CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, November 8. TODAY’S quad meet at the University of Virginia featuring Texas, Penn State and West Virginia was fairly one-sided toward Texas in terms of the number of events won, but the other teams came out swinging and put up some impressive times as well.
In the first day of the two-day meet, Gretchen Jacques was the only swimmer to win two individual events. She won the 100 breast in a season-best 1:01.91 that is 11th in the nation, then stepped up a couple of events later to win the 100 free with a 50.32.
Though his 1:42.50 is likely regarded as the benchmark time to beat this season in the 200 back, it was not done in an official competition, so he’s working to surpass Ryan Murphy’s 1:43.13 as the fastest official time of the season. He almost did it today with a winning time of 1:43.25 that sits second in the nation.
Clay Youngquist, the fastest man in the collegiate ranks so far this season in the 200 free, made a push for top billing as well in the 500 free today with a time of 4:23.99. That put him fourth in the nation, and a little less than two seconds off Connor Jaeger’s top time of 4:22.13. It’s still a bit off his best in-season swim, a 4:21.44 from last year.
Leah Smith, a freshman at Virginia, competed in the 500 free for the first time in her young collegiate career after racing short course meters against Yale and Navy. Her 4:43.11 ranks her third in the nation behind a 4:38.11 from Lindsay Vrooman and a 4:42.12 from Stephanie Peacock.
Courtney Bartholomew of Virgnia also improved on her season best time in the 200 backstroke, winning with a 1:55.30 in a close race with Texas’ Tasija Roses, who was second with a 1:56.40. Bartholomew’s (split) in the 100 back went a long way in helping Virginia win the 400 medley relay with a 3:39.49, a top-five time.
Texas’ women’s team got three other wins today. The Longhorns won the 200 free relay with a 1:32.20, and got another win from Madisyn Cox in the 200 IM with a 2:00.10, and from Kaitlin Pawlowicz in the 200 fly with a 1:59.59.
Penn State put up a strong fight in the men’s meet, winning three events. John Hauser took the 100 free with a 44.40, just four hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Shane Ryan to be the only two under 45 seconds today. In the next men’s event, Matt Salig gave the Nittany Lions the win in the 200 fly with a 1:48.26, just .02 ahead of Texas’ John Martens and four tenths ahead of Virginia’s Parker Camp.
Penn State surprised the crowd with a win in the 400 medley relay, beating Texas by seven hundredths of a second with a 3:15.13. Penn State led by nine tenths after the breaststroke, and a 46.48 fly split by Conger put Texas in the lead by four tenths. But a 43.26 freestyle leg by Hauser over Youngquist’s 43.74 was the clincher in the Nittany Lions getting the big win. This was the first 400 medley relay of the season for both schools, and they are now ranked second and third in the nation.
Virginia notched a victory in the men’s meet from Yannick Kaeser in the 100 breast with a 55.52. Texas got one other win on the men’s side from Will Licon in the 200 IM with a 1:48.36.