Swimming and diving opens 2007 season

The swimming and diving teams hosted Division II Clarion University Saturday to open their 2007 season. The men’s team tallied 155 points to defeat the Eagles by 20 points. The women’s team fell short of a team victory, totaling 120 points to Clarion’s 180.

For the men, the 200-yard medley relay ‘A’ team began the meet with a second-place finish (1:39.19) behind the Clarion ‘A’ team (1:36.69).
The Tartans team consisted of juniors Ryan Piper and Brad Henderson, first-year Travis Piper, and senior Michael Bailey.

Travis Piper went on to win the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.55. Bailey (49.48) took third in the 100-yard freestyle, behind junior Ron Papa (48.98) who took second.

Carnegie Mellon swept the 1000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard butterfly. In the 1000-yard freestyle, junior Tom McConnell took first with a time of 9:59.16, while sophomore Jonas Altman-Kurosaki (10:10.38) and first-year Frank Olechniwicz (10:18.05) took second and third, respectively.

In the 200-yard butterfly, first-year Justin Whaley (1:59.98), and sophomores Andrew Weitz (2:02.28) and Scott Moorby (2:03.79) took first, second, and third, respectively.
“We knew going in that they had some very talented swimmers and that it was going to be a close meet,” co-captain Andrew Douglass said. “The lead changed multiple times during the meet and we had some very good races.”

McConnell went on to win the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:52.14, while Olechniwicz placed third with a time of 5:00.23. Weitz took second in the 200-yard IM (2:02.45) behind first-year Alex Hanson (2:00.82).

“[McConnell] had dominating performances in both the 500 and 1000,” Douglass said. “Both of his times were remarkable for this early in the season and both match some of his best in season times from all of last year.”

In the one-meter dive, sophomores Joe Kopko (188.80 points) and Matt Kuhn (155.30) took second and third, respectively, behind Clarion diver Clayton Bowers (243.95). Kopko also took second behind Bowers in the three-meter dive.

Sophomore Jason Huber took first in the 100-yard breaststroke and second in the 200-yard breaststroke with times of 59.84 and 2:14.19, respectively. Fellow sophomore Andrew Seo took third in both breaststroke races with times of 1:00.48 and 2:16.43, respectively.

Sophomore John Johnson collected a couple of third-place finishes in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with times of 54.69 and 1:58.47, respectively.

“We have a very large team with a lot of depth. We depended on that depth to help us win the meet,” Douglass said. “We not only depended on people to win events but also to get second and third in order to keep the score close.”

On the women’s side, first-year Molly Evans began her Carnegie Mellon career by winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.96), the 200-yard backstroke (2:05.71), and the 200-yard IM (2:11.92). She set a new school record in the backstroke, surpassing Emily Tong’s 2005 record of 2:12.75.

The women swept the 200-yard butterfly, with senior Anna Kochalko (2:14.78) taking first, and first-years Rebecca Ussai (2:19.87) and Noelle Helmstetter (2:20.98) taking second and third, respectively. Ussai went on to place third in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:02.61.

Junior Becky Martz won the 1000- and 500-yard freestyles with times of 11:14.47 and 5:27.03, respectively. Kochalko finished second in the 1000-yard freestyle (11:14.47), and third in the 500-yard freestyle (5:29.30).

Senior Lauren Connell won silver in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles with times of 25.03 and 55.24, respectively. Junior Colleen Murphy took bronze in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with times of 1:05.17 and 2:21.10, respectively.

Junior Charlotte Jennings (188.20 points) placed second in the one-meter dive behind Clarion diver Kayla Kelosky (248.25).

The Carnegie Mellon ‘A’ team of Connell, sophomore Sara Andrews, first-year Brianne Burton, and junior Allison Retotar took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:42.61) behind the Clarion ‘A’ team (1:38.89).

The swimming and diving teams will travel to Grove City College Saturday, Nov. 10, to take on the Wolverines at 1 p.m.

“I think the season outlook is great,” Douglass said. “We have very high goals for this year, like challenging for the UAA team championship and qualifying more people for nationals. This meet is a good sign that we are on track to do both of those.”