Utah Men’s Swim Loses to USC in Final Regular Season Meet


Jack Gambassi

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 Max Lepore, Sports Writer


The University of Utah men’s swim team finished up their regular season schedule with a loss in a home dual meet to USC on Saturday with a final score of 164.5-96.5. While the Utes weren’t looking to lose, they did finish the day with two first-place finishes and seven runner-ups.

After celebrating Senior day a couple of weeks ago, the Utah swim and dive team decided to make their final meet of the season their “Pride Meet”. The athletes, Swoop, and plenty others wore pride apparel, showing that the swim and dive team supports people of all identities. It was a very cool display by the Utes, showing what kind of people coach, work, and compete for this team. The Utah swim and dive Twitter highlighted some of the apparel that people wore on Saturday.

To begin the meet, the Utes competed in the 200 medley relay. The Utah team composed of Andrei Ungur, Jaek Horner, Cooper DeRyk and Finn O’Haimhirgin has found plenty of success this season. However, they finished just behind USC’s best medley team, finishing in second place with a final time of 1:26.79. Dylan Becker also finished second in an event, with a 9:24.79 in the 1000 free, setting a new season-best time for the sophomore.

O’Haimhirgin, after competing in the 200 medley relay, was able to earn Utah’s first victory of the day in the 100 free. He competed against USC’s Max Saunders, and touched first right before Saunders could touch. O’Haimhirgin also placed second in the 50 free, rounding out a solid day for the junior athlete.

The only other victory for the Utes on the day came in the 100 fly, when Santiago Contreras finished with a time of 48.18. Contreras had an incredible race, beating out USC’s Olympian Nikola Miljenic and fellow Ute Marko Kovacic.

The Utes dive team also had an interesting weekend. They were scheduled to compete against Arizona, but the meet was at first canceled because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. However, the meet was eventually allowed to go on, and it was mostly viewed as preparation for the Pac-12 Diving Champions, which is approaching rapidly in just a couple of weeks.

Junior Jenner Pennock provided the most notable performance of the meet for the Utes, earning a 3M zone score for the first time, totaling in at 325.58 points.

“This meet was really just about having the opportunity to do some 10m training and to practice diving outdoors for Pac-12’s,” Head Diving Coach Richard Marschner told Utah Athletics. “The sun, blue sky and wind make for significant differences in spotting for our dives and just present different challenges than we are used to indoors. Our platform lists weren’t great from a score standpoint but we got the training and conditioning we needed so it was a very successful trip.” 

After an interesting regular season, full of storylines and success stories, the Utes will now prepare to compete in the Pac-12 Championships. The women’s swim team and the entire dive team will compete first in the championships, on Feb. 23-25. The women will travel to Federal Way, Washington for their competition, while the dive team will prepare for a trip to Tucson, Arizona.

A week after the women’s swim team and the dive team compete, the men’s swimming will also take a trip to Federal Way Washington, to compete in the Pac-12 Championship.


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