DENVER, Colorado, October 24. THE University of Utah women's swimming and diving team went 1-1 in its dual meet on Saturday. Both of the Utah teams finished behind Denver, with the men's team falling, 163-137, and the women's team dropping a 162-134 decision. The Ute women also defeated the North Texas Mean Green, 174-126. Utah kept the score close throughout the meet, with the outcome undecided until the last two events for both teams.
"Our team is still young. The freshmen really stepped up and did well, but they're not used to swimming so many events, with each one being so competitive," said head coach Greg Winslow.
The Utah men's team started out the meet with a win in the 400 medley relay. The team of freshman Andy Lamb (Raleigh, N.C.), senior John Baque (Olympia, Wash.), freshman Karson Applin (Houston, Texas) and freshman Bjorn Gunnarsson (Norrkoping, Sweden) came from behind to win the event with a time of 3:26.30.
The Utes finished first in six events overall. Baque led the team, finishing first in both the 100 (57.71) and 200 breast (2:09.03) as well as finishing second in the 400 IM (4:10.48).Gunnarsson finished first in the 50 free with a personal best of 21.61. He finished second in the 100 free in 48.27, also a personal best. Sophomore Eric Murray (Woodstock, Ga.) finished third behind Gunnarsson at a time of 48.34. Sophomore Major Robinson (Missoula, Mont.) contributed with a first-place finish in the 200 back (1:53.69) and finishing behind teammate Lamb in the 100 back. Lamb finished second with a time of 52.65 and Robinson was third with a time of 52.97. Freshman Ryan Hansen (Pewaukee, Wis.) was the other first-place finisher, taking the 500 free event for Utah with a time of 4:40.91. Hansen also finished in third in the 200 free with a time of 1:45.76 behind Murray, who finished in second place with a time of 1:44.77.
Other notable performances for the Utah men: Freshman Bryan Michaels (Shoreline, Wash.) was second in the 1000 free (9:48.88). Applin took second in the 100 fly (50.24) as well as second in the 100 breast (58.38). Freshman Brandon Stopplemoor (Olathe, Kan.) was second in the 3-meter dive with a score of 248.78 and Murray finished third in the 400 IM (4:17.79).
"This was a big step forward for our men, to keep it this close against a deep Denver team was impressive. Our freshmen and sophomores did really well. The sophomores really stepped up and took the leadership role, getting the team excited for a second-half rally in this meet," said Winslow.
The Utah women started the meet slow, unable to post a top-three finisher in the first four events of the meet. But the Utes were able to come back strong. Junior Maiya Otsuka (Littleton, Colo.) helped Utah turn the meet around by finishing first in the 100 breast with a time of 1:07.84. Otsuka also finished first in the 200 breast (2:25.57). Sophomore Hannah Caron (Raleigh, N.C.) also finished first in two events, the 200 fly in 2:05.97 and the 100 fly in 56.20. Freshman Sarah Boylen (South Bend, Ind.) was behind Caron in the 100 fly, finishing third (58.85).
The Utah women also swept the top two spots in the 100 free. Juniors Kristina Evans (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Natalie Edge (South Jordan, Utah) finished in first and second, respectively, with times of 52.81 and 52.89 in the event.
The Utah diving squad swept the events as freshman Ellis Walters (Indianapolis, Ind.) took first in the 1-meter dive with a score of 251.65. Junior Kwan Ling Yu was second with 238.25. In the 3-meter dive, the two swapped positions with Yu finishing first with a score of 256.70 and Walters in second with 251.55.
"Our divers really stepped up tonight. We can rely on them to score points for us and they helped us get back in the meet tonight," said Winslow.
Other notable performances for the Utah women: Edge finished second in the 50 free (24.33) and freshman Danielle Caldwell (Phoenix, Ariz.) was second in the 200 back (2:07.84).
"Maiya Otsuka and Hannah Caron had really nice performances tonight. So did Natalie Edge. [Edge] had a hurt shoulder all of last season so it's good to see her healthy," Winslow said.
"The younger members of the team made some mistakes on their turns on and missed some opportunities on their wall touches," said Winslow. "It's our job as a coaching staff to teach them how to fix those mistakes. That's what we'll be working on to be ready for next week."
Both of the Utah swimming and diving teams will be back in action next week when the Utes host UNLV on Friday, Oct. 30 and Arizona State on Saturday, Oct. 31.
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