Spartan swimmers head to conference championship

Teams compete in UAA finals

Riley Simko, Staff Reporter

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The Case Western Reserve University swimming and diving teams are headed to Chicago to compete in the 2019 University Athletic Association (UAA) Swimming and Diving Championships. This year’s championships are hosted by the University of Chicago, one of the university’s top athletic rivals.

The championships kicked off on Wednesday night and will last through this Saturday, Feb. 16. They’ll be held in the University of Chicago’s Myers-McLoraine Pool in the Ratner Athletics Center.

The Spartans will be competing against seven other teams: The University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Brandeis University, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Rochester and Emory University.

For both men’s and women’s teams, Emory University has won every Division III championship since 1999. Despite not taking any team wins at the UAA Championships in recent years, the Spartans have seen stunning personal achievements. CWRU has claimed many individual titles throughout the years, including a few from fourth-year athlete Suhan Mestha.

Last year, Mestha took third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.62 seconds and All-UAA honors in the 100-yard backstroke with another third place finish at 56.09 seconds. Mestha teamed up with second-year teammates Caitlyn VonFeldt and Vanya Ruppart and recent alumna Inez Moore.

In 2016, Spartan swimmer Connor Farrell, then in his fourth year, was awarded diver of the year at the UAA Championships at the University of Rochester.

Last year, both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams captured sixth place overall in the meet. As of press time, the men’s team is in fourth place and the women’s has yet to compete.  

The swimming events kicked off on Thursday with preliminary heats. The CWRU swimmers will continue to compete until the final events close on Saturday.