The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened their season with a splash in the UR Invitational at the newly renovated Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Center on Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, October 27.
This competition was scored as a dual meet for the five University Athletic Association (UAA) teams in the invitational (UR, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Brandeis University and Case Western Reserve University). The women came out victorious against Brandeis, Case Western Reserve and NYU, but were bested by Carnegie Mellon. The men also defeated Brandeis and NYU, but fell short to Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve.
“For the meet it was great to have the UAA all be at UR,” sophomore James Frauen said. “It was high intensity and great competition and a very fast meet that a lot of UR swimmers swam very well.”
On the first day of competition the women’s strongest finish was in the 200-meter free relay. A team made up of freshmen Ellen Swanson and Vicky Luan, sophomore Lauren Bailey and junior Karen Meess claimed a victory with a time of 1:38.64.
The 400 medley relay team made up of sophomore Meg Waring, junior Farrell Cooke, Bailey and Luan, also had an impressive finish, placing second of 12 with a time of 4:02.41.
The men’s team came out strong with sophomore Brian Wong claiming UR’s first individual win of the season in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:57.02 and both the men’s 800 free relay and the men’s 400 medley relay teams claiming third.
On the second day of competition, Bailey was the standout female performer. She took first in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:10.33, earning her a first place finish and made a pool record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 58.3.
“I am really honored to break the school record,” Bailey said. “I definitely could not have done it without the support of my teammates and my coaches.”
Other victories for the women’s team on Saturday came from the 400 free relay team made up of sophomore Avery Palardy, Luan, Waring and Bailey with a time of 3:40.02 and by Laun in the 50 free with a time of 25.25. This was Laun’s first collegiate meet, and her performance in the 50 free earned her her first individual victory.
The men picked up two victories on Saturday. The first came from senior Christian Vu in the 200 free with a time of 1:57.63 and the second from Frauen in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:57.63.
“I knew if I worked my walls and had good race strategy I had a shot at winning,” Frauen said. “I felt great off the walls and was second or third going into the last fifty and I was just able to use my legs and get home to touch the wall first.” Sophomore Brian Wong also had an impressive meet, finishing as a runner up in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events.
All in all, both teams had a solid meet to start the season off and some promising times by standout underclassmen who appear ready to step up and help the program advance.
“I think the team is off to a great start, and I can’t wait to see how everyone progresses and gets better as the season goes on,” Bailey said.
The ’Jackets’ next meet is on Wednesday, Nov. 10 in the Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Center against Union College.
Cozen is a member of the class of 2015.