Swimming and diving posts record-breaking performance at nationals

Heman Duplechan | Staff Reporter

The Washington University men’s swimming and diving team completed their highest finish in team history at the NCAA Championships in Greensboro, NC, finishing in fifth place overall. The women, meanwhile finished in 14th. Collectively, both teams finished with 11 All-Americans, along with 13 All-American Honorable Mentions.

The weekend of competition was not only successful, but historic for the team, as many of the team’s swimmers broke school records. The men’s 400 M medley team of junior Peyton Wilson, senior Kevin Van Cleave, senior Andrew Pek and junior Chase Van Patten broke the previous school record for their race, posting a time of 3:14.17. During the relay, Wilson also broke a school record with his 100 M backstroke in the first leg, as he posted a time of 48.23.

On the women’s side, there were also two school records broken. The team of freshman Kiki Bonetta-Misteli, junior Stephanie Li, senior Lauren Sapp and junior Mollie Seidner posted a time of 3:45.98. Li also broke a school record in the 200 M breaststroke, as she finished with a time of 2:18.26.

The 1650 M freestyle finals were a great success for two of the team’s freshmen, as Rick Reinhart and Jack Smithson took home the 14th and 15th best times, respectively. Their strong finishes earned them both All-American Honorable Mentions. Reinhart and Smithson would also go on to score All-American finishes as members of the 800 M relay team, finishing in sixth.

The 200 M Backstroke was a successful race for Wilson, who achieved the sixth fastest time in the race on his way to an All-American finish. Li found success in the 200 M Breaststroke, as she came in 10th place, completing the race in school record time.

On the men’s side, junior Simon Deshusses earned an All-American finish, taking home 7th place in the 200 M breaststroke. Van Cleave swam to all-American finishes in the 400 M Medley Relay, the 200 M IM, and the 800 M Free Relay. He finished his last collegiate competition n with a 10th place finish in the 200 M breaststroke, earning an additional All-American honorable mention. The team of Van Patten, Pek, Deshusses, and Van Cleave placed 12th in the 400 M free relay race, earning them an All-American honorable mention.

For the women, the 400 M free relay was a strong event. The team of sophomore Elle Pollitt, Seidner, Sapp and junior Catherine Cowin took home an All-American finish, placing in fifth.

With so many good performances, the national championships proved to be a success for both teams, with the men’s team posting their strongest finish in their history. Coach Brad Shively walked away with the Division III Men’s Coach of the Year award. Having earned a good rest during this upcoming offseason, the team will return key pieces to make another run at a national championship next year.

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