NCAA Division III power Emory University opened the 2015-16 season showing they aren’t afraid to reach high for a challenge right out of the gates. While Penn State dominated the scoring over the Emory men 184-107, and the women 184-115, Emory made it apparent that they invited their Big 10 competitors for a reason, using the tough competition to draw out several inspired swims.
Full results are here.
Highlights from the men’s meet include two NCAA “B” Cuts from Emory Junior Mitchell Cooper. His 4:06.08 in the 400 IM was strong enough to win the event, and his 50.73 in the 100 back was second only to Penn State Senior Tim Maurer who touched in 50.64. The only other individual win for the Eagle men was Christian Baker in the 1000 freestyle. His time of 9:40.76 was nearly eight seconds ahead PSU freshman Robbie Dickson who touched in 9:48.34 for second.
Other strong finishes for the Eagle men included the 200 Medley Relay and the 50 freestyle. In the medley, Emory’s A and B squads were second and third, with the A team only .44 behind the Nittany Lions’ 1:34.20. Their B was able to sneak past the PSU B-squad with a 20.79 anchor, the fastest split in the event, from Sophomore Ollie Smith. In the 50, Emory was not able to snatch the top finish from Penn State Senior Matt Grillo (21.03,) but they were able to turn in four finishes under 22 seconds to secure the rest of the points in the event, led by a 21.44 effort by freshman Trey Kolleck.
The Penn State men were able to take 1,2,3 sweeps in the 200 free, 100 breast and 100 free. Matt Stasiunas was the top Lion in those two freestyle events, turning in times of 1:41.59 and 46.16. Andy Schuehler clocked a 58.31 for the top time in the 100 breast, and added an odd double when he won the 100 fly later in the meet with 51.71.
While the Penn State women also owned the scoring with several swept events, the women of Emory turned in strong performances throughout the dual, placing two in the top three scoring positions of five events and matching the Eagle men with two NCAA “B” cuts of their own.
Early in the meet, Eagle Junior Julia Wawer was only fourth place in the 200 freestyle, but her 1:52.86 was special as it was the first “B” cut of the day. PSU’s Kaitlin Jones won the event at 1:49.90, with teammates Nicole Price (1:52.50) and Emily Harris (1:52.74) squeaking ahead of Wawer for second and third. Before that, PSU had already swept the 1000 freestyle with junior Katelyn Sowinski taking the win at 10:17.65.
The Eagles managed to take first and third in the 100 back with Cindy Cheng’s 57.47 and Ellie Thompson’s 58.80, split by a 57.92 from PSU’s Alyson Ackman. The 200 back was swept by PSU, led by a 2:03.20 from senior Casey Fazio.
The 100 breast was won by Penn State junior Katie Saloky at 1:04.55, but Emory took the second and third positions with Annelise Kowalsky’s NCAA “B” Cut 1:04.75 and Freshman Ashley Daniels’ 1:06.41.
Other events with Emory landing two women in the top three were the 100 and 500 freestyles. In the 100, no one could match Megan Wujciak and her 51.54, but the Eagles landed two below 53 seconds with Marissa Bergh’s 52.35 and Meg Taylor’s 52.95. The 500 featured Julia Wawer (5:09.97) and Cindy Cheng (5:10.57) scoring big points but still nine seconds behind Nittany Lions’ senior Kaitlin Jones who won the event with 5:00.75.
The 3-meter springboard was also a strong event for Emory. PSU’s Mackenzie Cornell and her 255 points were enough to take second ahead of the Eagles’ Mara Rosenstock (234.38,) but not enough to take down Eagle Freshman Emma Watson who scored 258.90. That’s not a bad way to start a college career in D3– winning an event in your first meet as a college athlete against an NCAA Division 1 major conference opponent.
Next weekend, Emory will hold their Blue/Gold Intra-squad meet, while Penn State competes next at home against Virginia Tech on October 16th.