Emory Swimming & Diving Sweeps UAA Championships for 16th-Straight Season
The Emory University Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Teams each officially won their 16th-consecutive University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, as announced by the conference after results from the main meet in Atlanta, GA and the satellite meet in Cleveland, OH were combined.
After three teams – Case Western Reserve, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester – were unable to travel to Atlanta due to inclement weather, results and team scores were compiled by combining the results from the two meets. Preliminary results from each site were combined to determine participants in the 'A,' 'B' and 'C' heats of the finals. Final times from each site were then used to determine swimmer scores for each event.
The result on the men's side was the closest finish in the UAA team standings since conference competition began in 1988, with the Eagles edging the University of Chicago by just 3.5 points, with scores of 1,533 and 1529.5, respectively. Washington University (Mo.) finished in third place with 1,150.5 points, followed by Carnegie Mellon University (1,116), Case Western Reserve University (1.035.5), New York University (960.5), the University of Rochester (618) and Brandeis University (331).
The previous closest score on the men's side of the meet was in 1998, when Johns Hopkins University (then a member of the UAA) finished 90 points ahead of Emory. In the 1989 women's meet, Johns Hopkins bested Rochester by just 24 points, for the previous closest finish by either the men or the women.
The Emory women won the meet with a score of 2,055, besting second-place Washington (1,270 points) by 785 points. Chicago claimed third with 1,239 points, followed by Carnegie Mellon (1,137), NYU (1,010), Rochester (838), Case Western Reserve (677) and Brandeis (269).
The Emory women claimed UAA Championships in 17 events, including all five relays, and earned 28 all-conference honors with top-three finishes. The Eagles' relays were led by a conference meet record-setting performance in the 800-yard freestyle relay, as the combination of freshman Marissa Bergh, senior Courtney McDermott, sophomore Carolyn Bonfield and junior Nancy Larson registered a mark of 7:29.02. Emory sophomore Ellie Thompson, sophomore Elizabeth Aronoff, freshman Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe and Larson added a UAA record in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:46.30.
Other relay championships came from freshman Claire Liu, Bergh, junior Dana Holt and Larson in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.83), Thompson, freshman Annelise Kowalsky, freshman Kristine Rosenberger and senior Suzanne Lemberg in the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.89) and Liu, Bergh, Holt and Larson in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:26.40).
The Emory women also had three individual meet record at the UAA Championships. Kowalsky, making her conference meet debut, set a pair of UAA records during the weekend, winning the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:03.31 and the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.94. Aronoff added a record-setting performance in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:16.68.
Larson led all Emory swimmers with three individual championships, sweeping the freestyle sprint events with wins in the 50-yard freestyle (23.42 seconds), 100-yard freestyle (50.81 seconds) and 200-yard freestyle (1:50.86). McDemott added a pair of individual conference titles in the 500-yard freestyle (4:56.82) and 1,650-yard freestyle (16:57.57), while junior Megan Beach claimed the UAA Championship in the 400-yard individual medley (4:24.98), Thompson won the 100-yard backstroke (55.94 seconds) and senior Sadie Nennig took home the conference championship in the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.79).
Senior Sarah Greene was named the UAA Women's Diver of the Year, after winning the one-meter dive with a score of 464.00. She also claimed second-place and all-UAA honors in the three-meter dive with a score of 435.45.
Other all-UAA finishers for the Emory women included Beach (second place) in the 500-yard freestyle, Nennig (second place) in the 200-yard individual medley, senior Brooke Woodward (third place) in the 400-yard individual medley, Aronoff (second place) and senior Kylie McKenzie (third place) in the 100-yard breaststroke, Nennig (second place) in the 100-yard backstroke, Bonfield (third place) in the 1,650-yard freestyle, Thompson (third place) in the 200-yard backstroke, Bergh (second place) in the 100-yard freestyle, and McKenzie (second place) in the 200-yard breaststroke.
The Emory men registered UAA records in three relays. Senior Ryan Bass, freshman David Tao, senior Jake Stephens and senior Ross Spock won the 200-yard freestyle with a conference-record time of 1:21.91, Spock, sophomore Andrew Wilson, junior Hayden Baker and Bass claimed the title in the 400-yard medley relay with a UAA-best mark of 3:18.18, and Spock, Wilson, Baker and Bass set a new UAA record in the 200-yard medley relay, winning with a time of 1:29.70.
Emory's Bass, Stephens, freshman Hayes Burdette-Sapp and Spock also won the UAA Championship in the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:02.23, while the 800-yard freestyle relay of freshman Mitchell Cooper, sophomore Eagan Zettlemoyer, freshman Christian Baker and sophomore Matt Kuhlik earned all-UAA honors with a second-place finish in the event.
Spock added a pair of individual UAA Championships, including a win in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.38 seconds, a new conference-meet record. He also claimed a victory in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:49.67. Cooper set a new UAA record with a time of 3:59.54 in the preliminaries of the 400-yard individual medley, eventually finishing third in the finals to earn an all-UAA certificate in the event.
Bass captured a UAA Title for Emory as well, winning the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.40 seconds. Other all-UAA recipients for the Eagles included Zettlemoyer in both the 500-yard freestyle (second place) and 200-yard freestyle (third place), Wilson in the 200-yard individual medley (third place), 100-yard breaststroke (second place), and 200-yard breaststroke (third place), senior Matt O'Brien in the 100-yard butterfly (second place), junior Colin Heil in the 200-yard backstroke (third place) and Bass in the 100-yard freestyle (third place).
Emory's swimmers will head back into the pool next weekend with one last chance to improve on their qualifying times for the NCAA Division III Championships in March, when the squad heads to the University of Chicago to compete in the Midwest Invitational on Friday, February 21st and Saturday, February 22nd.