UChicago swimming and diving earns three awards and two event wins at conclusion of UAA Championships

Thomas Meek, Diving Coach Abbey Bernardo and Anna Girlich
Thomas Meek, Diving Coach Abbey Bernardo and Anna Girlich

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Chicago swimming and diving teams wrapped up action at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships with two event victories and a new UAA record on Saturday.

Emory University won the men's and women's conference titles for the 18th-straight year in the eight-team meet. The Eagles scored 1,595.5 points on the men's side and 2,015 points on the women's side. UChicago's women ended up third with 1,319 points and the men were fourth at 1,297 points.

Over the course of the four-day meet, the Maroons totaled six event wins and 19 All-UAA performances. UChicago also earned three post-meet awards via coaches' vote. Senior Thomas Meek was picked as UAA Men's Swimmer of the Year, freshman Anna Girlich was selected as UAA Women's Diver of the Year and Abbey Bernardo was named Women's Diving Coach of the Year.

Saturday's action featured eight NCAA B cuts and six marks that would qualify for last season's NCAA Championships.

Meek broke yet another UAA record in a sprint freestyle event. The senior won the 100-yard freestyle in 44.69 to beat the old record by 0.09 seconds. He previously shattered the 50-yard freestyle mark on Thursday. Freshman teammate Alexander Farrell finished right behind in second place to earn All-UAA status in 45.12. Both swimmers' marks were 2015 NCAA qualifying times.

The final event of the weekend ended with a UChicago victory. The 400-yard freestyle relay put up a 2015 NCAA qualifying time of 3:00.25, which won by almost two seconds. The quartet was composed of Farrell, Meek, freshman Keenan Novis and senior Matthew Veldman.

Two more Maroon men finished in third place to earn All-UAA recognition. Senior James Taylor put up an NCAA B cut time of 2:04.29 in the 200-yard breaststroke, and sophomore Dean Boures scored 449.85 in the one-meter dive.

On the women's half, UChicago posted a pair of All-UAA results that were also 2015 NCAA qualifying times. Junior Alison Wall was runner-up in the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 2:00.37, as the top three finishers in the race all swam past the old UAA record of 2:00.75.

The 400-yard freestyle relay also placed second in a time of 3:26.45. The relay included freshman Daria Wick, Wall, junior Maya Scheidl and freshman Hannah Eastman.

UChicago put up another 2015 NCAA qualifying result in the 100-yard freestyle. Scheidl put forth a time of 51.23 in the prelims and then took fourth in the finals at 51.67.

By the end of the weekend, UChicago established eight new school records:

  • Melissa Bischoff – Women's 100-yard backstroke (55.67)
  • Alex Lin – Men's 200-yard backstroke (1:50.56)
  • Thomas Meek – Men's 50-yard freestyle (20.09) and 100-yard freestyle (44.69)
  • Keenan Novis – Men's 400-yard IM (3:59.91)
  • Men's 200-yard freestyle relay (1:21.08)
  • Women's 200-yard medley relay (1:43.83)
  • Women's 400-yard freestyle relay (3:26.45)

UChicago Top Finishers (Men)
100 freestyle – Thomas Meek (1st, 44.69); Alexander Farrell (2nd, 45.12)
400 freestyle relay – 1st, 3:00.25 (Alexander Farrell, Thomas Meek, Keenan Novis, Matthew Veldman)
200 breaststroke – James Taylor (3rd, 2:04.29)
One-meter dive – Dean Boures (3rd, 449.85)
200 backstroke – Alex Lin (4th, 1:50.56)
200 butterfly – Kevin Ku (7th, 1:52.23); Michael Todd (9th, 1:51.14); Michael LeMay (13th, 1:53.81)
1,650 freestyle – Julien Esposito (23rd, 16:51.62)

UChicago Top Finishers (Women)
400 freestyle relay – 2nd, 3:26.45 (Daria Wick, Alison Wall, Maya Scheidl, Hannah Eastman)
200 backstroke – Alison Wall (2nd, 2:00.37) 
100 freestyle – Maya Scheidl (4th, 51.67) 
200 butterfly – Hannah Eastman (4th, 2:05.99); Ciara Hu (6th, 2:06.88) 
1,650 freestyle – Cara Lopiano (6th, 17:17.85) 
200 breaststroke – Megan Wall (7th, 2:24.33)

NEXT MEET:

  • Friday-Saturday, February 26-27 – UChicago at NCAA Diving Regional (Denison University)