2019 American Athletic Conference Championships: Houston, Connecticut Lead

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Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @American_Swim

By Taylor Covington, Swimming World College Intern.

Houston women came out swinging in Session One of the American Athletic Conference Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Establishing an early presence by sweeping both the 800 free and 200 medley relays, the Cougars posted times that would prove competitive in even more challenging conferences across the nation. In winning two polar events, the Cougars demonstrated versatility that proved lethal as they put together a most cohesive effort in the pool.

They were not alone, however, as teams gave spectators a small, exciting taste of what was to come throughout the night. SMU junior Erin Trahan dropped a 22.62 split in the fly leg of the medley relay, placing her in an elite group of butterflyers while earning her the fastest fly split of the meet by far. Perhaps the dark horse of the competition, SMU managed to accumulate points quickly with an impressive showing from its divers and consistent, fast swimming.

The first night of the meet saw a mosaic of teams on the podium, indicating just the beginning of a highly competitive, close conference championship.

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     Combined Team Scores - Through Event 6                      
     
      1. Connecticut, University of        205   2. Cincinnati, University of         192
      3. Southern Methodist University     191   4. East Carolina University          180
      5. Houston, University of            116   6. Tulane University                  68

Women’s 800 Freestyle Relay

Houston pulled out its first hat trick of the evening, jumping to an immediate lead with MyKenzie Leehy, Samantha Medlin, Morgan Rosas, and Zarena Brown all splitting under 1:50 to beat Tulane’s combo of Samantha Morton, Courtney Barker, Isabelle Pelka, and Michelle Zlenick (7:15.82) with a time of 7:11.17. The race ultimately became an intense battle for third, with Connecticut (7:17.72) barely out-splitting Cincinnati (7:18.95) in three of the four legs to clinch the bronze.

Event 3  Women 800 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
  Meet Record: M 7:06.86  2/14/2018 Houston, University of, Univ of Houston-
                          M Leehy, K Yuskova, S Medlin, Z Brown
                 7:02.52  D1-A D1-A Standard
                 7:06.19  D1-B D1-B Standard
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 Houston-GU  'A'               7:12.05    7:11.17         40  
     1) Mykenzie Leehy SO             2) r:0.19 Samantha Medlin SO    
     3) r:0.34 Morgan Rosas SO        4) r:-0.31 Zarena Brown JR      
             25.00        51.59 (51.59)
      1:18.91 (1:18.91)   1:46.57 (1:46.57)
        2:11.30 (24.73)     2:38.26 (51.69)
      3:06.27 (1:19.70)   3:34.98 (1:48.41)
        3:59.87 (24.89)     4:27.66 (52.68)
      4:56.06 (1:21.08)   5:24.68 (1:49.70)
        5:48.99 (24.31)     6:15.59 (50.91)
      6:43.25 (1:18.57)   7:11.17 (1:46.49)
  2 Tulane-LA  'A'                7:22.96    7:15.82         34  
     1) Samantha Morton FR            2) r:0.32 Courtney Barker SO    
     3) r:0.31 Isabelle Pelka FR      4) r:0.28 Michelle Zelnick SR   
             25.85        53.88 (53.88)
      1:22.55 (1:22.55)   1:50.95 (1:50.95)
        2:15.75 (24.80)     2:43.29 (52.34)
      3:11.95 (1:21.00)   3:40.93 (1:49.98)
        4:05.63 (24.70)     4:32.79 (51.86)
      5:00.33 (1:19.40)   5:28.47 (1:47.54)
        5:52.36 (23.89)     6:19.17 (50.70)
      6:47.09 (1:18.62)   7:15.82 (1:47.35)
  3 Connecticut-CT  'A'           7:25.60    7:17.72         32  
     1) Ryan Dulaney SO               2) r:0.22 Megan Wenman JR       
     3) r:0.28 Madeline Blair SR      4) r:0.40 Jacklyn Van Lew SR    
             25.24        52.67 (52.67)
      1:20.77 (1:20.77)   1:49.29 (1:49.29)
        2:14.00 (24.71)     2:41.67 (52.38)
      3:09.87 (1:20.58)   3:38.65 (1:49.36)
        4:03.51 (24.86)     4:30.82 (52.17)
      4:59.13 (1:20.48)   5:28.45 (1:49.80)
        5:53.51 (25.06)     6:20.95 (52.50)
      6:48.94 (1:20.49)   7:17.72 (1:49.27)
  4 Cincinnati-OH  'A'            7:16.76    7:18.95         30  
     1) Madeline Exton SO             2) r:0.20 Sydney St Rose-near FR
     3) r:0.22 Sarah Laabs JR         4) r:0.42 Olivia Schmelzer FR   
             25.32        52.76 (52.76)
      1:21.17 (1:21.17)   1:50.32 (1:50.32)
        2:14.93 (24.61)     2:42.30 (51.98)
      3:10.76 (1:20.44)   3:40.04 (1:49.72)
        4:05.12 (25.08)     4:32.58 (52.54)
      5:00.77 (1:20.73)   5:29.11 (1:49.07)
        5:53.47 (24.36)     6:21.35 (52.24)
      6:50.03 (1:20.92)   7:18.95 (1:49.84)
  5 SMU-NT  'A'                   7:30.34    7:20.83         28  
     1) Olivia Grossklaus FR          2) r:0.21 Madison Kinsey SO     
     3) r:0.12 Gabriella Grobler SO   4) r:0.40 Eliana Yellin SR      
             25.26        53.19 (53.19)
      1:21.50 (1:21.50)   1:49.73 (1:49.73)
        2:15.00 (25.27)     2:43.20 (53.47)
      3:12.57 (1:22.84)   3:41.45 (1:51.72)
        4:05.75 (24.30)     4:32.90 (51.45)
      5:00.86 (1:19.41)   5:29.93 (1:48.48)
        5:55.09 (25.16)     6:23.13 (53.20)
      6:51.87 (1:21.94)   7:20.83 (1:50.90)
  6 East Carolina-NC  'A'         7:29.15    7:27.40         26  
     1) Mariana Lippert Vignoli FR    2) r:0.48 Shannon Stott FR      
     3) r:0.40 Morgan Despres FR      4) r:0.21 Victoria Gillet JR    
             25.99        53.84 (53.84)
      1:22.61 (1:22.61)   1:50.90 (1:50.90)
        2:16.17 (25.27)     2:43.47 (52.57)
      3:11.92 (1:21.02)   3:40.60 (1:49.70)
        4:06.57 (25.97)     4:35.42 (54.82)
      5:04.92 (1:24.32)   5:35.17 (1:54.57)
        6:00.29 (25.12)     6:28.59 (53.42)
      6:57.91 (1:22.74)   7:27.40 (1:52.23)

