Swimming & diving shines at UAA championships, earn 6th place


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Second-year Ethan Chuang (left) and third-year Ally Halsdorfer (right) were among some to achieve NCAA “B” cut times, totaling five for CWRU.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

From Feb. 9-12, the Case Western Reserve University swimming and diving teams competed at the UAA Championships in Atlanta, Georgia and brought home sixth place finishes overall and multiple NCAA “B” cut times. The men’s team earned 671 points while the women’s team scored 752.5. Host Emory University won the conference championships, with the men’s team earning 1,807 points and the women’s team taking 2,128 points.

The women’s diving team started off the events on Day One. First-year Abigail Wilkov finished seventh in the one-meter dive finals, earning a score of 403.00 to give CWRU 23 points. Second-year Rei Miyauchi finished 12th in the preliminary round with 368.35 points, first-year Jocelyn Schechter took 18th with 332.60 and fourth-year Hailey Seibert took 20th with 305.70. The three athletes earned 15, 7 and 5 points, respectively, for CWRU.

Third-year Abby Halsdorfer and the men’s 400-yard medley relay team headlined Day Two. Halsdorfer was the top CWRU finisher for all individual swimming events, earning fourth place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:01.45. The medley relay team, consisting of third-years Connor Chignell and Anatole Borisov, second-year Ethan Chuang and first-year Jackson Pollard, finished sixth with a program record time of 3:22.25.

Pollard, third-year Campbell Patterson and fourth-years Ryan Gilbert and Calvin Tecson brought in a sixth place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:23.86. Chuang came 23rd (1:54.45) in the 200-yard individual medley while third-year Andrew Smith came 24th (1:54.75). First-years Peter Meng and Stephen Hogeman placed 14th (4:33.33) and 20th (4:35.71) in the 500-yard medley, respectively.

First-years Gabriella Chambers, Kate Menzer, Angeli Paull and Simone Vale notched sixth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:37.22. In the 400-yard medley relay, Chambers, Menzer and first-years Erica Rice and Caroline Schlessman finished in 3:55.04, also earning sixth place. In the 200-yard individual medley, Menzer finished 11th (2:07.88), first-year Isabel Verheyen finished 19th (2:10.31) and Rice placed 23rd (2:11.10). Vale rounded out the women’s individual events with a 23rd place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (24.50).

For the men’s three-meter diving event, first-year Nico Billoni placed 11th with a score of 372.65, first-year Alex Waltman placed 15th with 319.30 and fourth-year Mark Fox took 16th with 303.45 points.

Chuang took center stage in Day Three of the championships, setting the school record in the 100-yard backstroke and as a part of the men’s 200-yard medley relay team. In the 100-yard breaststroke final, Chuang took 5th place with a time of 55.07, which was also an NCAA “B” cut time. Chignell, Chuang, Borisov and Patterson set the men’s 200-yard medley relay team record at 1:31.10 after finishing fifth in the event. Meng, Hogeman and third-years Xander Guerrero and Andrew Smith took sixth in the 800-yard freestyle relay (6:47.56).

For individual events, Meng recorded an NCAA “B” cut time in the 400-yard individual medley preliminaries with a time of 3:59.83. He went on to finish 13th in the event. In the 100-yard backstroke event, Gilbert placed 18th (52.55), fourth-year Kelvin Tay finished 20th (52.84) and fourth-year Michael Clough finished 22nd (53.11). In the 100-yard fly event, Pollard finished 18th (50.22), Smith took 21st (50.68) and first-year Ben Zuo placed 24th (51.45). 

Rice, Schlessman, Menzer and Chambers finished in fifth place in the women’s 200-yard medley relay (1:47.04) while Chambers, Verheyen, Paull and Halsdorfer took sixth in the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay (7:42.31). Verheyen and Halsdorfer placed 12th (4:32.68) and 14th (4:34.12) in the 400-yard individual medley, respectively. Rice took 13th in the 100-yard backstroke (57.28) and Paull took 20th in the 200-yard freestyle (1:55.48). For the 100-yard butterfly, fourth-year Anna Smith took 11th (56.92) while Menzer tied for 21st (58.17). Five Spartans finished in the top 24 for the 100-yard breaststroke—Schlessman took 17th (1:07.05), first-year Madison McDaniels placed 18th (1:07.95), first-year Ally Solomon finished 19th (1:07.97), fourth-year Kelly Moton came in 22nd (1:09.90) and first-year Ellie Snyder took 23rd (1:10.65). Rounding out the top placing, first-year Elishka Bailey finished 22nd in the 400-yard individual medley (4:42.83).

For the women’s three-meter dive event, Wilkov finished seventh place overall with a mark of 385.30. She recorded an NCAA “B” cut mark in the preliminaries with a score of 419.95.

The Spartans finished off the championships with a bang as the athletes recorded five NCAA “B” cut times and shattered two school records. Meng set the school record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:45.41, placing seventh with an NCAA “B” cut time. The quartet of Meng, Pollard, Patterson and Smith set the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:02.45 after placing sixth—the time was also an NCAA “B” cut. First-year Michael Butler finished 12th in the 1,650-yard freestyle with an NCAA “B” cut time of 16:08.70. Chuang also earned an NCAA “B” cut time in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:01.99) after finishing ninth. Smith earned 13th in the 200-yard fly (1:51.75).

The divers for the men’s team competed in the one-meter dive, with Billoni placing 12th (374.45), Fox taking 15th (324.00) and Waltman finishing 16th (318.00).

For the women’s team, Halsdorfer placed sixth in the 1,650-yard freestyle and recorded an NCAA “B” cut time of 17:23.39. The 400-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Vale, Chambers, Paull and Verheyen placed sixth with a time of 3:33.37. In the individual events, Bailey took 11th in the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.56), third-year Johanna Pearson placed 11th in the 1,650-yard freestyle (17:54.18), Menzer finished 13th in the 200-yard butterfly (2:08.22), Riche took 14th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:25.99) and first-year Selah Dean finished 16th in the 1,650-yard freestyle (18:31.23).

The Spartans have two more competitions before heading to the NCAA Division III championships. CWRU will travel to Chicago, Illinois to compete at the Midwest Invitational hosted by the University of Chicago from Feb. 18-19. The following weekend, the teams will compete in the NCAA Diving Zone Meet in Grand Rapids, Michigan hosted by Calvin University. The NCAA championships are to be held from Mar. 16-19 in Indianapolis, Indiana.