Across four days from Feb. 14-17, the No. 14 ranked Washington University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams attempted to do exactly that, putting themselves to the test against elite competition in the 2024 UAA Championships. The women’s (1,162 points) and men’s (1,105 points) teams fell short of the UAA title, but placed fourth and fifth respectively, finishing in the middle of the talented eight-team conference.
Student Life sat down with the Atlanta-area native to discuss the Bears’ 1,000th program win this past weekend, playing alongside five other first-years in the team, and who she would label as the “team mom.”
“Winning 1,000 games is really special for the team and the coaches. This team has shown it is very capable of winning — we’re going to be a problem down the road.”
In the opening weekend of play, the Bears have lived up to their hype, not only going 3-0 but also handily defeating top-notch opponents.
As they defended their home court down the stretch, the Bears pulled out a 72-61 win, a result that will likely go a long way towards locking up their at-large bid in the NCAA DIII tournament. The Bears extended their win streak to three on Feb. 18, topping Brandeis University 56-53 to bring their UAA record to 7-6.
After making the flight from Atlanta to upstate New York, the Bears showed up ready to play on Sunday, Feb. 11. From the opening tipoff to the final whistle, the Bears put on a clinic, riding a 15-0 start, a rebounding performance for the history books, and lockdown defense to a 75-61 victory.
Washington University senior Kyle Puckett has run over 500 miles since the start of 2024. So far this season, the Houston native has already set three personal records (PR), including a 5,000 meter PR of 14:50.37 that he set at the Midwest ELITE Invitational on Feb. 10. Student Life sat down with Puckett to discuss his intense training regimen, passion for mechanical engineering, and plans for the future.
Baseball is a streaky and superstitious sport – sometimes, all a team needs to improve off of a previous season’s results is a chip on their shoulder. While WashU missed the postseason last year, the building blocks for a sustainable winning future seemed to be in place. WashU baseball is young and hungry this season.
The Bears had rattled off five straight wins before their trip to Atlanta and New York, catapulting them up the UAA standings and reviving their chances of an at-large NCAA tournament berth. This past weekend, the team had a chance to show off their improvement. They took full advantage of it, dominating No. 19 Emory and Rochester on Feb. 9 and 11, avenging their close losses from earlier this season.
After an up-and-down season, the Washington University softball team is ready to compete in 2024. With a blank slate ahead of them and the fire to return to the postseason like two years ago, the Bears appear poised for a bounce-back.
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