Nov. 21, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo.- Highlighted by wins from Nick Soedel (50 free) and Jake Crayne (1-meter), Utah swimming and diving had a strong first day at the Missouri Invitational. After day one, the men stand second with 312 points while the women are third with 220 points.
"This was an unbelievable day for our program," Utah head coach Joe Dykstra said. "To come in here with a three-day drop taper with a bunch of people still unshaved and put up some times that are under the NCAA B-cuts, we got a school record tonight, we had a couple wins. Jacob Crayne in the 1-meter diving and Nick Soedel in the 50 free - we believe that time leads the nation so far this year which is great considering he is unshaved still. I couldn't be happier with the attitude, the effort, and the performance this early in the season."
Several swimmers had NCAA-B standard times, led by Soedel's time of 19.51 in the 50 free. Traycie Swartz came in a close second in the 50 free with a women's B-cut time of 22.57. Bence Kiraly finished second in a school-record 500 free time of 4:19.24. Samantha Zuch touched third in the 500 free in 4:47.92. Petra Soininen's third-place finish in the 100 fly was in 53.77. Kristian Kron was fifth in the 200 IM in 1:47.41. Brianna Francis finished sixth in the finals of the 200 IM, swimming her best time of the day in the preliminaries in 2:01.66, and Nicole Ligeza was ninth in the event in 2:02.13.
Other strong finishes on the day for the women included Swartz, Madeline Jamora, Erika Nist and Giuliana Gigliotti teaming up for third place in the 200 free relay (1:32.49). In the 500 free, Amanda Barrett came in fourth at 4:50.33.
Melissa Paakh finished ninth in the 100 fly (55.22). Taking fourth in the 50 free was Gigliotti with a time of 23.13. Swartz, Stina Colleou, Soininen, and Gigliotii teamed together to take third in the 400 free relay (3:39.33).
On the men's side, Soedel, Alex Fernandes, Alex Brown and Ken Tiltges teamed up in the 200 yard free relay for third with a time of 1:20.46. Karson Applin claimed third in the 100 fly (48.56) with Alex Fernandes following (48.93). Taking sixth in the event was Dave Fraser with a time of 49.15. ). Kron, Tiltges, Fernandes, and Soedel teamed up to take fourth in the 400 yard medley relay (3:16.10).
In 1-meter diving, Josiah Purss claimed third place (330.40).
Dykstra was pleased with the way the team competed in preliminaries.
"This was a really good start to the competition for us," Dykstra said. "We had one school record, ones that were pretty close, and we are probably 75-85% lifetime best across the board. It is hard to argue that with the start of the meet. The good news is almost every swimmer comes out the water and they said, `If I change this, I can be better tonight.' We have a lot of room for improvement and put up a lot better performances tonight when it counts for points."
The Utes will continue competition tomorrow morning starting with prelims at 10 a.m. CT and finals beginning at 6 p.m. CT.