Swim and dive dominate at UAAs; men take 2nd, women take 4th

This week, Carnegie Mellon’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Atlanta for the 2010 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, hosted by Emory University. Overall, the men’s team finished the weekend in second place, and the women finished fourth.

The women’s swimming and diving team opened the meet on Thursday by setting a school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Sophomore Hannah Gonzalez led off the relay with teammates first-year Breanna Stillo, senior Sara Andrews, and junior Brianne Burton finishing the race with a school record and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:37.70.

Burton, Stillo, and Andrews also swam the 50-yard freestyle, with Burton swimming a provisional qualifying mark placing fifth with a time of 24.28. Stillo won the consolation final in 24.52, and Andrews finished fourth in the consolation final with a time of 24.99. Junior Molly Evans earned a season-best time in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in second place with a time of 5:00.31. Sophomore diver Olivia DeFazio placed fourth on the one-meter board. The women’s team was ranked fourth after day one at the UAA Championships.

The men started off the meet well, finishing the day in second place behind Emory. Senior Gates Winkler became the UAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34.20, finishing almost two full seconds ahead of junior teammate and silver medalist Frank Olechnowicz. The Tartans showed even more depth in the 500, as first-years Kevin Kuntz and Brandon Yee took fourth and fifth, respectively, and all four Tartans achieved NCAA provisional cuts. Senior Jonas Altman-Kurosaki won the consolation heat in the 500, while teammate senior Jon Spring touched in fifth in the same event with a time of 4:44.68.

The men’s ‘A’ 200-yard freestyle relay, consisting of junior Josh Mathews, senior Scott Moorby, junior Travis Piper, and sophomore Matt Stanton placed fifth with a time of 1:25.63. Junior Alex Hanson took fourth in the 200-yard IM with a provisional mark and a career-best time of 1:54.84. First-year Daniel Glaser-Garbrick also swam the 200-yard IM, finishing third in the consolation final in 1:55.91. Senior Jeff Dahlen finished third in the 50-yard freestyle with a career mark with a time of 21.29. The 400-yard medley relay of Dahlen, senior Jeff Huber, Glaser-Garbrick, and Mathews finished second, and Dahlen’s lead-off 100-yard backstroke time of 50.93 will most likely send him to NCAAs.

For the men’s diving team, sophomore Mike Alexovich earned All-UAA honors with a third-place finish in the three-meter board while senior Matt Kuhn finished fifth.

“It was great to start off the meet strong,” Huber said. “We had to get the bugs out a bit in the morning but really came together at night and got in the right mindset.”

On day two, the women’s team racked up four different NCAA provisional times. The 200-yard medley relay team of first-year Dorothy Yu, Stillo, Evans, and Burton set a school record by almost two seconds with its second-place time of 1:47.62, and Evans placed third in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:53.10. Stillo and Andrews also each provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet in the 100-yard breaststroke, with Stillo placing third with a 1:06.80 and Andrews finishing fourth with a time of 1:07.34. The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Andrews, first-year Sarah Musial, Evans, and sophomore Victoria Adams placed third with a time of 7:47.04 and earned All-UAA honors. Gonzalez placed sixth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.47 as the women Tartans held their fourth place at the end of Friday’s competition.

“I thought we had a lot of inspiring races,” said Gonzalez. “Nothing gets people more pumped up than watching their teammates do something amazing.”

The Tartan men won two more events and remained in second place on the second day of swimming. Hanson won the 400-yard individual medley with a personal best of 4:02.60, a provisional mark that will likely send him to the NCAA Championships. Moorby won his event in the 100-yard backstroke and solidified his first trip to the NCAA Championships with an automatic qualifying time of 50.69 before leading off the 200-yard medley relay with an outstanding split of 23.66.
Other top performers for day two were Glaser-Garbrick, whose time of 4:06.75 in the 400-yard IM garnered him seventh place, and Mathews, who earned All-UAA honors in the 200-yard freestyle with a third place time of 1:42.73. Both the 200-yard medley relay consisting of Moorby, Huber, Piper, and Dahlen and the 800-yard freestyle relay with the team of Dahlen, Kuntz, Mathews, and Olechnowicz placed second in their events, with times of 1:33.86 and 6:05.27, respectively. The latter was out-touched by 0.01 seconds by Emory.

The women ended the meet strongly on Saturday, as Evans became the two-time champion in the 200-yard backstroke with a season-best time of 2:04.29. Adams swam a season-best with a time of 17:45.59 in the 1650-yard freestyle, finishing 12th but provisionally qualifying her for the NCAA meet. Yu touched in fifth with a time of 2:25.71 in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Andrews and first-year Price Kinney took third and fourth, respectively, in the consolation heat. To finish the meet, Andrews, Stillo, Evans, and Burton swam the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:34.15 and placing third.

For the third consecutive year, the Tartans finished day three in second place. Altman-Kurosaki became the UAA champion with a season best in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:53.07. Glaser-Garbrick earned a third-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:52.43 en route to being crowned UAA Male Rookie of the Year.

“Honestly, winning Rookie of the Year was the last thing on my mind,” said Glaser-Garbrick. “I just went in there doing what I do, showing what I’m made of, and I’m glad I was able to turn some heads.”

Also in the 1650, Winkler and Olechnowicz placed third and fifth, respectively. Winkler swam a time of 16:05.21, and Olechnowicz finished in 16:06.94. Junior Justin Whaley and Yee also swam the 200-yard butterfly, with Whaley placing sixth in 1:54.08 and Yee finishing seventh with a time of 1.54.13. Junior Michael Panzitta placed second in the 200-yard backstroke with a career best of 1:53.07, while Hanson finished sixth in the event with a 1:54.90. Moorby and Dahlen finished first and second in the consolation final with times of 1:52.39 and 1:52.88.

Moorby’s time would have made him the UAA champion had he made the championship final during preliminaries. Mathews placed first in the consolation final with a time of 46.90 in the 100-yard freestyle. Huber also placed first in the consolation final of the 200-yard breaststroke touching in with a time of 2:09.44.

For the men’s diving team, Alexovich placed third in the one-meter board and Kuhn placed fifth. To close out the championships, the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay of Moorby, Mathews, Stanton, and Dahlen finished third in the event in 3:06.20.

“It was definitely a great meet overall,” Mathews said. “Though we didn’t get as close to Emory as last year, we still had a lot of great individual performances and I think we really set the stage to do something amazing next year.”

The NCAA meet for the women’s and men’s swimming and diving team begins on Wednesday, March 17 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Some Tartans will take one more shot at qualifying by competing at the ECAC Championships this coming weekend at the University of Pittsburgh.