Emory swim and dive competes at the UAA Championships on Feb. 15. The men’s and women’s teams both won conference titles. (Courtesy of Eugene Soh)

The Emory University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams extended their University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships win-streak to a quarter of a century. The University of Chicago (UChicago) hosted the event for the first time in over three years due to COVID-19 restrictions from Feb. 14 to 17. 

Men bring home All-UAA honors, seven event championships

At the end of the first day, the men’s team trailed just two points behind UChicago. The relay team, which included junior Crow Thorsen, junior Alexander Pollack, senior Harrison Pire and senior Logan D’Amore, fell short in the 800-yard freestyle relay at 6:34.39, a mere 0.10 seconds behind UChicago.

The Eagles captured the lead on the second day of the meet. Seniors Ryan Soh, Jake Meyer, Nicholas Goudie and junior Jeff Echols secured the first event title for the team in the 400-yard medley relay, setting a new conference meet record with a time of 3:11.15.

Goudie said his relay teammates’ support is what gave him the confidence they were going to do great things in the pool.

“I’m a very, very emotional athlete,” Goudie said. “If I’m up there with three other guys that I know are gonna go fast and are encouraging me and supporting me, and I feel that energy, we’re always going to do something special. So it’s an awesome reward to be able to say we took down the record.”

Emory extended their lead the following day thanks to eight All-UAA performances and four event championships. Soh, Meyer, Goudie and Echols set another conference meet record and took the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:26.81. Thorsen had a record-breaking win of his own in the 400-yard individual medley, setting a new school record for the event of 3:51.18.

Thorsen said that he’s been after the school record ever since he arrived at Emory, honing his skills in training with the then-record-holder, Zach Lorson.

“[Lorson’s] an awesome guy, super hard worker, and so that’s been my goal for three years now,” Thorsen said.

On the final day of competition, Goudie took the 100-yard freestyle title for the second consecutive year, and Meyer captured the 200-yard breaststroke title. The Eagles won the conference championship with 280 more points than second-place New York University (NYU).

While the team has plenty to celebrate, Goudie said Head Coach Jon Howell warns the team that a complacent attitude would be a “downfall” to their success.

“Standing up there on the podium with all the guys with our trophy for the 25th year in a row, it shows that we didn’t take the winning culture for granted,” Goudie said. “We worked to keep it.”

Women win six event titles, leave competition in their wake

On the first day of competition, the relay team of senior Penelope Helm, freshman Meredith Teague, sophomore Isabel Huang and senior Moshelle Borjigin finished second to claim All-UAA honors. The Eagles were in fourth place after the first day, trailing 60 points behind first-place UChicago. 

The 200-yard freestyle relay team, consisting of sophomore Penny Celtnieks, sophomore Claire DePiero, freshman Natalie Boorjian and sophomore Jane Sanderson, finished a mere .21 seconds behind the NYU Violets on the second day. However, in the final relay, junior Rosalie Gaudiani, junior Caroline Zhu, freshman Maren McDonald and senior Megan Jungers blew the competition out of the water. Jungers managed to get her hand on the wall a whole second faster than the other squads and captured the 100-yard backstroke title on the third day of the meet.

Freshman Katie Cohen and senior Fiona Arwood also claimed the top two spots in the 200-yard backstroke, and junior Sarah Daly placed fourth in the 200-yard butterfly.

Helm, a distance freestyle swimmer, normally competes in events such as the 500-yard freestyle. However, she was able to represent Emory in the 100-yard freestyle in the UAA championship, and she credited her former teammates for her motivation to compete in this event.

“All I’ve ever wanted was to work really hard at that event so I can be as fast as them,” Helm said. “But it doesn’t come naturally to me.”

Heading into the final day, the Eagles boasted a 59.5-point lead ahead of host UChicago. The women cemented the lead by dominating the podium for the 1650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle races. 

Helm said she was not surprised the teams won the UAA titles, but she said that during the meet both teams maintained the mentality of not taking success for granted.

“We don’t go in there worried about winning,” Helm said. “We just go in there as the team we are, and we crush them.” 

The teams will host the Emory Invitational on Feb. 23 to 24 as the swimmers and divers prepare for the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships, which begin on March 20.

+ posts

Will Peck (25Ox) is from Chesterton, Indiana and currently an undecided student. In his free time, he enjoys going on bike rides, watching Chicago sports, and listening to music.

+ posts

Sasha Melamud (she/her, 27C) is from Clearwater, Florida, planning on majoring in creative writing and spanish. In her free time, Melamud enjoys being out in the fresh air, fitness, and hanging out with friends.