the 50 free, reaching the wall in 23.89, Palmer in the 100 free with a time of 51.92, Preston Planells, with a mark of 1:48.99 in the 200 back, Marko Kovacic in the 100 fly at 48.81 and Baylor Lewis in the 200 IM, which he finished in 1:53.31.
On the Boards
Utah won all four diving events and relinquished only one top-three spot to the Rebels. Holly Waxman snagged the first victory for the Utes, with a 1m score of 297.38 and right behind her was Kathryn Grant, with a personal-best of 285.83, and Lexi Mills at 270.08. In the men's 1m, Ben Smyth posted his first of two career-bests, grading out at 327.23 to snag the top spot. All four of those scores surpassed the standard for qualifying for the NCAA Zone Championships and Grant's dive allows her to break into the program's all-time top 10.
In the women's 3m, it was Lizzy DeCecco who garnered the best score, with a mark of 307.13 while Grant's score of 302.18 was another personal-best, while Holly Waxman snagged third with a dive that earned her a 289.05. In the men's event, it was once again Smyth collecting first place with his second personal-best of the day at 355.20 and two more Utes landed in second and third in Luke McDivitt and Jenner Pennock, respectively. DeCecco, Grant, Waxman and Smyth all posted NCAA qualifying scores.
"I'm really excited about how we did," said diving coach Richard Marschner. "It's a really loud environment and they responded really well. We had at least six personal-bests today, which is pretty tough to do, especially this early in the season. I challenged Ben the other day to start doing the things I know he's capable of doing and he really responded with two personal-bests. He had his best performances in the 1m by far. The women all responded. They all had some kind of adversity this week and they fought through some of the challenges they were dealing with."
The next event's on Utah's schedule is the Texas Diving Invite, which will be held in Austin, Texas on Nov. 16-19.
Follow the Utes!
For fans of the Utah men's/women's swimming and diving programs, follow the Utes on Twitter (@UTAHswimdive), Instagram (@utahswimdive) and Facebook (@UtahUtesSwimDive).