LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, February 21. DAY three of the American Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships wrapped up Saturday at the Ralph Wright Natatorium in Louisville, Ky. with the host Louisville Cardinals keeping their hold on the top spot on both the men’s and women’s side. The third day of competition featured preliminaries in the morning and finals in the evening session in thirteen different events.
The night opened with the women’s 400-Yard IM, as Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen set her sights on besting her own pool record set in the morning session, and did so with a first place finish in 4:04.96. The time was a NCAA ‘A’ cut, as she finished nearly ten seconds ahead of the second place swimmer Morgan Pfaff from Rutgers, with Louisville’s Abby Chin taking third.
In the men’s 400-Yard IM, a tight swim saw the closing speed of UConn’s Sawyer Franz propel him into first place late in the race. Franz caught Louisville’s Nolan Tassone to touch the wall in 3:47.88, ahead of Tassone’s 3:48.39. Louisville freshman Jake Schultz took third in 3:54.53.
In the women’s 100-Yard Butterfly, SMU’s Marne Erasmus re-set her pool record from the morning session, swimming a NCAA ‘A’ Cut time of 51.73. She beat Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell to the wall, with Worrell also reaching a NCAA ‘A’ Cut mark in 51.76.
The men’s 100-Yard Butterfly was controlled by the host Cardinals, who took all three medals. Pedro Coutinho won in 47.04, beating teammates Josh Quallen (second in 47.18) and Aaron Young (third in 47.19) to the wall.
In the women’s 200-Yard Freestyle, Cincinnati’s Jackie Keire won her second individual event of the Championships, taking first after previously winning the 500-Yard Freestyle. She used a late burst to outrace Nina Rangelova for the win, finishing in 1:44.73, 0.27 seconds ahead of second place.
The men’s 200-Yard Freestyle was another Louisville sweep, led by an outstanding swim by Olympian Joao De Lucca, who took first place for the fourth time in four tries at the Championship. De Lucca burnt past the competition, swimming a NCAA ‘A’ Cut time of 1:32.29. Teammate Matthias Lindenbauer took second place in 1:35.92, with third going to Trevor Carroll, who swam 1:35.95
Andee Cottrell of Louisville out-battled SMU’s Rachel Nicol to take first place in the women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke. The freshman swam a 59.88 to take first, with Nicol in second at 1:00.11 and SMU’s Tara Nicholas in third at 1:00.78.
Thomas Dahlia won the men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 52.74, earning another first place finish for Louisville and leading a Cardinals’ sweep of the podium. Teammates Addison Bray (53.67) and Kameron Chastain (53.68) took second and third, respectively.
Joanna Wu gave Rutgers a first place finish with a victory in the women’s 100-Yard Backstroke. Wu touched the wall in 52.97, the first victory for Rutgers at the Championship. SMU’s Isabella Arcila took second place in 53.80, with Erica Belcher behind her for bronze in 53.87.
In the final individual event of the evening, the Cardinals took the top four spots in the Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke. Freshman Grigory Tarasevich claimed in first place in 47.23. He was just ahead of teammates Aaron Young, who took second place just .08 behind Tarasevich, and Aaron Greene in third in 47.67.
Men’s Three-Meter Diving was next, with the results mirroring the 1-meter board, with SMU sweeping the podium. Sean Burnett came in first, followed by teammates Bryce Klein and Hayden Hodges. Burnett’s 389.5 bested Klein’s 379.90 and Hodges’ 357.85.
In a very competitive women’s 400-Yard Medley Relay, SMU pulled out a victory over Louisville with a strong finish. Senior Nina Rangelova, a strong performer for SMU on the Championship, closed in 48.38 to lead SMU to a NCAA ‘A’ Cut Time of 3:33.21. Louisville was second, also picking up a NCAA ‘A’ Cut in 3:33.99. Rutgers took third in 3:39.84.
The men’s 400-Yard Medley Relay went to Louisville to cap Friday’s evening session. The Cardinals’ Grigory Tarasevich, Thomas Dahlia, Aaron Young and Joao De Lucca propelled the hosts to a time of 3:19.94 in the win.
The American Athletic Conference Championship concludes with the final day tomorrow, Feb. 21 beginning at 10 a.m. with swimming preliminaries. Diving prelims and consolations will begin at 12:30 pm. Tomorrow’s events include the 1,650-Yard Freestyle, 200-Yard Backstroke, 100-Yard Freestyle, 200-Yard Breaststroke, 200-Yard Butterfly, 400-Yard Freestyle Relay and Platform Diving. The senior recognition ceremonies will be at 5:35 p.m. Finals will be in the evening session, beginning at 6 p.m. You can watch a live stream, hosted by The American Digital Network’s Jamie Corun at www.theamerican.org/sd.
Men’s Team Standings
1 Louisville 718.5
2 SMU 503
3 UConn 475.5
4 Cincinnati 345
Women’s Team Standings
1 Louisville 654
2 SMU 443
3 Rutgers 378
4 UConn 309
5 Cincinnati 271
6 Houston 228
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