Freshmen Swimmers Make a Splash Against Arizona State


(Photo by Matt Gubler | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ryker Jackson, Sports Writer

The University of Utah Utes men’s and women’s swim and dive team fell overall to foe Arizona State Friday afternoon at the Ute Natatorium. Although they lost the overall meet, there were several standout performances, especially among freshmen.

The final score for the men was 122-176, while the women were defeated 165.5-132.5.

“I think we rebounded nicely after a rough start,” said Head Coach Joe Dykstra. “I challenged them at the break to improve and credit to the team, they did. We had some hard, close races and that competitive experience will help us moving forward.”

One standout performance came in the women’s 400 free relays. Sarah Lott, Leyre Casarin, Audrey Reimer and Maddie Woznick won with a time of 3:26.15. In addition to her swimming prowess, Woznick is also on the honor roll and ranked in the top 10 of her class.

The Ute freshmen continued making waves today, as redshirt freshman and Lexington, South Carolina native Luke McDivitt scored a huge upset victory. He took first place in the men’s 3m championship (6 dives), besting Arizona State senior and favorite to win Youseff Selim. The degree of difficulty for McDivitt was 18.5 and his final score was 337.80.

Rahiti De Vos, a senior hailing from Nice, France posted the best scores overall on the men’s side of things. He won the 500 free in 4:34.79 and took 2nd in the 1,000 with a time of 9:33.71.

“I won the 500 so I’m pretty happy with that,”  De Vos said. De Vos, who is a CSCAA Scholar All-American and a Pac-12 All-Academic selection continued, saying “We know we are far from our best times. We have one more meet before November meets. These are just getting us ready for that.”

“We have had a rough couple week of training, but I think we all gave it our best,” said senior Mariah Gassaway, a Pac-12 All-Academic and Bountiful, Utah native. “We can do better for sure. There were a lot of close touch outs. Those are the hardest because you can swim your absolute best and get out touched by 0.01 seconds.”

Gassaway mentioned freshman Charity Pittard, saying that she has come in hot. Pittard, who won the 200 IM with a time of 2:04.67, is from Eagle, Idaho, and has been making a splash early on the team.

Gassaway also mentioned that the team is working to keep a positive perspective heading into the next month of Pac-12 play. She said that this is the time of year when people can get sick and the training is extra hard, but that they need to keep their long term goals in mind and focus on winning during the Pac-12 championships.

Even though overall the meet ended in a loss for the Utes, there were plenty of bright spots and exciting prospects for the future seen from the Natatorium. The Utes host UNLV next on Nov. 1 here in Salt Lake City. As always, you’re encouraged to come on over to the Natatorium and support the Utes.


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