Bears swim to third, fifth place finishes at competitive Denison Invitational

Dorian DeBose | Senior Sports Editor

It was a productive weekend for the Washington University swimming and diving teams as they competed in the Denison Invitational. The men’s team placed third in their competition, while the women’s team placed fifth. The Bears posted a total of 36 “B” cut times, which are used in the selection of qualifiers for the national championship.

Senior Max Cardwell swims in a meet against Saint Louis University Sept. 29. This weekend, the men's and women's swimming and diving teams took third and fifth, respectively, at the Denison Invite. Grace Bruton | Student Life

Senior Max Cardwell swims in a meet against Saint Louis University Sept. 29. This weekend, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took third and fifth, respectively, at the Denison Invite.

The competition started Thursday. The Bears had good start, with the men coming in at third with 417 points and the women in fifth 354 points. The competition was stiff: Denison—the No. 1 team in the nation according to the in the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) National Poll—had a commanding lead in both divisions after the first day. No. 2 Emory was ahead of the men after a day of competition. On the women’s side, Division I Eastern Michigan, Emory and Division II Wayne State were all in front of the Bears. Senior Kevin Van Cleave posted a time of 1:48.80 in the 200 men’s individual medley, good enough for second in the event. Van Cleave was also involved in a third place finish in the 400 men’s medley relay, alongside junior Peyton Wilson, senior Brandon Lum and junior Chase Van Patten. They posted a time of 3:17.20

The standings remained untouched after the second day of competition. Van Cleave finished the 200 men’s breaststroke in 55.60, which placed third in the competition. Senior Andrew Pek finished second in the 100 men’s butterfly with a time of 48.69. Wilson had the last podium finish for the Bears on the day, with his third-place time of 49.09 in the 100 men’s backstroke.

Wilson continued his success in the backstroke Saturday, when he finished the 200 M backstroke in 1:46.77, good for his third third-place finish of the competition. Lum finished second in the 200 men’s butterfly with a time of 1:41.61.

Other Bears who posted “B” cut times at Denison were freshmen Grace Carey, freshman Barclay Dale, freshman Kevin Hao, freshman Nathan Katz, freshman Rick Reinhard, sophomore Sabrina Baxamusa, sophomore Ella Needler, sophomore Matthew Yang, junior Jerry Chen, junior Simon Deshusses, junior Stephanie Li, junior Mollie Seidner and senior Lauren Sapp and senior Jordan Wheeler.

In addition to competing at the Denison Invitational, the Bears competed at the Wheaton Invitational over the weekend. The men’s diving team placed third, and the women’s diving team placed second. Freshman Alexander Zuga won the 500 men’s freestyle with a time of 4:36.35. Zuga also won the 200 men’s freestyle, posting a time of 1:42.96. Senior Max Cardwell won the 200 men’s breaststroke with a time of 2:05.77. In the 400 men’s Freestyle Relay, sophomore Anne Whitsel, sophomore Emily Mansour, freshman Stephanie Bowater and junior Catherine Cowin placed first with a time of 3:32.91. Freshman Sam Mahoney posted the Bears only B cut time of the competition when he placed 2nd with a time of 1:50.22 in the 200 men’s butterfly.

The Denison Invitational and Wheaton Invitational concluded the Bear’s 2018 schedule. They will next compete in the Washington University Invitational Jan. 11, 2019.