Swimming to compete in UAA Championship

The Carnegie Mellon women’s swimming and diving team hosted and won an invitational on Friday, Feb. 1 with California University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven University, Slippery Rock University, and Youngstown State University in attendance, scoring 592 points.

The men’s teams ventured deep into Oakland to attend the University of Pittsburgh Invitational competing against Clarion, Denison, and Duquesne universities and the University of Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon finished ahead of Clarion and Duquesne but narrowly missed beating Denison after the last relay was disqualified due to a false start.

The Tartans were off to a good start when the women’s relay team of first-years Molly Evans and Brianne Burton, sophomore Sara Andrews, and senior Lauren Connell won the 200-yard Medley Relay in 1:52.14. Senior co-captain Xiao-Lan Wong finished third in the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 11:07.92.

“It’s my last year of competitive swimming, so I might as well go all out,” Xiao said, after being asked to what she attributes her success.

Evans placed second in the 200-yard free in a time of 1:54.47. The 100-yard breaststroke proved to be a strong event for Carnegie Mellon with Andrews coming in first with a time of 1:09.75 and junior Allison Retotar taking fourth in 1:12.80.

Even more impressive, the Tartans went one-two in the 200-yard butterfly with first-year Rebecca Ussai in first and senior co-captain Anna Kochalko in second with times of 2:12.84 and 2:14.52, respectively. Connell won the 50-yard freestyle in a season best time of 24.82 followed by Burton in sixth with a time of 25.49.

Evans picked up more points for the team in the 100-yard freestyle with a third place finish in 54.76. Junior Colleen Murphy earned points for her 2:21.19 swim in the 200-yard backstroke.
The team showed its strength in the 200-yard breaststroke getting first, second, and fourth finishes led by Andrews with a season-best time of 2:32.23, followed by Kochalko with 2:34.34, and Retotar close behind in 2:34.71. The 500-yard freestyle boasted fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-place finishes for the Tartan swimmers Connell, Wong, and junior Tina Daup with times of 5:28.69, 5:30.10, and 5:34.58, respectively.

In the first one, two, three sweep of the day, Evans, Ussai, and first-year Lauren Gumbel finished in 59.48, 1:01.10, and 1:02.1, respectively.

“We knew it was going to be a close meet, and we knew we would have to swim well to win, but the main reason we won was because of the depth of our team,” Kochalko said. In the 200-yard IM, Kochalko finished second in a season-best time of 2:20.65.

The men’s team showed well with junior Tom McConnell dropping 14 seconds to place first in the 1000-yard freestyle in a career-best time of 9:39.24. He also placed third in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:43.79. First-year Frank Olechnowicz came in third in the 1000-yard freestyle with his season-best time of 9:27.70.

With a third-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and a fourth-place in the 200-yard backstroke, first-year Michael Panzitta had season-best times in both events with 53.35 and 1:57.29, respectively. Another impressive 200-yard backstroke swim was by first-year Alex Hanson in his fifth-place finish in 1:58.14.

Sophomore Jason Huber helped the team win points in the 100-yard breaststroke by placing third in 59.89. Showing great depth, the Tartans earned fourth and fifth in the 200-yard butterfly with first-year Justin Whaley in a career-best time of 1:56.98 and senior Dave Mohney in a season-best of 1:59.36. Seniors Michael Bailey placed fourth in the 100-freestyle in 47.78 and Patrick Snyder finished fifth with a time of 21.77.

The men’s and women’s teams will host a time trial on Saturday. They will next compete at the University Athletic Association Championships Feb. 20.