Women’s Swim Team Falls Short to USC


By Ashley Ji


The University of Utah’s women’s swimming team fought hard in their home meet against No. 11 USC, but came up short, losing 142-120.

“I’m really proud of the girls today,” said head coach Joe Dykstra. “We swam well. We had a really tough week of training. We are missing a few people today out with the injury and illness, but girls stepped up and raised hard today. I thought the attitude, the effort, and the fight was really really good. I’m proud because we were a few tenths-of-a-second here and a few tenths-of-a-second there away from actually winning this meet.”

The Utes started strong, winning the 200-meter medley relay in 1:41.96. Emma Lawless, Mariah Gassaway, Aryanna Fernandes, and Gillian St. John put forth a complete team effort for the win.

“My strategy was to go out as hard as I can and hold on because I need to feel that this is really tough, so just to hold on as hard as I can and try to win it for the team,” Fernandes said. “It was really a hard line-up for me. It was my first time doing back-to-back races. But I was really happy knowing that the hard work is going to put into practices paying off.” Fernandes also placed second in the 100-meter fly and 200-meter IM with 55.25 and 2:05.36.

Sophomore Sara McClendon captured first in the 1000-meter freestyle with a solid 10:20.12. She also placed second in the 500 freestyle, with a time of 5:07.49.

Freshman Audrey Reimer showed her potential in the backstroke, winning both the 100 and 200-meter races with times of 56.52 and 2:01.78, respectively.

“I thought that all the work that I’ve put in in the past couple months was really influential and helpful,” Reimer said. “I set my tempo early for the first twenty-five and then let it go out until the last seventy-five.”

Following 100 back, Emma Broome placed second with 57.36 and 200 back, Mallory Allen placed second with 2:04.16.

Senior Genny Robertson grabbed first place in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:16.98. She also swam the third-fastest in the 100 breaststrokes with a time of 1:03.96.

“Not even just swimming it but the time in general, I think it’s good that that’s where I am right now at the season and after these weeks of training, I was happy with my time,” Robertson said. She added with a positive voice by saying, “Building off what we have done this week would be awesome if we can go the same times we did today. As a team, I think it could be UCLA and personally want to be where I am or even faster than that.”

Senior captain Darby Wayner swam the second fastest in the 100 breaststrokes with a time of 1:03.46.

“I’m really encouraged by what I saw today. I am excited to take it forward next week. The big goal for next week is a win” Dykstra said.

Next meet, the team matches up against UCLA next Saturday at 11 A.M. The meet will be held in the Don Reddish Pool at Ute Natatorium.

[email protected]