Conference Championship on the Line in Rochester

With the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams coming off of first-place victories at the Midwest Invitational, both squads look to make a splash at the UAA Championship this weekend.

By Frances McDonald

This past weekend, both the men’s and women’s teams placed first out of five teams at the Midwest Invitational at the Myers-McLoraine Pool. This meet served as the final meet before the UAA Championships, which will be this weekend in Rochester, NY. 

The men’s team finished first with 538 pointswhile the women’s team took the crown with 503 points. On the men’s side, four events were won: the 100-yard breaststroke (second-year Alex Lin), 400-yard IM (first-year Keenan Novis), 200-yard breaststroke (fourth-year James Taylor), and 400-yard medley, which consisted of second-year Jack Rodman, fourth-year Thomas Meek, fourth-year Gabriel Nathan, and first-year Andrew Longwell. 

On the women’s side, three wins came from the 400-yard IM (fourth-year Ciara Hu), 100-yard breaststroke (first-year Christina Cheng) and the 100-yard butterfly (second-year Florina Yang). 

The four-day long UAA Championships is already underway, having begun Wednesday and ending tomorrow. On the first day, four women divers competed in the preliminaries. Two divers placed in the top eight of the prelims and moved on to the finals at the end of the day. Second-year Natalie DeMuro finished seventh overall with 367.85 points, while first-year Anna Girlich won first place and a UAA title with 422.05 points. 

Third-year Emily Hunt commented on the relationship between the first-place wins in the Midwest Invitational and the UAA Championships. 

Watching the Midwest group swim super fast and drop best times was very motivating for the UAA swimmers. The team energy is very high from cheering on our teammates at Midwest, and I think people are feeling confident in the training we’ve put in after seeing it pay off at Midwest. We’re going to have a super fast weekend. I’m sure there are going to be many best times for both the men and women, and lots of prelim swimmers making it back for finals. Our team is more cohesive than it has ever been, so I know that we will be very supportive of each other. I think the energy is going to be great! I can’t wait to see how everyone’s hard work pays off this weekend! Hunt said. 

Fourth-year Joyce Lu is very excited about the possibilities UAA offers for the Maroons. 

“We’ve seen some really great performances in-season when training intensity was at its peak. This makes me even more excited to see how everyone races now that we’re rested. We got a taste of that this past weekend at Midwest, and it was really great to see everyone behind the blocks cheering on our swimmers. We all feed off of this positive energy in our racing and I can’t wait to see how it powers our team in an atmosphere as electrifying and competitive as UAAs,” Lu said. 

The UAA Championships will last through tomorrow in Rochester, NY.