Swimming and diving men pick up wins against Lindenwood, Truman State, women fall to Truman

Lily Wu | Staff Reporter

Swimming and diving athletes travelled in and out of state this weekend to face NCAA Division II teams from Lindenwood University and Truman State University.

In Friday’s meet with Lindenwood, whose men’s and women’s teams rank No. 4 and No. 5 in Division II respectively, both Bears teams won handedly by at least 30 points. The following day against Truman, the Washington University men’s team snatched a closer win 140-122 while the women’s team fell 117-145.

Despite playing up a Division, it’s a strong showing for the Bears with the conference and Midwest meets weeks away.

On Friday, the Bears captured first place in all four diving events. Senior Emily Ramos earned a personal best score of 265.1 on her way to winning the three-meter dive in a crowded race while also setting a season best mark of 233.70 with a victory in the one-meter dive. As the only male diver on Friday junior Ryan Nathenson easily placed first in both heights. Nathenson’s score of 227.15 in three-meter diving put him close to his personal-best.

Against Truman on Saturday, Wash. U. collectively won 13 events. Although the women’s team lost, they captured seven individual wins. Senior MariMac Collins had a big day, capturing wins in the 50m freestyle (24.45), 100m freestyle (53.26) while contributing to victories in the 200m medley relay (1:49.33) and 200m freestyle relay (1:39.55). In both relay events, Collins raced juniors Nicole Zanolli and Niamh O’Grady as well as senior Lauren Carlos. Freshman Stephanie Li also stepped up to the weekend’s second competition, winning both the 100 (1:08.14) and 200 (2:28.42) breaststroke events.

The men’s 200 medley relay team of freshman Jerry Chen, senior Michael Lagieski, sophomore Jordan Wheeler and junior Ross Brown came in first for the second day in a row (1:34.07). Chen and Lagieski picked up individual victories in the 200 backstroke (1:54.14) and the 200 breaststroke (2:08.44) respectively, along with teammate freshman Nozomi Horikawa, who raced the 100 backstroke (53.74). Sophomore Brandon Lum won both the 100 (51.22) and 200 (1:52.6) fly events, racking up more points for the Bears.

Coach Brad Shively applauded the team’s performance this weekend.

“Overall, it was a good weekend for Wash. U. Swimming & Diving. Those were strong teams with a good number of high quality swimmers and divers,” Shively said. “I thought they really accepted the challenges and had some great races.”

After a busy schedule this week, the swimming and diving teams gets somewhat of a break with only one meet in the next two weeks against Division I Western Illinois University. Lagieski said he is not phased by the top-division match-up.

“It gives us a chance to get out there and race some good competition and helps us prepare for our championship,” Lagieski said. In early February, the team will head into the UAA Championships in which both men and women have placed in the top five since 2011.

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