Seven Tartans swim at NCAAs, conclude season strong

Credit: File photo Credit: File photo

Members of the Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s swimming teams competed in the NCAA Division III championships in Minneapolis, Minn. this weekend and showed well, coming away with strong finishes and honors. The Tartans were represented by one swimmer from the women’s team, sophomore Molly Evans, and six swimmers from the men’s team: junior Gates Winkler, senior Tom McConnell, junior Jonas Altman-Kurosaki, sophomore Alex Hanson, senior Brad Henderson, and junior Andrew Seo.

Last Wednesday, Evans competed in the 500-yard freestyle and finished fifth in the finals heat with a time of 4:54.34. She shaved off three seconds from last year to break the school record that she set the year before. Evans’ speedy swim awarded her an All-American title. This marked the third time she has earned All-American recognition and the first time for the 500-yard freestyle event.

Winkler had a strong performance in his first NCAA championship appearance receiving All-American Honorable Mention. Winkler finished eighth in the consolation heat of the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34.58.

Last Thursday, Hanson competed in the 400-yard individual medley and finished 23rd overall with a time of 4:04.33. The Tartans had three swimmers compete in the 200-yard freestyle on Thursday. McConnell finished 46th with a time of 1:43.34, Winkler finished 54th with a time of 1:44.21, and Altman-Kurosaki finished 56th with a time of 1:49.43. The men’s 400 medley relay team — composed of Hanson, Henderson, Seo, and McConnell — finished 19th with a time of 3:31.58.

Last Friday, Evans competed in her second event, the 100-yard backstroke. With an outstanding time of 57:48, she finished third in the consolation heat, earning her All-American Honorable Mention. Henderson and Seo both competed in the 100-yard breaststroke to finish 19th and 37th, respectively. Henderson touched the wall in a time of 57.03 while Seo recorded a 58.41 finish.

During Saturday, the last day of the championship competition, Evans received her second All-American Honorable Mention of the weekend with a first-place finish in the consolation heat of the 200-yard backstroke. Evans finished with a season best time of 2:02.76.

Hanson also hit the water on Saturday to compete in the men’s 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:56.21 to take 36th place. Seo and Henderson finished 20th and 24th in the 200-yard breaststroke with times of 2:04.65 and 2:05.40, respectively. With three swimmers in the 1650-yard freestyle, the Tartans had a successful final day. McConnell earned All-American recognition with a fourth-place finish in a time of 15:29.76. Winkler and Altman-Kurosaki followed finishing 14th and 22nd. The 14th-place finish earned Winkler his second All-American Honorable Mention of the championships.

The NCAA championships marked the end of a successful season for the Tartan swimmers.