Utah Swim and Dive Shines at Pac-12 Championships

U+of+U+swimmer+during+the+swim+and+dive+meet+vs+The+Colo+Mesa+Mavericks+on+Jan+23%2C+2021+at+the+Ute+Natatorium+on+campus.+%28Photo+by+Jack+Gambassi+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

U of U swimmer during the swim and dive meet vs The Colo Mesa Mavericks on Jan 23, 2021 at the Ute Natatorium on campus. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Emily Dush, Sports Writer

 

The Pac-12 Championship was held this past week for the University of Utah men and women’s swim and dive teams. All athletes were looking to finish the season strong and make strides as a program. The dive team was the first team up and started the Championships for the Utes out strong. 

Women’s Swim and Dive

Lizzy DeCecco and Lexi Mills started off strong for the Utes, being the only two from the team to place in the top 8 of the 1m event. DeCecco came in fourth place with a score of 300.60. Mills came in seventh place with a score of 268.10. Emma Ruchula came in 12th place, earning more points for the Utes. 

The women’s swim team started their competition out with the 800 free relay. The team consisted of Audrey Reimer, Alyssa Watson, Kayla Miller and Zofia Niemczak. The team had a time of 7:19.77 which put them in sixth place. 

The next event was the 400 medley relay which consisted of Reimer, Emma Lawless, Charity Pittard and Maddie Woznick. In this event, the team came in with a time of 3:37.39 which put them in fifth place. 

At the end of the first day of competition, the Utes were in third place with 162 points. 

The women had a good day in the 3m event with DeCecco playing third with a score of 328.65. Regan Caufield took eighth place with a score of 275.75. Mills won her consolation bracket and Ruchula came in 12th place. 

The women’s swim team had another strong showing on the second day of competition with Taylor Kabacy competing in the ‘B’ bracket, showing a strong 14th place in the 500 free event. Niemczak finished in 16th place. In the ‘C’ bracket, Sara McClendon and Cameron Daniell both placed in the top 20. 

Woznick competed in the 50 free event and posted a score of 22.77 and came in 13th place overall in the ‘B’ bracket of the competition. The next event was the 200 free relay, where Reagan Cathcart, Woznick, Riemer and Miller came in sixth place with a time of 1:31.30.

After the second day, the Utes were in fifth place. 

On the third day of competition, DeCecco took first place in the consolation platform event. She managed to win 73 points for the Utes and took ninth place overall in the Championship. Mills was not too far behind her, placing 13th overall. At the end of the day, the women’s dive team came out with a final score of 255 points, the highest point total the Utes have ever scored at a Pac-12 Championship. 

On the third day of competition, the women’s swim team was in the finals of several events. Pittard placed third in the consolation final of the 400 IM event with a score of 4:19.38 and managed to place 11th overall in the event. Mandy Gebhart took a first place finish in the ‘C’ bracket of the 400 IM event with a time of 4:25.80 and a 17th place overall finish. Kabacy came in not too far behind Gebhart with a 19th place finish. 

Emma Broome and Reimer both qualified the compete in the final championship of the 100 back event. Broome took seventh place while Riemer took eighth place, both placing in the top 10. Harper Lehman took first place in the ‘C’ bracket and 17th overall in the 100 back event while Kate Leary came in 19th place. 

Lawlesss competed in the consolation finals of the 100 fly event and finished 13th overall with a qualifying time of 53.47. Watson took seventh place in the 200 free event consolation final, 15th overall. In the same event but in the ‘C’ bracket, Niemczak placed third for 19th overall while McClendon took fourth place, 20th overall. 

In the 100 breast event, Sadie Edwards placed 16th overall, eighth place in the consolation finals. Pittard and McKenna Gassaway came in second and fifth place in the ‘C’ bracket. 

The last event of the day was the 200 medley relay where the team of Broome, Edwards, Lawless and Woznick had a time of 1:40.58. At the end of the day, the Utes had a score of 657 for a fifth-place finish. 

On the last day of competition for the women’s swim team, several Utes put up times up for NCAA consideration. Reimer took third place in the 200 back event posting a time of 1:52.91. Lawless took eleventh place in the event. Woznick had a time of 49.43 in the 100 free event which gave her an NCAA consideration. Pittard placed ninth in the 200 breast event. 

Several Utes competed in the 1650 free event where McClendon finished in sixth place, Kabacy finished right behind her in seventh place, and Gebhart and Daniell finished in tenth and eleventh place respectively. Fellow Utes Elise Beller and Sophia Morici finished in 15th and 16th place.

In the 200 fly event, Niemczak finished in eighth place, posting a time of 2:02.39. Lehman finished in 14th place. Morici and Taylor Alicea-Jorgensen came in 19th and 20th place. In the 400 free relay Woznick, Reimer, Cathcart and Miller finished in sixth place with a time of 3:20.02. 

