The Emory men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams emerged victorious upon the conclusion of the UAA four-day championship event held last Saturday at the University of Chicago’s Ratner Aquatic Center. The teams won their 19th consecutive UAA championship, which makes it the women’s 25th title in program history. Along with receiving overall top team recognition, both teams came away with prestigious individual honors.
The men closed the meet with 1650.5 points, 10 UAA titles and 16 All-UAA finishes while breaking eight UAA records in the process. The women blew their competition out of the water, leading by more than 450 points with a score of 1,924.5. They earned the top spot in 17 of 18 events while setting eight UAA records and recording 32 All-UAA finishes.
“We saw some pretty solid competition at [The UAA Championships] this year,” said Head Coach Jon Howell. “Everyone went in with the right attitude and we got to see their hard work pay off. We were successful overall in the end and it made it more fun to be able to break some records along the way.”
Senior Andrew Wilson and junior Cindy Cheng took home their second respective UAA Swimmer of the Year awards. Wilson set three UAA records over the four-day period by winning the 200 IM with a time of 1:46.69, the 100yd breastroke with a time of 52.70 and 200yd breastroke with a time of 1:54.11. Cheng set a pair of individual records in both backstroke events with a time of 55.07 in the 100 and 1:58.46 in the 200.
The UAA Rookie of the Year awards went to freshman leads Maria Turcan and Sage Ono. Turcan touched first in the 200yd butterfly with a time of 2:04.14 and placed second in the 500yd freestyle with a time of 5:56.47, only 4.27 seconds behind Cheng, which earned her All-UAA honors. Ono set an individual UAA record of 48.08 in the 100yd backstroke.
Additionally, both relay teams had outstanding first place races in the 200 and 400yd medleys , breaking four UAA records. The women’s 200 medley relay team, consisting of Cheng, junior Megan Campbell, sophomore Meg Taylor and senior Annelise Kowalsky, touched down with a time of 1:41.78. Kowalsky and Cheng were joined by senior Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe and sophomore Fiona Muir in the 400 medley relay, winning the event with a time of 3:43.35. Juniors Cooper Tollen and Oliver Smith joined Wilson and Ono in the 200 medley relay, swimming a time of 1:27.57. Smith, Wilson, Ono and senior Christian Baker came back for another win in the 400 medley relay, racing 3:15.60.
The teams also earned Coaching Staff of the Year honors, celebrating Howell and assistant coaches Cindy Fontana, Chris Marshall, John Petroff and Ross Spock.
“We try to do everything we can to support them in and out of competition,” Howell said. “The goal is to help them get better as athletes and be more successful overall.”
The men’s team shared the Coaching Staff of the Year honors with Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) who placed second with 1,516.5 points.
The Eagles will be preparing for March’s NCAA Division III Championships in Houston, Texas, but not before competing in the Royal Open at Queens University (N.C.) Feb. 17-18.
“[Winning UAA] was a great step for us going forward and everyone has put in a tremendous team effort both in practice and in competition,” Howell said. “It also gave us an idea of what we need to work on be competitive and successful at Nationals next month.”