USA Swimming Sectionals, Gresham: DU Hilltoppers Run Away With Team Titles

GRESHAM, Oregon, July 29. THE University of Denver Hilltoppers ran away with the men's, women's and combined team titles Saturday night as the Western Section Long Course Championships wrapped up at the Mt. Hood Aquatic Center.

The University of Denver amassed 1,159 points to beat runner-up Phoenix Swim Club (755.5 points) by more than 400. North Jeffco Swim Team rounded out the top three with 698.5 points.

In the first individual event final of the evening, Bearcat's Tori Simenec ran down Tualatin Hills' Grace Carlson on the freestyle leg, winning in 2:18.75. Carlson, who led after three legs, touched second in 2:19.23. Samantha Harding of Wild West Aquatics rounded out the top three in 2:21.06. It was a similar story in the men's race, as YMCA Westside's Christopher Webb, who touched second at the last turn, made up ground on Aces' Jared Markham to win in 2:05.32, just ahead of Markham's 2:05.74. Darian Brunetti of the DU Hilltoppers came in third at 2:06.34.

Wild West's Samantha Harding returned just a short while later to win the women's 1500m free, holding off a late charge from Boulder's Amanda Richey to win, 16:57.09 to 16:57.65. Lauren Abruzzo of the DU Hilltoppers finished a distant third in 17:11.68. In the men's mile, Wasatch's Shawn Western took over the lead 100m in and never relinquished it, finishing first in 16:01.13. Andrew Chevalier of North Jeffco came in second at 16:08.56, followed by his teammate Martin Wallace at 16:10.83.

Phoenix Swim Club's Taryn Collura earned the title of fastest girl in the pool after posting the top time of 26.26 in the women's 50m free. Amy Bilquist of YMCA Westside gave her a run but settled for second in 26.36. Scottsdale's Victoria Toris rounded out the top three in 26.45. Corvallis' Logan Storie claimed the men's sprint free title in 23.46, ahead of Wyoming's Adam Kalms, who touched in 23.60. Doug Mackenzie of the DU Hilltoppers swam a 23.90 for third.

DU put a cherry on top of their dominating performance at the meet with wins in both the women's and men's 400m medley relays. The women's quartet of Makenna Wilson, Mari Loftness, Tia Totura and Megan Grier swam a 4:18.05 to top Tualatin Hills' 4:20.27, while Kyle Milberg, Tanner Krall, Robert Barrett and Doug Mackenzie broke the sectional record of 3:51.59 with a 3:49.31 to close out the meet.