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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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Swimming and diving starts season 2-0 in dominant fashion

On Oct. 28 at CWRU’s meet against Carnegie Mellon University, the Spartans saw many meritorious results. Second-year swimmer Emil LaSida set two school records, and third-year diver Abigail Wilkov qualified for the March 2024 NCAA Diving Zone Regional.

The swimming and diving season has started, and the Case Western Reserve University teams have been performing exceptionally well. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed first out of six teams at the Oberlin Invite from Oct. 13-14 with 656 and 807 overall points, respectively. They also both placed third of five teams with 74 and 82 points at the Kenyon Relays on Oct. 14, respectively, for the men’s and women’s team. They also won their first two official matches at Ohio Wesleyan University and at home against the 10th-ranked men’s team and the 12th-ranked women’s team of Carnegie Mellon University.

At the diving events, third-year Abigail Wilkov has performed incredibly well so far. Wilkov finished seventh at the 2023 NCAA Division III Championship in the one-meter dive and placed 10th in the NCAA Championships in the three-meter dive. Last season, she also became the most decorated diver in program history and the first CWRU diver to earn All-America honors in the one-meter dive.

This season, Wilkov took first in the one-meter dive and the three-meter dive at the Oberlin Invite with 252.65 ponts and 239.20 points, respectively. She also placed first in the one-meter dive against Ohio Wesleyan with 257.86 points while fourth-year Spartan Rei Miyauchi won the three-meter dive with a score of 247.05 points. Against CMU, Wilkov won both diving events again, scoring 270.83 in the one-meter dive and 270.90 points in the three-meter dive. Wilkov has qualified for the NCAA Diving Zone Regional in March 2024 after her second score of at least 255 for the one-meter dive this season. With all she has accomplished in the first month of the season, we are excited to see her performance in the upcoming weeks.

The swim team has also been performing extremely well. At the Oberlin Invite, both the men’s and women’s teams placed first out of six teams with 656 and 807 points, respectively. The Spartans won 23 out of 42 events in this meet. For the men’s team, second-year Joshua Hernandez dominated in four events, finishing first in the 200-yard individual medley, 400 individual medley, 100-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly. Third-year Anthony Colangelo finished first in the 100-yard butterfly and third-year Griffin Gushman also took first place in the 200-yard freestyle. First-year Michael Boelens won the 100-yard backstroke.

For the women’s team, third-year Kate Menzer placed first in eight events: 100-yard individual medley, 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, 400-yard freestyle relay and 800-yard freestyle relay. Menzer shared the victory of the 200-yard relay with second-years Lauren Valentine, Brynn Lampert and Megha Siddapureddy, 400-yard medley relay with Valentine, Siddapureddy and third-year Liz Cao, 400-yard freestyle relay with Cao, first-year Anya Iyer and fourth-year Emma Guarnieri and 800-yard freestyle relay with Guarnieri, second-year Allison Ploutz-Snyder and first-year Erin Butler.

At the Kenyon Relays, the men’s swim team won the 400-yard individual medley relay with second-year Emil LaSida, third-year Ben Zuo, fourth-year Ethan Chuang and third-year Peter Meng. Both the men’s and women’s teams ranked third in the overall event.

CWRU won all 32 events against Ohio Wesleyan University. The women scored 272-22 and the men scored 253-27. CWRU also defeated CMU but in a much closer match. CMU, ranked 10th for men’s and 12th for women’s, lost to the Spartans 174-117 and 171-128 for the men’s and women’s team, respectively, this past weekend at the Veale Natatorium. LaSida set two school records and a pool record, helping the team achieve this win. With the win against CMU, both Spartan teams improved to 2-0 in season dual meets.

LaSida started off the 400-yard medley relay with 49.24 seconds, besting his own previous record of 49.33 seconds, and he also recorded an NCAA B cut. He also set a pool record, besting the previous one set in 2000 of 50.25 seconds. LaSida also set a record on the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 20.58 seconds, besting the previous record of 20.76 seconds set by alumnus Calvin Tescon in 2020. LaSida also won the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle individually. Meng won three events: 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley.

For the women’s team, third-year Gabriella Chambers touched the wall first in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races. Chambers also won the 200-yard freestyle relay with second-year Eliza Dixon, second-year Claire Kozma and third-year Adriana Kamor. Kozma also claimed two individual victories: 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. First-year Maggie Rose Rook took first place in the 500-yard freestyle.

The Spartans have had an exciting start of the season, leaving them at a dual score of 2-0 before their next match. They will be facing University of Rochester for their third dual meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Veale Natatorium. The dive team will start their competition at 10:30 a.m. and the swim team will start their competition at 1 p.m.

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