CHICAGO – The 2020 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships concluded with a bang on Saturday night, as a packed crowd inside the Myers-McLoraine Pool reached a deafening roar during the final race of the weekend.
Throughout the night, the University of Chicago men's swimming and diving team was hunting Emory University in the standings. The Eagles had won 21-straight UAA team titles, and the Maroons were intent on breaking the streak.
It all came down to the final race of the four-day meet – the men's 400-yard freestyle relay, with only 8.5 points separating the two squads. With everyone on their feet and cheering, the three-minute race unfolded with plenty of drama. Ultimately, the Eagles rallied late in the race to seize first place in three minutes flat while the Maroons were runners-up in 3:00.83.
In the men's final team standings, Emory prevailed with 1,595.5 points while UChicago was a close second at 1,579 points – a difference of a mere 16.5 points.
The Maroon men made a big push throughout Saturday's final to get within striking distance. The two races where UChicago made up the most ground were the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard butterfly. The 200 back saw Byrne Litschgi win the title in 1:47.17, with teammates John Paul Phillips (1:47.21) and Keda Song (1:48.23) right on his heels in second and fourth place, respectively. Then right before the 400 free relay, the hosts captured three of the top five positions in the 200 butterfly. Jota Iwase closed strong to win in 1:48.70, George Reuter was second (1:49.28) and Justin Park was fifth (1:50.05).
Arthur Kiselnikov continued his assault on the record books by winning the 100-yard freestyle in 44.30 – a new UAA and school record. He reset that record again as the lead leg of the 400 free relay with a split of 44.29. Teammate Jonathan Mendley was runner-up in the 100 free at 45.45.
On the women's side, Emory was the team champion with 1,686.5 points. The Maroons were third with 1,481 points.
Morgan Simon set a new school record in the 1,650-yard freestyle, going below the 17-minute mark for a time of 16:55.34. That time secured second place in the race.
The 400-yard freestyle relay posted a fourth-place showing in 3:27.69.
UChicago was well-represented when awards were announced at the end of the night. Kiselnikov was voted the UAA Men's Co-Swimmer of the Year and Men's Rookie of the Year after his outstanding showing throughout the weekend. Senior Agnes Lo was named UAA Women's Diver of the Year for the third time in her career. Lo swept the one-meter and three-meter boards.
UChicago's entire coaching staff received accolades as well. Head Coach Jason Weber and Assistant Coach Nicole Kaupp earned UAA Men's Coaching Staff of the Year. Head Diving Coach Becky Benson was named UAA Women's Diving Coach of the Year for the second-straight year.
UChicago Top Finishers (Men)
200 Back – Byrne Litschgi (1st, 1:47.17 – B); John Paul Phillips (2nd, 1:47.21 – B); Keda Song (4th, 1:48.23 – B); Alex Sun (8th, 1:49.06 – B)
200 Butterfly – Jota Iwase (1st, 1:48.70 – B); George Reuter (2nd, 1:49.28 – B); Justin Park (5th, 1:50.05 – B)
100 Free – Arthur Kiselnikov (1st, 44.30 – B); Jonathan Mendley (2nd, 45.45)
One-meter Diving – Andrew Chen (2nd, 531.40 – B); Logan Sherwin (3rd, 493.00 – B)
400 Free Relay – 2nd, 3:00.83 – B (Arthur Kiselnikov, Jonathan Mendley, Nick Ding, Byrne Litschgi)
200 Breast – Aaron Teo (7th, 2:04.78 – B); Reona Yamaguchi (8th, 2:05.22)
UChicago Top Finishers (Women)
200 Breast – Margaret Wolfson (1st, 2:19.04 – B); Chanell Kann (3rd, 2:20.50 – B)
1,650 Free – Morgan Simon (2nd, 16:55.34 – B)
400 Free Relay – 4th, 3:27.69 – B (Filippa Kolokotsa, Tyler Mandrell, Grace Schwieters, Gillian Gagnard)
200 Butterfly – Alice Ye (6th, 2:03.98 – B)
200 Back – Gillian Gagnard (6th, 2:02.87 – B)
100 Free – Filippa Kolokotsa (7th, 51.71 – B)
- Friday-Saturday, Feb. 21-22 – Midwest Invitational at UChicago