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Men drown competition, win Veale classic; women split

The Spartan men’s swimming and diving team blew its competition out of the water this past weekend as Case Western Reserve University hosted the Veale Classic. The men lost just one race all weekend as they systematically dismantled rival College of Wooster 180-57 on Friday night and Oberlin College 152-62 on Saturday for the championship.

The Spartan women weren’t nearly as dominating, but still performed well. The women lost to Wooster 120-107 in a close meet and defeated nearby John Carroll University 103-90 during the consolation meet.

The men (4-0, 2-0) opened their weekend with a two-second victory in the 200-yard medley relay over the Fighting Scots. The team of Robby Browning, Peter Fino, Sean Nickley and Gus Bailey would help give the Spartans a 13-4 lead they would never come close to relinquishing. Case Western Reserve would sweep the top four spots in the next two races as junior Sam Geiger would win the 1650-yard freestyle and freshman Heath Hudgins won the 200-yard freestyle.

The Spartan men continued to dominate as Fighting Scot Alex LaJoie would win Wooster’s only event in the 100-yard backstroke. LaJoie touched out Browning, a first year graduate student. Browning and the rest of the Spartans would have the last laugh as it was not nearly enough to overcome the Spartan’s sizeable lead.

In the end the Spartan men swept the top two spots in the final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay, giving Case Western Reserve a big win over a team that has tested the men in the past.

The men continued to perform at their highest level in recent memory against Oberlin. The Spartans didn’t lose a single race and swept most of the events. Freshman diver Daniel Jacobson posted 11-dive scores of 422 points on the 3-meter board and 398 on the 1-meter. Jacobson’s score on the 3-meter board is just over five points away from the school record of 427.7. Jacobson and fellow freshman diver Jacob Campbell provide the men with a competitive edge where they have given away points in the past.

Sophomore Erik Larsen would take home the championship title in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:14.48, winning by over six seconds. Larsen also placed third in the 500-yard freestyle, behind fellow Spartans Hudgins and Geiger.

The women (2-2, 1-1) split their two meets against the Fighting Scots and Blue Streaks. The women were able to jump out to an early lead in the competitive Friday meet, winning the 200-yard medley relay. The Spartan relay of Ellen Crummy, Jacquie Buckler, Maggie Dillione and Jessica Nuhfer touched out the Scot relay by under a second.

Case Western Reserve continues to see significant contributions on both sides of team from freshmen. Freshman Sarah Tillie held out a late burst from Wooster’s Kara Markham in the 1650-yard freestyle to win by under a second with a time of 18:16.22. Tillie also won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:18.82, this time by four seconds over Markham. Fellow first-year Dillione tacked on another nine-points with a three second victory as she blazed ahead in the 200-yard freestyle.

Unfortunately for the women, they don’t have the luxury of divers, a deficiency that costed the women 22 points and the chance to beat Wooster in the 13-point decision.

Luckily for the women, John Carroll didn’t have divers competing either, as Case Western Reserve was able to win Saturday’s meet by 13 points.

The women would sweep the 200-yard individual medley as Buckler, Kelsey Zeller and Kathryn Magdalena swam times of 2:19.96, 2:21.05 and 2:23.46, respectively. Crummy, a senior, won the 100-yard backstroke on Friday and added to her haul with an impressive two second win in the 200-yard event.

The Spartans will travel to Grove City College outside of Pittsburgh, PA to compete in a tri-meet with Kenyon College and the hosts.

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