Men's swim and dive finish first, Women third in final day of Air Force Invite
PROVO, Utah — In the final day of the Air Force Invite in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the men and women swim and dive teams wrapped up their weekend of events with the men taking first (526 points) and the women third (340) for the second day in a row.
Saturday featured another strong performance from the dive team, as both men and women competed in the platform dive event. For the men, Mickey Strauss (323.40) and Chase Hindmarsh (319.50) led the way for the Cougar divers, placing first and second in the event. Carter Davis (264.90) and Cody Dreesen (261.55) also had solid performances, finishing fourth and fifth for the event.
The women divers also had solid performances in the platform event, with Alexia Jackson (243.20) and Hailey Johnson (204.75) leading the way, finishing first and third respectively. Sophia DeBergh (203.50) and Brooklyn Larson (199.20) came in a close fourth and fifth for the event, giving the Cougars four of the top five spots.
"I'm proud of the dive team's ability to perform the new dives they have learned at our productive winter training trip for platform," said dive coach Tyce Routson. "Chase Hindmarsh and Mickey Strauss achieved NCAA zone cut scores as well as Alexia Jackson for the women in the platform event. The team did an outstanding job in being mentally tough in a quick and competitive structure."
"Our men won the invitational with some incredible performances from Andrew Eliason and Evan VanderSluis, and the whole team rallied together for the win," said head coach Shari Skabelund. "The women battled hard for a third place finish. It was a grueling meet, but a wonderful opportunity to fine tune for conference. I was very pleased with the performances from Megan Bergstrom, Regan Geldmacher, Victoria Schreiber and Addison Richards in the distance events at 7000 feet."
The swimmers followed up yesterday's solid performances with more individual and team victories Saturday morning. Once again, the men started quick, winning the 200-yard medley relay with a team of Diego Camacho, Josue Dominguez, Brad Prolo and Abraham Zimmerman with a time of 1:30.17. Camacho later went on to finish with the best time in the 100-yard backstroke, swimming a 50.31, good for a second place finish.
In the 400-yard IM, Tama Tuitama (4:10.09) and Darwin Anderson (4:14.85) posted solid times to place first and second in the event. The following 100-yard butterfly event featured an outright win by Andrew Eliason, posting a 49.78, with Prolo coming in third, swimming a 50.43.
The breaststroke event proved to be a strength again for the Cougar swimmers, this time in the 100-yard. Evan VanderSluis (55.58), Prolo (56.36) and William Bonnett (56.71) swept the top three spots for the second day in a row. Dominguez (57.13) and Emerson Edwards (57.58) also helped round out the top five for the event.
The men closed the meet out strong, winning the final two events outright. In the 1650-yard freestyle, Abe Barragan went on to swim a 16:25.97 to place first for the Cougars. The day's concluding event was the 400-yard freestyle, relay, where Camacho, Bonnett, Zimmerman and Brigham Harrison brought home the first place finish with a 3:02.46
For the women, the first event of the day featured a fourth place finish in the 200-yard medley relay by a team of Emma Marusakova, Abi Furqueron, Julia Bartell and Halli Williams, posting a 1:46.19. In the 400-yard IM, Richards also helped get the Cougars on the board, swimming a 4:40.64, good for a third place finish.
Geldmacher went on to win the 200-yard freestyle event, swimming a 1:54.62. This was Geldmacher's second-straight day finishing in the top two of a freestyle event. In the following 100-yard breaststroke, Mackenzie Miller went on to post a third place time of 1:05.19 to help keep pace for the Cougars.
The second to last event of the day for the women displayed two top three finishes. Bergstrom (17:45.29) and Schreiber (17:47.79) went on to place second and third in the distance 1650-yard freestyle.
After a strong performance over the weekend, the swim and dive teams will look to continue their success as they get set to take on long time rival Utah Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28. More information regarding the upcoming meets will be provided in the coming days.