CORAL GABLES, Florida, October 15. THE University of Miami swimming & diving team won 12 of 13 events and swept the top-three spots in six events to defeat Florida International, 188-54, in the team’s home opener on Friday evening at the Norman A. Whitten University Center Pool.
“I’m so impressed with how the team performed today. I told them to treat this like a championship meet and that’s exactly what they did,” said head Miami swim coach Christie Shefchunas. “We were in Gainesville in a really fast pool two weeks ago and we had some even better performances tonight than we did then. This team is just on another level – they’re doing awesome.”
Junior Kelsi Hall won the 50-meter freestyle in a personal-best 23.13 seconds, as the Hurricanes claimed the top-four spots in the event. Sophomore Kayla Smith placed second in a season-best 24.48, followed by sophomore Hannah Kling in third in a season-best 24.68 and freshman Katherine Nicholson in fourth (25.25).
In all, 14 Hurricanes posted season-best performances 19 times.
Miami swept the top-three spots in women’s three-meter diving with all three Hurricanes posting zone diving qualifying performances. Freshman Thea Vock won her first collegiate event with a final score of 326.03, followed by junior Carrie Dragland in second (312.00) and freshman Lindsay Lester in third (299.78).
Dragland won her second-straight one-meter diving event with a final score of 315.00, followed by Vock as runner-up with a 310.65 score. Both marks were season highs that also met the zone diving cut.
Junior Whitney Stephenson was victorious in both the 100-yard backstroke (57.24) and the 200-yard freestyle, registering a season-best time of 1:52.99 in the latter. Sophomore Christine Anderson also won a pair of events, claiming wins in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:18.85) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:05.59).
Senior Deidre Novotny led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard individual medley, clocking in a season-best 2:06.91. Juniors Dana Hatic (2:11.79) and Erin Simpson (2:13.90) finished in second and third, respectively.
Sophomore Sofia Johansson won the 100-yard breaststroke in a season-best 1:03.43, followed by runner-up Hatic in a season-best 1:05.87. The Hurricanes also won the 100-yard butterfly, with senior Annika Saarnak finishing in 55.82 seconds.
Miami opened and closed the meet with relay wins, as Stephenson, Johansson, Saarnak and Hall claimed the 200-yard medley relay victory in 1:44.66. The Hurricanes put an exclamation point on the evening with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay by the “A” team of Saarnak, Hall, Smith and Nicholson in 1:35.58. Miami’s “B” team of Kling, Johanson, junior Lauren Jacoby and Novotny placed second in 1:38.89.
The Hurricanes return to competition on Sat., Oct. 23, at a tri-meet in Tallahassee at 11 a.m.
“We will face both Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast,” said Shefchunas. “They’re both big opponents of ours, so today was practice for that. If we swim the way that we did tonight, we will be in good shape next week.”
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