Emory Eagles Lead After Day 1 of UAA Championships

NCAA Division III Flags 2014
Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

By Michael Grenon, Swimming World Contributor

Emory University, the defending champions, both hold leads after day 1 of the 2016 UAA championships. On the women’s side, the Eagles have a sizable lead ahead of Chicago, Wash U, and NYU, who are all within reach of each other. On the men’s side, Wash U is right in the hunt, with Chicago and NYU trailing.

The competitors have already taken a large chunk out of the meet record book: 5 out of 10 total events swum this evening saw new records. Both the 500 and 50 freestyle record were reset by Emory women, while Emory also improved on their 200 freestyle relay record from this morning. On the men’s side, Chicago established a new record in the 200 freestyle relay, with Thomas Meek also setting a new 50 freestyle mark later in the evening after splitting a monster 19.40 in the relay.

In the women’s 200 freestyle relay finals, Emory once again dropped their meet record from prelims (1:33.50) to a new mark of 1:33.19. The quartet of Fiona Muir (Fr), Meg Taylor (Fr), Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe (Jr), and Claire Liu (Jr) led from start to finish. Rounding out top three were NYU (1:34.83) and Wash U (1:35.10).

The men’s 200 freestyle relay also saw a new record from Chicago’s team of Alexander Farrell (Fr), Thomas Meek (Sr), Jt Simoneau (Jr), and Matthew Veldman (Jr). Their 1:21.08, much aided by Meek’s impressive 19.40 split, reset the old mark set last year by Wash U (1:21.69). Emory (1:21.90) and Wash U (1:22.43) were second and third, respectively.

Rebecca Upton (So) from Emory dominated the women’s 500 freestyle A final in 4:50.80, crushing last year’s record of 4:52.13 from Emory’s McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg. Staying with her for much of the race was Wash U’s Nicole Zanolli (So) who finished at 4:53.27, with Emory freshman Ava Salmi also claiming All-UAA honors with a 4:57.52. Cindy Cheng (So) from Emory dropped nearly seven seconds from this morning to win the B-final in 4:54.94 on her birthday.

The men’s 500 freestyle was mostly a three-man race in the middle of the pool between Wash U’s Luke Dobben (Sr), last year’s rookie of the meet Drew Hamilton (So) from CWRU, and Emory’s Christian Baker (So). Dobben held on to win in 4:30.36 over Baker’s 4:30.49. Emory freshman Tom Gordon roared back with a 24.89 last 50 split to steal third in 4:30.74 over Hamilton’s 4:31.18.

The women’s 200 IM was a tightly-packed race, with Wash U’s Niamh O’Grady (So) finishing victorious in 2:04.14. Emory’s Ashley Daniels (Fr) and Wash U’s Sophie Gan (Sr) rounded out the All-UAA honors in 2:05.13 and 2:06.12, respectively.

Chandler Lichtefeld (So) of Emory held off a charging Michael Lagieski (Jr) of Wash U to win by a mere one hundredth of a second, 1:50.42 to 1:50.43. Wash U’s Kevin Van Cleave (Fr) also finished under 1:51 for third place honors with a 1:50.93.

Fiona Muir reset her 50 free meet record in from this morning (23.34) with a 23.29. Her Emory relay teammates Meg Taylor (23.65 and Claire Liu (23.81) joined her in a 1-2-3 sweep.

After a big split on the 200 free relay, Thomas Meek from Chicago cruised to a new meet record in the men’s 50 freestyle in 20.09. The old record belonged to NYU’s Jerry Crowley from last year. The host team’s Gunnar Zemering (So) and NYU’s Joseph Baron (So) rounded out the top-3 with a 20.67 and 20.85, respectively.

Connor Farrell (Sr) dove to the win in the men’s 3-meter with 528.00 points. Joining him above 500 was CMU’s Gabe Bamforth (Fr) with a score of 516.25. Chicago’s Dean Boures (So) claimed third with a 470.05 score.

The Emory women’s depth carried them to another relay win—this time in the 400 medley. Ellie Thompson (Sr), Lizzie Aronoff (Sr), Fiona Muir, and Meg Taylor combined for a 3:45.73, ahead of Wash U’s time of 3:46.88 and NYU’s 3:49.92.

Wash U came out with the win in the men’s 400 medley relay to finish the night. Reed Dalton (Sr) swam a dominating 46.94 butterfly split, and was joined by Kevin Van Cleave, Michael Lagieski, and Ross Brown (So) for a 3:16.86. Second was Emory with a 3:18.69, and NYU’s team claimed third with a final time of 3:20.59.

Point totals after Day 1:

2Washington University475.52Chicago443
3Chicago3923Washington University428
4New York University365.54New York University399.5
5Case Western Reserve2715Carnegie Mellon259
6Carnegie Mellon2676Rochester212
7Rochester2567Case Western Reserve201

Day 2 events include the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, women’s 3-meter diving, and 800 free relay (finals only).

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