Starting Thursday, the Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships hosted by Emory University. The championships were not only about team placement, but provided a top opportunity for many of the individuals to provisionally qualify for NCAA Division III (DIII) national meet based on the top time of the season, which will mostly come when pushed by some of the top competitors in the country.
On Thursday, first-year Emma Shi took third place in the 200 yard IM with a time of 2:06.32, which earned her All-UAA honors and provisional qualification. Sophomore Machika Kaku also finished third in her event, the 3-meter dive, with a score of 385.90. Sophomore Brian Walsh won the B finals heat in the 500-yard freestyle with a provisionally qualifying time of 4:33.89, his new career best. Junior Steven Geier, who finished third in the same B final, also provisionally qualified with a time of 4:33.99, a new career best for him as well.
In the 400 meter medley relay, the Carnegie Mellon women’s A team of junior Kira Singhaus, first-year Kim Hochstedler, sophomore Gillian Crews and sophomore Allison Kirkby finished fourth with a time of 3:50.19 which provisionally qualifies them for nationals. The men’s A team finished 5th in their heat with a time of 3:22.95, also provisionally qualifying behind first-years Michael Dibacco, Matt Chu, and Kevin Steinhouse along with Walsh. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Shi, Kirkby, Crews and first-year Tiana Marrese broke the school record set last year at UAA championship with a time of 1:36.91 but finished 6th.
Friday started off strong for the Tartans as the 200-yard medley relay team of Singhaus, junior Felicia Wang, Crews and Kirkby finished 4th with a time of 1:45.22 and provisionally qualified for nationals while setting a new school record. The men’s 200-yard medley relay team followed suit with senior Josh Lucheon, Chu, sophomore Sivan Mehta, and Steinhouse placing fifth with a time of 1:31.00 and also provisionally qualified while breaking their own school record set earlier this year.
In the 400-yard IM first-year Mary St. John and Shi both provisionally qualified for nationals with times of 4:32.36 and 4:28.89 respectively, with Shi winning her B finals heat. Junior Matthew Nielson also provisionally qualified on the men’s side in the 400-yard IM with a B finals victory with a time of 4:02.98.
Crews kept adding to her great weekend with a 4th place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.10 provisionally qualified in yet another event, along with setting a new school record while Walsh matched Crews in the same event, setting a new school record with a time of 49.34 for a fourth place finish and provisionally qualifying as well.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Geier provisionally qualified for another event with a time of 1:40.72 ad a 4th place finish, while in the 100-yard breaststroke Chu and Hochstedler won their respective B final heats and each provisionally qualified for nationals with times of 56.52 and 1:05.21 respectively. Walsh, Geier, Nielsen and Taekman finished the day strong for the Tartans taking 4th in the 800-yard freestyle relay and provisionally qualifying with a time of 6:48.66.
Saturday was the final day of the championships and the Tartans wanted to go out on a high note.
Kaku added a second place finish to her great diving weekend as she scored 398.20 in the 1-meter and earned All-UAA honors, while DiBacco placed third in the 200-yard backstroke earning him All-UAA honors with his time of 1:50.57, and both he and Geier, who finished fourth with a time of 1:52.77, provisionally qualified for nationals in the event. For the women, Shi won the B final with a time of 2:05.12 and provisionally qualified as well.
In the 200-yard breaststroke, Hochstedler provisionally qualified for yet another event with a school record 2:21.65 while winning the B final.
Walsh added another provisional qualification to his meet haul as he placed 2nd in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:50.66, earning him All-UAA honors.
In the same event, Crews provisionally qualified for one last event with her time of 2:06.30. Sophomore Brian Jay rounded out the male Tartan qualifiers with a time of 2:06.16 in the 200-yard butterfly, which placed him 12th overall.
For the weekend, both squads finished 5th overall with 1031 points for the women and 1001 for the men. Emory won both the men’s and women’s heats with 1551 and 2076.5 points respectively.
Next up for the Tartans will be DIII Nationals for those provisionally qualified and make the final cut once all Division III conference championship are over.