A season’s worth of hard work culminated last week for the UR men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at the University Athletic Association Championships in Chicago.

The UAA’s ran from Feb. 9 to 12. Competing against seven other schools – Emory University, Washington University, New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Brandeis University and the University of Chicago – the Yellowjackets held their own against some tough competition.

“We had a great meet, and it was all very exciting,” Head Coach Danielle Herring said. “The UAAs really gave us a good idea of where we stand nationally, and I feel that we swam to the best of our ability. We have really come together as a team this season. Both teams have gone a long way, and the many lifetime performances in Chicago prove how much work has been put in over these past several months.”

On the women’s side, the Yellowjackets placed an impressive sixth overall. They finished a mere two points behind fifth-place Case Western, 324-322, whom they defeated earlier in the season.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of juniors Erin Szajta and Kathryn Monti and sophomores Soja Brun and Kari Joyce took seventh place. Joyce and Szajta competed in the 400-yard medley relay’s sixth-place finish along with freshman Denise Moseman and sophomore Karen Gromer.

Joyce, Gromer and sophomore Michele Gruen contributed to the 400-yard freestyle relay team’s fourth-place finish along with Monti, as well as the fourth-place finishing 800-yard freestyle relay team with freshman Danielle Scherry.

Joyce and Gruen had impressive individual finishes as well. Joyce took fifth in the 200-yard backstroke, sixth in the 100-yard freestyle and seventh in the 200-yard freestyle. Gruen placed just before Joyce in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing sixth.

The UR men finished eighth overall with several conference finalist performances. As a team, seniors Alex Provan and Peter Maxwell and sophomores Craig Matt and Zachary Freed swam to an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and seventh in both the 400-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay.

Matt, who was also named UAA’s Swimmer of the Week after the team’s meet at Ithaca College, set two new UR records in the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyles, finishing seventh in both events.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Maxwell clocked a new school record in his third place finish for the Yellowjackets. Maxwell also took sixth and eighth in the 200-yard backstroke and in the 200-yard freestyle, respectively.

The men’s diving team was no slouch, either. The Yellowjackets were bolstered by junior Ted Elton’s fifth and seventh-place finishes in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, respectively.

“It was a thrilling season and it took a lot of work to get where we did,” Herring said. “Now that it is over, we can all breath a sigh of relief and know that next year is another chance to do even better.”

Troyer can be reached at mtoyer@campustimes.org.

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