Maroon swimming and diving closes out NCAA Championships, finishes 11th in team standings

Alison Wall, Maya Scheidl and Alexander Farrell
Alison Wall, Maya Scheidl and Alexander Farrell

SHENANDOAH, Texas – The University of Chicago swimming and diving teams concluded the four-day 2017 NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday by placing 11th in the men's and women's team standings.

All told over the course of the meet, the Maroons totaled 40 All-American performances in 21 events. They broke seven school records and tallied 10 personal-best marks.

"This year's meet was a rollercoaster for me and the team with so many fantastic performances but also some tough breaks," said Head Coach Jason Weber. "It was also very emotional with having so many seniors at their last meet and competing in the last events of their careers. Overall, this was probably one of our best team performances at NCAAs, as our success and points were driven by individuals instead of relying on relays. Now we need to build on that individual success and get our relays more competitive to make that next step. This year's senior class has laid a great foundation for us to make that jump and become one of the top-5 to top-10 teams year after year."

Sophomore Alexander Farrell submitted the fastest men's 100-yard freestyle time in school history at 44.58. The new program record placed him seventh in the finals, clinching All-American honors.

Two Maroon men were All-Americans in the 200-yard breaststroke. Freshman Reona Yamaguchi broke the two-minute barrier in the finals to set the new school record at 1:59.95. He finished eighth overall. Freshman teammate Lance Culjat was an Honorable Mention All-American, placing 15th in 2:02.70.

Senior Alison Wall closed out her decorated career with Honorable Mention All-America honors in the 200-yard backstroke. Wall finished ninth in 2:00.17 to bring her All-American tally to 19 over her four years.

Freshman Aaron Guo was Honorable Mention All-American in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle finals with a final time of 15:43.68, placing 12th. Guo broke two school records in the event. He set a new 1,000-yard freestyle mark with his split of 9:29.01 and ended up shattering the 1,650-yard record by 20 seconds.

Senior Cara LoPiano was also Honorable Mention All-American in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle finals. She recorded a 12th-place finish in 17:09.05.

The Honorable Mention All-American men's 400-yard freestyle relay took 13th in a time of 3:01.31. The relay consisted of senior Jonathan Simoneau, sophomore Alexander Farrell, sophomore Dalton Mitchell and freshman Byrne Litschgi.

Senior Maya Scheidl went out with a bang as well. Scheidl broke the school record in the women's 100-yard freestyle prelims (50.92) and finished 14th in the finals at 50.96. With that Honorable Mention All-American performance, the senior achieved All-American status 16 times as a collegian.

UChicago Top Finishers (Women)
200-yard backstroke (FINALS) – Alison Wall (9th, 2:00.17)
1,650-yard freestyle (FINALS) – Cara LoPiano (12th, 17:09.05)
100-yard freestyle (FINALS) – Maya Scheidl (14th, 50.96)

UChicago Top Finishers (Men)
100-yard freestyle (FINALS) – Alexander Farrell (7th, 44.58)
200-yard breaststroke (FINALS) – Reona Yamaguchi (8th, 1:59.95); Lance Culjat (15th, 2:02.70)
1,650-yard freestyle (FINALS) – Aaron Guo (12th, 15:43.68); Taye Baldinazzo (21st, 16:17.07)
400-yard freestyle relay (FINALS) – 13th, 3:01.31 (Jonathan Simoneau, Alexander Farrell, Dalton Mitchell, Byrne Litschgi)
200-yard backstroke (PRELIMS) – Byrne Litschgi (21st, 1:49.69)