Swimming and diving plunges into season

Katie Wieser, Sports Editor

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The Spartan swimming and diving teams weathered a tough opening weekend at Carnegie Mellon University with both the men and women’s teams losing to the conference rival. The men’s team lost by a score of 178-108 and the women’s team lost 191-101.The meet was one of the more difficult ones that the teams will face in the first part of their season, as many University Athletics Association teams are highly competitive.

Despite the loss, the team competed well in several key areas. Daniel Jacobson won both of the men’s diving events and the men’s team competed particularly well in the 1000-meter freestyle, with three Spartans placing in the top four. Aaron Tam claimed first place with David Merriman and Andrew Henning finishing in third and fourth, respectively. Tam also won the 500-meter freestyle event.

Eric Haufler took the top spot in the 100-meter freestyle race and Sean Nickley won the 100-meter backstroke. The CWRU 200-meter freestyle relay team, comprised of Heath Hudgins, Nick Clyde, Haufler and Gus Bailey also recorded the fastest time of the day to keep the CWRU team in the running for the win.

On the women’s side, senior Maggie Dillone won both the 200- and 100-meter butterfly races and Sara Tillie boasted the fastest time in both the 200-meter freestyle race and the 200-meter individual medley.

Tillie and Dillone were also members of the winning 200-meter freestyle relay team, which also included Rebecca Pakradooni and Hannah Saunders. The relay was a very successful event for the Case team as they also claimed the second-place spot in the event.

Both the men and women’s team demonstrated strong individual swimming and diving as Jacobson and Dillone both qualified for a NCAA “B” cut, showing excellence in their events compared to Division III rivals. However, the full team struggled in many races.

Coach Doug Milliken chalks up the loss to nerves by the swimmers heading into the new season. “It’s always tough the first meet of the year,” said Milliken, “I think we had a lot of first-meet jitters. Moving forward we should be much better in terms of the whole team performance.”

Milliken is hoping to use this meet as a stepping stone for the team to move forward through the season. With many returning swimmers, the team can continue to improve on last year’s progress. The next meet takes place at home and Milliken is looking for quick improvement. “It’s at home, which is always great. I’m looking for people to be a little more fired up. Looking at it on paper, it should be a good meet.”

The team will be on display this Saturday at the Veale Center versus John Carroll University and Notre Dame College.