Utes win season’s first water fight

By By Tony Pizza

By Tony Pizza

The 2006-07 swim season began Saturday at the Ute Natatorium, and things could not have gone better for the Utes.

Both the men and women dominated their portions of the meet in convincing fashion, as the U men out-swam their Denver Pioneer counterparts by a 188-95 margin. The women also won in convincing fashion, beating the women’s side of the Denver team 176.50-104.50. The victory also means the women successfully avenged their only blemish of the previous season.

“Standouts (on the women’s side) would be Kelsey Patterson. Adrienne Coburn and Amber Walter and Allie McInturff,” said U head coach Mike Litzinger.

All four women won two events against Denver on Saturday.

The Utes were led by a cast of usual suspects in a meet where the Utes finished first in all but four swimming events. Andrew Cole cleaned up in the men’s backstroke events, finishing first in both the 100 and 200 races. David Maasberg also swept the freestyle sprint events by winning both the 50 and 100 races.

“There’s not too many events that we didn’t win-I guess that’s (the) point for us. Those times are solid for right now, but now we need to gear up,” Litzinger said.

The men opened the season especially strong as they failed to finish first in only one swimming event. The men also finished first and second in almost half of their 13 races, including two top-three sweeps in the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly events. The Ute men also came within .06 of a second from sweeping the 200 backstroke as well.

The most telling sign of the men’s dominance came in the 400 freestyle medley. The U men’s A team won the race comfortably, but it was the men’s B team that came within .05 of a second from giving the men a surprising one-two finish in the only relay event of the day for them.

The men also got strong efforts from a few new faces to the team. Seamus Alger and Adam Oliver showed why Litzinger thinks this is one of the deepest men’s teams he has ever seen. Alger, who is a freshman, took home first place in the 200 IM and butterfly events. Oliver, who is in his sophomore year, finished first in the marathon races, which were the 500 and 1000 freestyle races.

Diving was the only event at which the men did not thoroughly handle Denver. The Ute divers did not come close to making Cody Stambauch or Aaron Freight sweat, as the Pioneer stars took the men’s 1-meter and 3-meter events respectively.

“These meets are stepping stones to see where we are in our training,” Litzinger said. “We’re real pleased about where we are in our training right now.”

Chronicle file photo

The women’s swim team won the MWC title Feb. 2 in Provo. The women won five relays in the Beehive classic in Provo, this weekend.