Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Swimming & Diving Celebrates Power of Pink Week

The Utes will celebrate the Power of Pink week at Ute Natatorium this weekend against Wyoming.

The Utes will celebrate the Power of Pink week at Ute Natatorium this weekend against Wyoming.

Jan. 19, 2011


The University of Utah swimming and diving team is preparing for two home meets this weekend against Wyoming on Friday at 5 p.m. and against TCU on Saturday at 11 a.m. Both meets will take place at Ute Natatorium.

The meet against Wyoming is Utah's Power of Pink meet where the Ute women's team will be dressed in pink to help bring awareness of breast cancer.


Both Utah men and women lost to the TCU Horned Frogs after some very close races last Saturday. The men lost by a score of 171 to 123 and the women lost by a score of 166 to 131.

Victories for the Ute men included Karson Applin in the 100 fly (50.48), Brent Murray in the 200 free (1:42.81), and both swam in the 400 free relay with Bjorn Gunnarsson and Garret Beaman (3:06.31). Nelson Foo posted his best score (by 30 points) and won the 3-meter dive.

As for the women, both the 400 medley and free relays took home wins. Traycie Swartz, Samantha Zuch, Sarah Boylen, and Natalie Edge swam the 400 medley relay (3:51.13) while Edge, Hannah Caron, Kristina Evans, and Swartz same the 400 free relay (3:25.57). Other wins for the women include the 100 free by Edge (50.91), the 100 back by Swartz (57.37), and the 100 fly by Caron (55.25).



There were many runner-up finishes where the Ute women finished only microseconds behind TCU. These included Nicole Ligeza in the 100 breast, who was only one-hundredth of a second behind TCU's Michelle Fleming (1:07.75), Maiya Otsuka in the 200 breast only one-hundredth of a second behind Fleming as well (2:24.12), and Caron who finished only four-hundredths of a second behind TCU's Maria Alvarez in the 200 free (1:51.68). Caron also had a close second-place finish in the 200 fly, about two-hundredths of a second behind TCU's Mandy Vincent (2:02.82).


"Wyoming placed third and Air Force placed second last year at the MWC Championships so it will be interesting to measure ourselves against them this year.

"Wyoming is a really well-coached team. They beat us each of the last three years not only at dual meets, but at conference as well. They are a bunch of tough kids with one of the best coaches out there. I expect both of our teams will be tired from Christmas training. But it's going to be a fun meet and a really competitive one.

"On our men's side, we're looking to get better every single meet from here on in--fine tune some things and start to get some speed working into what we are doing.

"The pink meet is something that is close to home for a lot of us. It's really important for not only our women abut even the men to support. Anything we can do to help, we are glad to. This may be only one meet, but this is a cause that is important to our program. It's something that will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. It's a wonderful cause. We try to raise money and bring awareness to it. That's a lot of what we are doing. First and foremost is to bring awareness, and then what we receive through donations also contributes to it."


The Utes last meet against Wyoming was last January in Laramie, Wyo., where both men and women lost by scores of 162.5 to 137.5 and 182 to 115, respectively. Edge, however, managed to set a new Corbett Pool record in the 100 free (51.67) at that meet.

The Mesa State Invitational in October was the last time the Ute men faced Air Force Academy. The men lost by a score of 223 to 148, but won against Mesa State and Adams State with scores of 302 to 68 and 300 to 27, respectively. Four El Pomar Natatorium pool records were broken by Ute men, including the 100 back win by Major Robinson (53.04), the 200 breast win by Garrett Peterson (2:09.02), the 100 free win by Brent Murray (46.88), and the 100 fly win by Applin (51.48).

The Ute women last raced against Air Force last January and brought home a win with a score of 169 to 133. Both Caron and Edge won all of their events against the Falcons while Ellis Walters and Kwan Ling Yu won the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, respectively.


The Wyoming swimming and diving program is currently the favorite to finish in the top four of the MWC. The Cowgirls are now standing at a dual record of 8-0 and 3-0, while the Cowboys stand at 2-3 and 0-2. Both Wyoming swimmers and divers have been sweeping multiple MWC weekly honors throughout this season, including Kelsey Conci (back, free, relay), Mark Murdock (diving), Kyle Bogner (diving), and Allie Smith (diving). Both Murdock and Bogner have broken school records on the boards this season. Strong competitors include Lesley Young (breast, IM), Shelby Bull (free, fly), Brandon Fischer (breast, IM), Ethan Griffel (free), Tyler Kyrbatas (fly), and Nathan Fuller (back).

The Air Force women include Kaeli Kluesner, a strong competitor in the backstroke and IM events, and Caitlin Teresky, a team captain proficient in the free and back events as well. Two-time all-MWC performer, Katharine Ernst holds school top three times in the 100 and 200 fly. Katrina Castellanos holds a school top three time in the 200 breast. Haley Holcombe is the school record holder in the 200 fly and has the third-fastest 100 fly at AFA. Elvira Chiccarelli is said to be one of AFA's top fly and back swimmers as well. In the fly and IM events, Gabby Aranda will be a strong competitor.

The Air Force men have finished in second place at the MWC Championships for the past two years, led by MWC Men's Swimming Coach of the year, Rob Clayton. Benjamin Gunn is conference champion and record-holder in the 200 IM and also holds four Air Force school records in the 200 IM, 100 fly, 200 fly, and 100 back. Robert Dawson also has garnered all-MWC recognition for his work in freestyle and relay events. Both Corydon and Cody Deacon hold top-10 times for Air Force in distance free and breast events respectively. Another current Academy top-10 swimmer is Paul Young (back).


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