Men’s 800 Freestyle Relay

Cincinnati quickly found its way to the medal stand with four of the strongest male freestylers in the conference, Justin CrewAlexander Fortman, Tobias Van Dyke, and Din Selmanovic, cruising into first place with a time of 6:25.27. Despite a four-second advantage per the seed times, East Carolina’s Marek OsinaPietro Nannucci, Grega Popovic, and Blaz Desmar barely edged out SMU (6:29.15) after an impressive anchor swim by Desmar to secure second place with a time of 6:28.46. Connecticut rounded out the heat with a time of 6:31.20.

Event 4  Men 800 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
  Meet Record: M 6:19.25  2/19/2014 Louisville
                          T Carroll, J De Lucca, M Lindenbauer, T Dahlia
                 6:18.46  D1-A D1-A Standard
                 6:22.60  D1-B D1-B Standard
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 Cincinnati-OH  'A'            6:28.90    6:25.27         40  
     1) Justin Crew SR                2) r:0.37 Alexander Fortman JR  
     3) r:0.30 Tobias Van Dyke SO     4) r:0.36 Din Selmanovic JR     
             22.58        47.08 (47.08)
      1:11.92 (1:11.92)   1:36.81 (1:36.81)
        1:58.64 (21.83)     2:23.42 (46.61)
      2:48.76 (1:11.95)   3:13.67 (1:36.86)
        3:35.66 (21.99)     4:00.09 (46.42)
      4:24.67 (1:11.00)   4:49.95 (1:36.28)
        5:11.66 (21.71)     5:35.58 (45.63)
      6:00.47 (1:10.52)   6:25.27 (1:35.32)
  2 East Carolina-NC  'A'         6:34.11    6:28.46         34  
     1) Marek Osina FR                2) r:0.57 Pietro Nannucci FR    
     3) r:0.21 Grega Popovic JR       4) r:0.16 Blaz Demsar JR        
             22.86        47.53 (47.53)
      1:12.63 (1:12.63)   1:37.90 (1:37.90)
        1:59.98 (22.08)     2:24.45 (46.55)
      2:49.29 (1:11.39)   3:15.68 (1:37.78)
        3:37.56 (21.88)     4:01.93 (46.25)
      4:27.24 (1:11.56)   4:52.71 (1:37.03)
        5:14.08 (21.37)     5:38.53 (45.82)
      6:03.72 (1:11.01)   6:28.46 (1:35.75)
  3 SMU-NT  'A'                   6:39.95    6:29.15         32  
     1) Matan Segal JR                2) r:0.13 Carson Klein          
     3) r:0.35 Matthew Nutter SO      4) r:0.24 Lucas Schenke SR      
             22.85        47.82 (47.82)
      1:12.87 (1:12.87)   1:38.22 (1:38.22)
        2:00.65 (22.43)     2:25.32 (47.10)
      2:50.11 (1:11.89)   3:14.73 (1:36.51)
        3:36.74 (22.01)     4:01.31 (46.58)
      4:26.26 (1:11.53)   4:51.66 (1:36.93)
        5:13.59 (21.93)     5:37.95 (46.29)
      6:03.43 (1:11.77)   6:29.15 (1:37.49)
  4 Connecticut-CT  'A'           6:43.33    6:31.20         30  
     1) Emils Gustav Jurcik FR        2) r:0.38 Joshua Wroblewski SO  
     3) r:0.27 Alfred Hansen FR       4) r:0.49 Karl Bishop JR        
             22.42        47.37 (47.37)
      1:12.38 (1:12.38)   1:37.58 (1:37.58)
        1:59.61 (22.03)     2:24.16 (46.58)
      2:49.17 (1:11.59)   3:14.13 (1:36.55)
        3:36.43 (22.30)     4:01.52 (47.39)
      4:27.48 (1:13.35)   4:53.96 (1:39.83)
        5:16.01 (22.05)     5:40.27 (46.31)
      6:05.52 (1:11.56)   6:31.20 (1:37.24)