Men’s Swim and Dive

The Utah men’s dive team started their competition out strong. Tony Chen took second place again in the 3m event with a score of 386.80. Chase Hindmarsh placed seventh in the event with a score of 328.35, while Luke McDivitt took ninth place. 

On the final day of the men’s diving competition, McDivitt showed a stellar performance of being the first Pac-12 Champion in the platform event. This was the first Pac-12 individual title that had been won by a Ute. 

 “It was an absolute battle and any mistake would have cost Luke the title, but he was locked in during finals and executed flawlessly. Considering we don’t even have a full set of towers and have limited opportunities to train 10-meter, this is even more amazing. It goes to show how mentally tough and how much preparation and work Luke and the entire team has put in to make this happen. It wasn’t just Luke that won today – this was a TEAM accomplishment.” said Richard Marschner to Utah Athletics. 

Up to this point, the Utes had a strong showing as the men’s swim started their events. The men’s first event was the 800 free relay which consisted of Cole Giandinoto, Marko Kovacic, Dylan Becker and Noah Carlson. The team came in fifth place with a time of 6:32:71. 

The next event of the day was the 400 medley relay, which consisted of Andrei Ungur, Andrew Britton, Ben Waterman and Cooper DeRyk. They earned a score of 3:07.65 which put them in fifth place and an NCAA consideration. 

In the 50 free event, DeRyk placed fourth with a time of 19.46 seconds in the championship finals. His time earned him a NCAA consideration. Finn O’Haimhirgin qualified for the consolation finals and took 14th place overall. Santiago Contreras took 19th place, Felix Chiun took 20th place, and Carlson took 22nd place. 

The next event that the Utes competed in was the 500 free event. Nick and Dylan Becker competed in the ‘C’ bracket where Dylan Becker took 19th place with a time of 4:26.18 and Nick took 22nd with a time of 4:27.68. In the 200 IM event, Lex Hernandez-Nietling took 21st place with a time of 1:48.48. 

The next event was the 200 free relay which consisted of DeRyk, O’Haimhirgin, Contreras and Chiun. This team took an impressive fifth place with a time of 1:18.83.

By the end of the day, the Utah men’s swimming and dive team were showing a strong hold at fourth place with a score of 235 points. 

The next day in the 200 medley relay event, Ungur, Britton, DeRyk and O’Haimhirgin took second place with a time of 1:24.23. Britton also showed a strong showing in the 100 breast event where he broke his own record with a new time of 52.77 and placed fifth overall for an NCAA consideration. 

DeRyk raced in the 100 fly event where he broke the school of 46.07 that was set in 2014. DeRyk’s new time of 46.00 gave him a NCAA consideration and came in 17th place overall. 

Ungur raced in the 100 back event where he came in fifth place with a time of 46.64.

Several Utes qualified for the consolation finals in the 400 IM event. Jackson Cunningham took first place in the consolation final and ninth overall in the event. Holden Ellsworth came eleventh place overall, Nathan Ramey came in 12th place overall, Dylan Becker came in 13th place overall, and Sam Lucas came in 16th overall. 

The next event was the 100 fly where Waterman qualified for the championship finals and earned a time of 47.02 where he received a NCAA consideration and came in seventh place. 

In the 200 free event, Carlson finished in 16th place. Giandinoto finished 18th overall, and Conteras finished in 21st place overall. 

At the end of the day, Utah remained in fourth place with 347 points. 

The last day of the Pac-12 Championships was a strong one for the Utes. Dylan Becker started the day off strong with placing tenth in the 1650 event with a time of 15:16.33 and a NCAA consideration. Cunningham came in 13th place with a time of 15:25.47 and another NCAA consideration. Nick Becker finished in 16th place, Ramey came in 17th place, and Giandinoto came in 18th place. 

The next event was the 200 back event where Preston Planells came in 16th overall with a time of 1:45.85. Ellsworth came in 19th overall with a time of 1:45.46, Parker McOmber came in 20th place and Ryan Garstang finished in 22nd place. 

In the 100 free event, DeRyk won the consolation final and was ninth overall with a time of 43.31. O’Haimhirgin finished in 13th overall and Kovacic finished in 23rd place. 

In the 200 breast event, Jaek Horner won the consolation final and earned an NCAA consideration with a time of 1:56.31. L. Hernandez-Nietling took 14th place, Ramey took 16th place and Cunningham took 17th place. 

Waterman placed 11th in the 200 fly event with a time of 1:45.40 which earned him an NCAA consideration. Carlson placed in 17th place, Giandinoto in 19th and Lucas in 20th. 

The last event of the Pac-12 Championships was the 400 free relay. The team consisted of O’Haimhirgin, Carlson, Chiun and Contreras. They finished in fifth place with a time of 2:57.04. 

The Utah men’s swim and diving team came in fourth place at the Pac-12 Championships. The total number of points was 420. Members of the men and women’s swim and dive teams await to hear if they will make any NCAA events in the upcoming days. If they do make the NCAA Tournament, it will take place in March.

 

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@DushEmily