Friday night was senior night at El Pomar Natatorium in Denver, and the Denver Pioneer seniors didn’t take that title lightly.
Senior Kyle Milberg picked up three wins for the Pioneers, two of them over Utah powerhouse Kristian Kron, to help Denver knock off Utah.
Tanner Krall, another Denver senior, added two wins of his own to push the Pioneers to a 163-99 win.
Meanwhile the Denver women won both relays and added double wins from Bridgette McNally and Sam Corea to beat the Utes 140-122.
Utah did leave its mark on the Denver pool, though, as sprinter Nick Soedel broke a pair of pool records for the Utes.
Results available on Meet Mobile.
Denver found a way to match up well with Utah’s Big Three (Soedel, Kristian Kron and Bence Kiraly), which was the key to the dominating win. Integral to that strategy was senior Kyle Milberg. Milberg went 49.34 to top Kron by two full seconds in the 100 back, then added a nearly-three-second victory in the 200 back, going 1:48.60 to Kron’s 1:51.54. Milberg also added a win in the 100 fly, going 49.15 in a 1-2 finish for the Pioneers.
Dylan Bunch topped Kiraly by a half-second in the 1000 free 9:17.66 to 9:18.17 and then went 4:30.80 to Kiraly’s 4:33.51 to win the 500 free.
All-in-all, this Utah team, which has been so tough all season, seemed to struggle some on the road against a very fired-up Denver sqaud. The Denver divers were away at a competition at Air Force, allowing Utah 1-2-3 finishes in both diving events, yet Denver was still able to win by 64.
The one high-note was sprinter Nick Soedel, who continued his fantastic junior season by smashing two pool records. Soedel was 19.92 in the 50 free, winning by nearly a full second. He followed that up just one event later by going 43.82 in the 100 free, an eye-popping two-second victory over Denver’s Kyle Robrock.
Denver got two big wins from another senior on senior night – breaststroker Tanner Krall. Krall went 56.41 for a tight win in the 100 breast over Utah’s Ken Tiltges (56.64), and then went 2:04.68 to run away with the 200 breast later on.
Krall and Milberg combined with Andrew Torres and Robrock to win the 400 medley relay in 3:18.16. Krall was 55.2 on the breaststroke leg, Milberg 49.1 on back.
Torres took the 200 fly, going 1:51.15 to top Utah’s Kiraly, and Jeremiah Zgliczynski led a 1-2-3 Pioneer charge in the 200 IM to close out individual racing. Zgliczynski went 1:51.93 to win handily.
Utah did win the 200 free early on, with Karl Holmstrom going 1:40.23 to deny Denver’s Bunch his third win on the night. The Utes also took the 200 free relay to close the meet, powered by a 19.93 leadoff split from Soedel, just a hundredth off his freshly-set pool record from earlier.
Brianna Francis won three races for the Utes, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Denver, which won both relays, swept the backstrokes and dominated the middle-distance freestyles.
Bridgette McNally went 1:52.23 leading a 1-2 200 free charge for Denver, her first of two wins. She also won the 200 back in 2:02.73, beating Utah’s Amanda Barrett.
Sam Corea won the shorter backstroke race, going 55.89 in the 100 for the Pioneers. She picked up her second win in the 100 fly, going 54.82 to top Petra Soininen of Utah.
Corea led off the 400 medley in an even-faster 100 backstroke of 55.07. She teamed with Amanda Sanders, Drew Matthews and Johanna Roas to go 3:45.05 for the win.
Roas picked up a win in one of the night’s tightest races, nipping Utah sprint star Traycie Swartz 50.74 to 50.84 in the 100 free. Swartz did win the 50 free, another touchout, going 23.56 to Roas’s 23.63.
Utah’s Brianna Francis had a great day despite the Ute loss. The freshmen won both breaststrokes and the 200 IM, winning several tight races along the way. She nipped Denver’s Amanda Sanders 1:04.05 to 1:04.20 in the 100 breast, then topped her teammate Stina Colleou by four tenths in the 200 breast, going 2:19.13. Finally she topped Denver’s McNally in the 200 IM with a 2:05.35.
With Denver’s divers out of town, Kersten Merry was freed up to dominate both boards, scoring 304.95 on 1-meter and 299.55 on 3-meter. The other Utah winners were Petra Soininen in the 200 fly (2:03.64) and Sami Zuch in the 1000 free (10:22.85).
After a second-place finish in the 200, Denver’s Morgan Mullenix won the 500 free, going 5:01.47 to touch out Zuch by two tenths.
Denver capped off the night by winning the 200 free relay. The team of Corea, Roas, Zoe Huddleston and Matthews went 1:32.69 to easily outpace Utah.