Women’s 1m Diving

SMU sophomore Kathryn Crown blew away her preliminary score to harness the Mustang’s first win of the night while also crushing the meet record with a 309.45. The Huskies picked up another 17 points as a result of fifth-year senior Monica Macello’s impressive performance (298.15), a score that would have also surpassed the previous meet record of 291.35. Cincinnati junior and 2018 AAC Women’s diver of the Year Claire Shuermann fought her way onto the medal stand with a 279.95 to narrowly outscore Houston’s Katie Deininger (278.05).

Houston’s Lauren Burrell, Connecticut’s Erin Clifford and Elizabeth Drab, and SMU’s Taylor Ohlhause also competed in finals.

Event 1  Women 1 mtr Diving
=========================================================================
  Meet Record: M 291.35  2/18/2015 Danielle Shedd, Houston-GU
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Kathryn Crown       SMU-NT             290.90     309.45M        20  
  2 Monica Marcello     Connecticut-CT     297.70     298.15M        17  
  3 Claire Schuerma     Cincinnati-OH      270.10     279.95         16  
  4 Katie Deininger     Houston-GU         274.95     278.05         15  
  5 Lauren Burrell      Houston-GU         256.50     276.75         14  
  6 Erin Clifford       Connecticut-CT     254.75     272.30         13  
  7 Elizabeth Drab      Connecticut-CT     275.55     261.95         12  
  8 Taylor Ohlhause     SMU-NT             257.30     254.40         11

Men’s 3m Diving

SMU continued accumulating points, as Parker Hardigre showcased stellar dives to earn a 337.5 in finals. East Carolina’s Devin Nugent (298.95) helped out the Pirates on the board, improving upon his preliminary performance to jump to second place above Cincinnati’s Louie Hunt (307.15). Connecticut’s Kyle Kennedy helped counteract a Pirate-laden final, squeezing in the top four with an impressive 292.50.

ECU’s Gavrilo Blijden, Connecticut’s Torry Wagner, and Cincinnati’s Dylan Porter and Tai Sims all participated in finals.

 

 Event 2  Men 3 mtr Diving
=========================================================================
  Meet Record: M 415.10  2/21/2014 Bryce Klein, SMU
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Parker Hardigre     SMU-NT             314.35     337.35         20  
  2 Devin Nugent        East Carolina-NC   298.95     309.00         17  
  3 Louie Hunt          Cincinnati-OH      317.35     307.15         16  
  4 Kyle Kennedy        Connecticut-CT     284.80     292.50         15  
  5 Gavrilo Blijden     East Carolina-NC   266.00     289.45         14  
  6 Torry Wagner        Connecticut-CT     263.45     273.65         13  
  7 Dylan Porter        Cincinnati-OH      242.30     259.35         12  
  8 Tai Sims            Cincinnati-OH      245.10     240.60         11  

Women’s 200 Medley Relay

Houston showcased immense power in stroke, clocking in at 1:37.47 in the medley relay of Laura Laderoute, Peyton Kondis, Katie Higgins, and Leehy, a mere 0.15 from the meet record and less than a tenth off of a NCAA B-cut. The Mustangs weren’t the only force in the field, as they barely out-touched SMU’s relay of Felicity Passon, Andrea Podmanikova, Trahan, and Gabriella Grobler (1:37.65) despite an incredible 22.62 butterfly split from Trahan. Tulane (1:40.59) and Connecticut (1:41.71) battled for a spot on podium, with the Green Wave nabbing its first top-three finish of the night.

