The swimming and diving season has begun for UR, and if the first two meets are any indication, both teams look ready for a strong winter campaign.

The teams opened the season on Oct. 21 by traveling to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to take on the Red Hawks. The UR women dominated the meet, winning by a score of 153-90. Seven Yellowjackets took first in at least one event, and two won multiple races.

The star of the meet was senior Kari Joyce, who dominated the sprints by winning both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races. Joyce also swam the final leg for UR’s winning 4×100 free relay team.

Freshman Nora Hoefer matched Joyce’s feat, winning two individual events as well as a relay. She took the top spot in the 200 free and 200 backstroke and led off the 4×100 free relay. Joining Hoefer and Joyce in the relay were junior Kelly Fischer and senior Karen Gromer.

Five other contests were won by UR athletes. Gromer won the 200 butterfly and placed second in the 200 individual medley. Fellow senior Michelle Gruen took first in the 500 free and junior Danielle Scherry placed second. Scherry cruised past the competition on her way to a win in the 1000 free.

The blowout continued on the diving board, as UR swept the podium on the one-meter board. Junior Nancy Tremblay took first, with seniors Kara Nash and Shannon Kahabka placing second and third, respectively. Kahabka won the three-meter board and Nash once again took second.

The men’s team didn’t fare quite as well, finishing on the short end of a 130-113 score. Sophomore Bruce Maki continued his dominance from last season by placing first in all three of his races. He destroyed his opponents in the 1000 free, 500 free and 200 fly.

The other individual winner for the men was sophomore Ryan White in the 200 back.

Senior co-captain Zach Freed turned in a solid performance with three second place finishes. He was runner-up to Maki in the 200 fly and the 500 free and was the first UR swimmer to touch the wall in the 200 free. Second place finishes were also turned in by senior Craig Matt in the 100 free, junior Johnathan Dennison in the 200 IM, freshman Matt Kaule in the 1000 free and freshman Garrett Lam in the 200 breaststroke.

Two UR relay teams also took second place. The ‘Jackets’ 4×100 free relay team of Matt, Dennison, White and freshman Tim Anderson were barely out-touched at the wall. The 4×100 medley relay, consisting of freshman David Madar, junior Joe Subjeck, Lam and senior Anthony Furstoss placed second as well.

Four Yellowjackets garnered Liberty League honors the week. Performer of the Week honors were given to Joyce and Maki, while Nash claimed Diver of the week and Hoefer was named Rookie of the Week.

On Saturday, the teams participated in the Geneseo Invitational at SUNY Geneseo. The women’s team took second, scoring 220 points to Geneseo’s 247. The men placed third, scoring 166 points behind Alfred University (199) and Geneseo (196).

The women were again paced by Joyce, who took first in the 500 and 100 free and second in the 4×100 free relay with Gruen, sophomore Jill Endres and Gromer. Joyce also teamed up with Gromer, Fischer and senior Mary Carol Karl to grab second in the 200 medley relay.

Gruen dominated the distance races, beating out the competition in the 1000 free, with Scherry placing second. Gruen also won the 500 free, beating her closest opponent by over four seconds.

On the men’s side, Maki continued his stranglehold on the distance events by winning both the 500 and 1000 free races. Freed helped the UR cause by finishing second in the latter.

Also placing first for the ‘Jackets were Matt, who took the 200 free and finished second in the 100 fly, and freshman Stephen Graves, who won a very close one-meter diving event.

UR has this weekend off before hosting St. Lawrence University and Union College next weekend.

Moeller is a member of the class of 2009.

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