Colorado Mesa Caps Seventh Straight CMU Invitational Sweep With Relay Records

2023 Colorado Mesa University Invite

Courtesy: CMU Athletics

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.— The Colorado Mesa University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams capped off their seventh consecutive TYR/CMU Invitational team sweeps with school-record times in both 400-yard freestyle relays as the Mavericks concluded four impressive days of performances on Saturday evening at the El Pomar Natatorium.

The Maverick swimmers had at least one NCAA Division II Championship provisional qualifier in all 12 events contested Saturday and although they won just two events in the final session, relied on their impressive depth to complete convincing team victories.

The Maverick men scored 1,508 ½ team points, nearly doubling NCAA Division I Wyoming’s second-place total of 767. The Mavericks also scored more than the Cowboys and third-place Colorado School of Mines (696), combined. Adams State was fourth with 251 while Division I Utah’s partial squad took fifth with 238 ½.

CMU has now won the team title in 12 of the 13 editions of the annual meet.

Meanwhile, the Maverick women also won their seventh straight and tenth overall title with 1,107 points, 139 clear of the Wyoming Cowgirls (968). Northern Arizona took third with 788 while Mines was fourth in the 7-team field with 369. CSU Pueblo (216), Utah (192) and Adams State (115) rounded out the scores.

The Mavs’ two Saturday victories came from Ben Sampson, who led an impressive 1-2-3 Maverick sweep in the men’s 100 yard backstroke, and the 400 free relay, which set a pool, meet and school-record time of 2:56.71 (2:56.31-converted) to punctuate the impressive overall meet, which saw the Mavericks win 13 of the 21 events while claiming 33 top three finishes.

CMU’s women won ten events over four days while racking up 24 top three efforts.

Sampson, who won all three of his individual and seven total events throughout the week, set yet another national-leading time of 1:40.83 (1:39.63-converted) in the 100 back prelims before taking the final in 1:41.00 by 5.45 seconds over teammates Andrew Scoggin and Luka Samsonov, who rank second and third behind Sampson in CMU history. Sampson’s time leads all of college swimming and was just a tenth of a second off his NCAA Division II National Record time of 1:40.73 at last year’s TYR/CMU Invitational.

Scoggin finished the final in 1:46.45 after setting a prelim time of 1:45.22 (1:44.02-converted), which puts him second in Division II. Samsonov finished third in 1:48.68 after posting a 1:47.12 (1:45.92-converted) mark in the prelims. Gavyn Targe also took sixth in the event after moving up to ninth in program history during the prelims with a qualifying time of 1:49.21 (1:48.01-converted).

Meanwhile, the relay team of Jameson McEnaneyAziz GhaffariKuba Kiszczak and Jackson Moe broke the CMU standard of 2:57.22 from the 2022 RMAC Championships while also going well under last year’s meet-record time of 2:57.93 while securing a spot at the national championships. McEnaney also posted a NCAA provisional qualifying 100 free lead-off split of 44.72 (converted) while Austin Patterson posted a 44.94 converted split as the lead-off on the Mavs’ “B” relay team, that also set a NCAA “B” cut time of 2:58.43, just behind Wyoming’s top unit (2:58.23).

McEnaney, a freshman, now ranks fifth in CMU history while Patterson is now tenth.

The Maverick women’s relay team of Lauren WhiteOlivia HanssonIzzy Powers and Ada Qunell also broke the CMU record, touching in 3:21.55, just shy of Wyoming’s winning and pool and meet-record setting mark of 3:21.49. White completed the opening leg in a 100 free PR of 50.50 (50.40-converted) while Qunell anchored the Mavericks home with a 49.26-second relay split.

White also ended up as the meet’s high-point award-winner with 67 team points in her four individual events.

The Mavericks racked up 31 NCAA “B” cut times throughout the day, getting things started in the prelims, which saw Haven Hinkle and Melaina Howard both set such marks in the first section of the 1,650 free timed finals event. They held on to sixth and seventh place overall after the top eight seeded swimmers competed at the beginning of the evening session.  Hinkle finished in 17:35.69 (17:15.69-converted) to move up a spot to sixth in CMU history while Howard touched in 17:39.72 (17:19.72-converted) to rank seventh.

The Maverick men also had two qualifiers in the longest event of collegiate swimming as Jacob Troescher finished fourth in 15:54.05 (15:34.05-converted) while Gavin Anderson took seventh in 16:17.94 (15:57.94-converted).

The CMU women then shined in the 200 backstroke going, 2-3-5-7 while five different women set NCAA “B” cut times. Lauren White led the way in 1:59.04 (1:57.84-converted) to lead Division II this year while Katerina Matoskova was right behind, taking third in in 1:59.44 (1:58.24-converted). Meanwhile, Agata Naskret moved into the No. 4 spot in program history behind those two and school-record holder Mary Saiz with a prelim time of 1:59.37 (1:58.17-conveted) before finishing fifth in the finals. Benedict Nagy and Sophia Bains also moved into the Maverick’s top ten with NCAA provisional times.

The Mavs were also strong in the 100 free as Qunell finished second in 50.44 seconds to lead four NCAA qualifiers. Olivia Hansson (51.64) also made the final, finishing sixth while Izzy Powers and Elli Williams both set NCAA qualifying times in the consolation final, which was also quite fast.

Before setting his even faster NCAA “B” cut time in the relay, McEnaney finished second in the 100 free while Ghaffari took second in 45.14 after moving into the No. 4 spot of CMU history with a prelim time of 44.67 (converted) seconds. Jackson Moe also set a NCAA “B” cut time of 45.17 (45.07-converted) to finish fourth while Jacob Sampson won the consolation final with his first career individual “B” cut time of 45.35 (45.25-converted).

Ellie Wilke then continued the run of Maverick qualifiers, finishing fourth in the women’s 200 breast with a time of 2:19.89 (2:18.69-converted) while Juliette Benson placed sixth in 2:21.56 to move into the No. 7 spot of CMU history.

Meanwhile, the Maverick men had three finishers in the top five of the discipline as freshman Marcos Otero (2:00.70) and Aron Jonsson (2:01.40) both set NCAA qualifying marks. Otero now ranks third in program history while sophomore Mauricio Posadas now ranks eighth after placing fifth in 2:02.60.

The Mavericks also had three combined NCAA “B” qualifiers in the 200 butterfly as Benedict Nagy took sixth in 2:05.69 (2:04.49-converted) to move up to third in CMU history. That came just minutes after freshman Sydnee O’Neil won the consolation final in 2:05.85 (2:04.65-converted) to take over the No. 5 spot in CMU history.

Dejan Urbanek then places second in the men’s event with a time of 1:48.36 (1:47.16-converted), trailing only Wyoming’s Quinn Cynor, who set the pool record of 1:45.82.

CMU’s Sophia Bains also set a NCAA “B” but time of 2:05.79 (2:04.59-converted) in a morning time trial.
Northern Arizona’s Casey Craffey also broke the longest standing pool record in the women’s 1650 free, also breaking her own meet record in 16:35.27.

Wyoming’s Charlie Clark also broke the pool record in the men’s 1650 free with a time of 15:26.74, taking down the former mark of 15:36.36, which CMU standout Sam Bryant had set in 2017.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments