Just before the Thanksgiving break, UR men’s and women’s swim teams traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa. to challenge home team Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Franklin and Marshall College and Washington and Lee University in quad dual – a meet where the four teams race simultaneously, but the scores are calculated as three separate dual meets. Despite a few outstanding performances by individual swimmers, both UR teams fell short of a win against any of the other three competing schools.

Senior Danielle Scherry led the women’s team with three strong finishes for the weekend. In her first event, the 1000-yard freestyle, Scherry placed second with a time of 11:02.86, just three seconds behind Washington and Lee’s Tess Hayden. Scherry also delivered a solid time in the 200-yard butterfly, coming in fifth at 2:20.61 – the top finisher in this event, Franklin and Marshall’s Laura Bassford, clocked in at 2:14.70.

The most impressive performance of Scherry’s was her first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, securing a time of 5:23.30 and overcoming Hayden by .54 seconds.

Another swimmer who came through for the women was freshman Kathryn Lukens. She came in third on the 1000 free with a time of 11:07.00 and placed fifth in the 500 free at 5:30.66.

Other top event finishes included the 200-yard backstroke – the ‘Jackets placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Freshman Cailee Caldwell touched the wall first for UR at 2:17.12. Sophomore Nora Hoefer came in after Caldwell with a time of 2:19.09, while Lukens made it as a close sixth at 2:19.52.

Hoefer also placed fifth in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:04.66 and third in the 100-yard freestyle, clocking a 56.85. Freshman Dayna Jacob came in less than second later at 57.11, securing a fifth-place finish.

Senior Kelly Fischer displayed solid performances in her breaststroke events, placing fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:12.76, just under four seconds behind first-place finisher Cydney Eldh of Franklin and Marshall. Fischer also placed fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke, coming in at 2:37.56. She was closely followed by senior Denise Moseman, who secured a sixth place finish with a time of 2:37.70.

The UR women captured a top relay finish due to the performance of Hoefer, Jacob, Caldwell and Lukens. This young “A” team came in third in the 400-yard freestyle relay at 3:46.34, just .03 seconds away from a second-place finish.

Although the women’s swim team was able to seize solid individual finishes, overall, it was unable to deliver a team win for the weekend, falling to Carnegie Mellon 84-178, Franklin and Marshall 112-150 and Washington and Lee 102.5-159.

Men’s swimming, however, fared worse than the women, losing to Carnegie Mellon 47.5-214, Franklin and Marshall 101-161 and Washington and Lee 73-189. Similarly, though, the ‘Jackets were supported by top finishes from a select few such as freshmen Kevin Balch, Kevin Howard and Bobby McCue and junior Bruce Maki.

Balch and Howard teamed up with sophomores Chris Jensen and Jonathan Dennison for the 200-yard medley relay, placing sixth with a time of 1:41.49. Balch and Howard both had strong finishes in the 100-yard backstroke. Balch came in second, the ‘Jackets’ highest individual finish for the meet, at 55.16. Just .03 seconds later, Howard touched the wall to come in for third place at 55.19. Howard’s other solid performance was in the 200-yard backstroke; he secured a third-place finish with a time of 1:59.50, less than one second behind Carnegie Mellon’s Alex Hanson.

Maki captured top finishes in the distance freestyle races. He came in fifth for the 1000-yard freestyle, clocking 10:13.49, and he made it to the wall for a sixth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:57.94, a time six seconds faster than his seed time.

The ‘Jackets were represented in two breaststroke events by McCue. McCue was sixth with a time of 1:03.14 for the 100-yard breaststroke and moved to fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:17.71 McCue was also a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay “A” team, along with junior Ryan White and sophomores Tim Anderson and Pat Messmer. The four swimmers combined for an overall seventh-place finish with a time of 3:25.99.

This Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1, the women’s and men’s swim teams will visit Union College for the Liberty League Championships where they will both face not only Union, but also Clarkson University, Hamilton College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College and Vassar College.

Last year’s Liberty League Championships were held here at UR’s home Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Center. The women’s swim team came in second, losing to Union, 669.5-842.5, but beating the third-place team by over 100 points.

In contrast, the men’s swim team succeeding in capturing a first-place finish, narrowly beating RPI, 839-812, but defeating the third-place team by over 300 points. They hope to duplicate their finish with a strong performance at this years meet.

Squires is a member of the class of 2010.

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