Spartans take sixth at UAA Championship

The Case Western Reserve University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams traveled down to Atlanta last week to compete in the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships at Emory University. After four days of hard-fought competition, the Spartans finished sixth out of the eight-team field in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Host Emory University won both the men’s and women’s competitions, while New York University finished second for both. Third place was split between the Carnegie Mellon University women and the Washington University in St. Louis men.

Head Coach Doug Milliken was pleased at how his team was able to improve all season and came out and competed against some of the stiffest competition in the country.

“I am very pleased, of course we are always striving to get into the top half, but the overall depth and competitiveness of the UAA is astounding,” said Milliken. “With that being said, the women’s team moved from previous years and the men closed the gap to 5th.”

Both the CWRU men and women were ranked in the top 20 in the country, with five other teams in the UAA ranked ahead of them.

Coach Milliken said that there were many athletes that impressed him over the course of the weekend.

“On the men’s side, it starts with Drew Hamilton, other men with solid performances include Keith Erichsen, Sean Twomey, Brody Schmidt, Andrew Duffield, Dakota Weinman, Aaron Pang, just to name a few,” said Milliken. “For the women, Suhan Mestha had a great meet, others include Caitlyn VonFeldt, Sarah Taekman, Vanya Ruppart, Inez Moore, Lexie Simoneau and Olivia Picchione.”

While Milliken was pleased, he realized that there are a few areas his team can still improve upon.

“Overall, I thought we performed well. [I]n any competition there are things you could do different or maybe ways we could have prepared better,” said Milliken. “That’s what I will be doing as we wind down the season, taking stock, and looking at how we could have done things better.”

Moving forward, the team will send a small contingent of swimmers to compete at the Midwest Invitational at the University of Chicago this weekend. The team is also waiting for the NCAA Championship selections to come out to see if there are any qualifiers.