The Emory University men and women’s swimming and diving teams drove up to Athens, Georgia, to face off against the top-ranked NCAA Division I University of Georgia (UGA) Bulldogs last Friday. Both Eagles teams lost the meet, the men falling 180.5-86.5 to the No. 8 men’s UGA team and the women 180-115 to the No. 7 women’s team. Despite the loss, the Eagles put up incredible times, especially when compared to other Division III swimmers.
The Emory women’s team was led by a number of outstanding individual performances.
Senior Elizabeth Aronoff took first place in the 200-breast stroke with a time of 2:22.74. Junior Annelise Kowalsky also took first place in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.88. Freshman Ashley Daniels took 3rd in the same event, finishing under a second behind Kowalsky with a time of 1:05.45. Sophomore Julia Wawer took second the 200 freestyle, with a time of 1:52.26. Fellow sophomore Rebecca Upton took fifth in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:05.73. The 200 medley relay team of sophomore Cindy Cheng, freshman Fiona Muir, junior Marissa Bergh and Kowalsky finished second with a time of 1:44.58.
Kowalsky’s performance earned her University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week honors for the second time this season.
Emory sophomore diver Mara Rosenstock took the top spot in the three-meter event with a score of 260.63. Freshman Emma Watson came in second in the same event with a score of 259.13. Rosenstock and Watson placed third and fourth in the one-meter event with the scores of 262.05 and 259.95 points respectively.
The Emory men also had several strong performances against the Bulldogs.
Junior Mitchell Cooper took first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:53.40. Freshman Thomas Gordon took first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.25. Senior John Galvin took second in the same event by only one hundredth of a second with a time of 53.26. The 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Alexander Hardwick, freshman Trey Kolleck Smith, sophomore Oliver Smith and junior Hayden Burdette-Sapp took first with a time of 1:23.33.
Cooper’s dominance was also rewarded with UAA Athlete of the Week honors, his second of the season.
While the results certainly left a lot to be desire, the team was grateful for the opportunity to challenge themselves.
“This meet is a learning opportunity because they have such refined skills compared to us,” said Kowalsky. “Just being around swimmers who have been on Olympic teams and getting a chance to race and observe them can make us better.”
Junior Christian Baker competed at the long course (measured in meters rather than yards) Arena Pro Swim Series Invitational on Saturday at the University of Minnesota. He won the “D” Final in the 400-meter freestyle event with a time of 4:03.69, beating out the second place swimmer by .16 seconds. Going into the last 50 meters of the race, Baker was in third, but managed to pass both of the opponents ahead of him to win.
“I hadn’t swam a very smart race in [the] preliminaries, so I was really trying to be reserved for my first 250 [meters] or so,” Baker said. “Once I got to the last 50, I realized I had probably been too reserved and was somehow able to drop my head down and build into an all-out sprint”.
Baker’s times qualify him for the Winter Junior Championships hosted in Austin, Texas, in December.
“Qualifying was nice considering I had lifted and practiced the day before, but at this point, I really only care about getting my Olympic Trial cut at the Austin Grand Prix in January,” Baker said.
The Eagles’ diving team will compete at the Emory Diving Invitational this Saturday Nov. 21 at the Madeleine Jude Brown Aquatic Center. The Swim team will get back in the water from Dec. 3 to 5 in both the SCAD and Miami Invitational meets.
“Miami is the halfway point of the season,” said Kowalsky. “It should give us a chance to see what’s going wrong, but while we still have a chance to fix things before the second half of the season.”