Swimming, Nike Cup Invitational and Miami Invite
Last weekend, the swim teams participated in the annual Nike Cup Invitational, which took place at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. The Tartans continued their team and individual successes, setting several school records throughout the invitational.
The meet began Thursday and ran through Saturday, featuring Carnegie Mellon and other Division III schools, as well as competition from Divisions I and II. The Tartan men took fourth overall in the tournament, while the women’s team placed seventh.
Thursday, the women’s team took the water in the 800-yard freestyle. The team of sophomore Sara Andrews, first-year Molly Evans, junior Allison Retotar, and senior Lauren Connell finished with a time of 7:52.40. Although the time was not quite enough to qualify the Tartans into the NCAA ‘B’ cut, it was good enough to break a school record. The previous record of 7:54.89 was set in 1998.
One the men’s side, junior Tom McConnell maintained his spectacular season as he finished 11th in the 1650-yard freestyle. McConnell’s time of 16:18.98 set a new career best.
The men’s team also finished remarkably well in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The team of first-years Alex Hanson and Josh Mathews, and seniors Patrick Snyder and Michael Bailey competed in the event for the first time this season, finishing with a time of 7:00.68, which was only a few seconds off the NCAA ‘B’ cut.
Friday, sophomore Jason Huber raised some eyebrows in the 100-yard breaststroke as he made the preliminary ‘B’ cut with a fourth-place finish in the finals. Huber set a school record with a time of 57.34. Five other Tartans also made the ‘B’ cut, including juniors Brad Henderson and Ryan Hofler, sophomores Andrew Seo and Mingwei Hsu, and first-year Max Gustafson.
The men’s 200-yard freestyle relay finished the day strong as they set a new season record of 1:25.92. The Tartans’ time was only two seconds away from reaching the ‘B’ cut. The team consisted of Snyder, sophomore Jeff Dahlen, Henderson, and Bailey.
“We had a really good meet,” said senior co-captain Andy Douglass. “We rested for the meet, which is something that we usually only do for UAAs, so we were planning on have really fast times.”
The men’s team would not outdo the women’s team, as they too went on to set several school records Friday.
Evans finished the 200-yard freestyle in sixth overall, with a time of 1:53.83. She went on to break the Carnegie Mellon 400-yard freestyle record, finishing with a time of 4:33.75.
Andrews swam a career best 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.97. The Tartans also set a season record for the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:39.58. The team consisted of Connell, Evans, Andrews, and first-year Brianne Burton.
Three swimmers competed for the women’s team on the final day of competition. Evans whirled her way to a third-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of 2:04.71 was good enough for not only a school record, but also a spot in the NCAA championships.
The men finished the tournament with a fourth-place finish overall. The finish put them ahead of Division I competitor Davidson College and Division III opponents Johns Hopkins University and Washington & Lee University.
“We’ve never had a mid-season meet like this, where we rest and race against competition of this level,” Douglass said. “So it was a new experience for all of us at Carnegie Mellon, but people responded well. More than half the team achieved best times, and we were able to get up and compete against some of the best swim teams in the nation.”
The Tartans continues after winter break when they travel to Case Western Reserve University on Jan. 12. The meet will begin at 1 p.m.