Event 5  Women 200 Yard Medley Relay
==================================================================================
  Meet Record: M 1:37.32  2/18/2015 Southern Methodist University, So. Methodist
                          I Arcila, T Nicholas, M Erasmus, N Lindborg
                 1:36.75  D1-A D1-A Standard
                 1:37.39  D1-B D1-B Standard
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 Houston-GU  'A'               1:38.81    1:37.47         40  
     1) Laura Laderoute JR            2) r:0.12 Peyton Kondis JR      
     3) r:0.12 Katie Higgins SO       4) r:0.32 Mykenzie Leehy SO     
             24.79        51.57 (26.78)
        1:15.50 (23.93)     1:37.47 (21.97)
  2 SMU-NT  'A'                   1:40.23    1:37.65         34  
     1) Felicity Passon SO            2) r:0.36 Andrea Podmanikova SO 
     3) r:0.29 Erin Trahan JR         4) r:0.08 Gabriella Grobler SO  
             25.29        52.32 (27.03)
        1:14.94 (22.62)     1:37.65 (22.71)
  3 Tulane-LA  'A'                1:43.49    1:40.59         32  
     1) Wei Zhang SR                  2) r:0.27 Katherine McDonald SO 
     3) r:0.28 Lena Hayakawa SR       4) r:0.39 Lillian Morgan SR     
             25.42        53.01 (27.59)
        1:17.88 (24.87)     1:40.59 (22.71)
  4 Connecticut-CT  'A'           1:44.49    1:41.71         30  
     1) Georgia Apostolu SO           2) r:0.18 Katelyn Walsh FR      
     3) r:0.17 Linnea Anderson FR     4) r:0.43 Brazil Rule JR        
             26.02        54.16 (28.14)
        1:18.70 (24.54)     1:41.71 (23.01)
  5 East Carolina-NC  'A'         1:44.06    1:41.76         28  
     1) Kathryn Morrison FR           2) r:0.30 Lily West JR          
     3) r:0.34 Shannon Stott FR       4) r:0.05 Catherine Johnson JR  
             25.44        54.86 (29.42)
        1:19.26 (24.40)     1:41.76 (22.50)
  6 Cincinnati-OH  'A'            1:42.95    1:42.42         26  
     1) Natalie Obando SR             2) r:0.31 Grace Seibert SO      
     3) r:0.26 Anhelina Kutsko SO     4) r:0.17 Claire Farrell SO     
             26.28        55.20 (28.92)
        1:19.47 (24.27)     1:42.42 (22.95)

Men’s 200 Medley Relay

The Pirates established their presence in the last event of the night, with Tristan Taylor, Jacek Arentewica, Gustavo Santos, and Gavin Erdmann running away from the field and posting a 1:26.19 to take the win and AAC meet record. SMU (1:27.07) displayed consistency across its two teams with another solid second-place finish from Earl Kilbride, Aedan Lewis, Szymon Golczyk,and Ralph Koo, while Cincinnati (1:27.84) and Connecticut (1:28.35) rounded out the heat with all-around competitive performances.

 Event 6  Men 200 Yard Medley Relay
==================================================================================
  Meet Record: M 1:26.21  2/19/2014 Louisville
                          G Tarasevich, K Chastain, P Coutinho, C Blondell
                 1:24.56  D1-A D1-A Standard
                 1:25.33  D1-B D1-B Standard
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 East Carolina-NC  'A'         1:27.79    1:26.19M        40  
     1) Tristan Taylor SR             2) r:0.15 Jacek Arentewicz SO   
     3) r:0.25 Gustavo Santos JR      4) r:0.25 Gavin Erdmann SR      
             22.37        46.37 (24.00)
        1:06.72 (20.35)     1:26.19 (19.47)
  2 SMU-NT  'A'                   1:31.08    1:27.07         34  
     1) Earl Kilbride SR              2) r:0.07 Aedan Lewis SO        
     3) r:0.20 Szymon Golczyk SR      4) r:0.13 Ralph Koo JR          
             22.60        46.76 (24.16)
        1:07.37 (20.61)     1:27.07 (19.70)
  3 Cincinnati-OH  'A'            1:29.50    1:27.84         32  
     1) Blake Hanna JR                2) r:0.43 Dominic Polling SO    
     3) r:0.28 Alberto Garcia FR      4) r:0.37 Kevin McCaffrey SR    
             22.19        46.35 (24.16)
        1:07.82 (21.47)     1:27.84 (20.02)
  4 Connecticut-CT  'A'           1:29.18    1:28.35         30  
     1) William Kearsey JR            2) r:0.37 Markus Hunter SR      
     3) r:0.30 Cooper Knapp JR        4) r:0.34 Kyle Dunlap SO        
             21.74        47.00 (25.26)
        1:08.34 (21.34)     1:28.35 (20.01)