Swim falls to Denison in dual meet

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The Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Denison University Saturday for the season’s second-to-last dual meet before the University Athletic Association (UAA) and national competitions. The Tartans fell to the hosting Big Reds, with the men trailing behind 176–115 and the women 183–105. This marks the third loss of the season for the Tartans in dual meet action, dropping their record down to 7–3. Despite the loss, the Tartans had impressive swims from senior Tom McConnell and sophomore Molly Evans, both of whom won two events.

“The meet this weekend was all about getting up and racing a team that was faster than us,” said Evans. “They’re a great team, and it was their senior meet, but I think we did a good job competing with them, and some individuals had some really great races. The fact that we were able to challenge their team in a lot of events speaks well for the end of the year.”

On the men’s side, McConnell led the way on the waters hitting the wall in 9:41.31 to secure a first place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle. Carnegie Mellon dominated the 500-yard freestyle, with McConnell leading the sweep (4:45.27), followed by first-year Adam Wagner (5:00.51) and junior Gates Winkler (5.01.91).

With a first-place finish from junior Andrew Seo in the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:13.26, junior Jason Huber (2:16.04) came from behind to place third. The Tartans competitively pushed each other down the lane during the 100-yard butterfly, as junior Scott Moorby touched the wall first, .09 seconds ahead of sophomore Travis Piper, to claim first place with a time of 55.07.

Off the diving board, the men’s and women’s teams took home first-place wins in the 3-meter with junior Matt Kuhn and senior Alex DeFazio securing the event’s domination.
On the women’s side, the 200-yard medley relay team made up of Evans, junior Sara Andrews, and sophomores Rebecca Ussai and Brianne Burton opened up the meet with a strong first-place finish, completing the event in 1:53.25.

Evans then went on to outswim her competitors in the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.08) and led the sweep in the 500-yard freestyle (5:01.28), when she was the first to touch the wall before teammates first-year Victoria Adams (5:22.95) and senior Rebecca Martz (5:36.45). Evans recorded a season-best in the 500-yard freestyle that provisionally qualified her for the NCAA meet.

The women gathered two more first place finishes, one from Andrews in the 200-yard breaststroke to mark a season-best time of 2:33.04, and one from Ussai in the 100-yard butterfly clocking in at 1:02.26.

The Tartans conclude their dual meet season this Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh, with a 11:30 a.m. start. This race is important for those swimmers not competing at UAAs, and therefore this week’s training and rest is integral to the conclusion of their season’s performance.

Looking beyond this weekend, Evans gives insight to the team’s preparations for the UAA and NCAA meets quickly approaching: “With UAAs less than two weeks away, we really start to cut back on the amount of yards we swim in practice and start to concentrate on the meet. I hope this year that we can get a girls relay to NCAAs. We were so close last year and I think we have a good shot. Other than that, I think we have a great chance to swim fast and place well at UAAs.”