Denver Wins 7th Consecutive Summit League Titles, 4 Records Fall on Day 4

2020 SUMMIT LEAGUE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS – MEN & WOMEN

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

WOMEN

  1. Denver – 1147.5
  2. South Dakota – 656.5
  3. South Dakota State – 603.5
  4. Nebraska, Omaha – 581
  5. Eastern Illinois – 233
  6. Western Illinois – 176.5

MEN

  1. Denver – 1042.5
  2. South Dakota – 672.5
  3. South Dakota State – 615.5
  4. Eastern Illinois – 363
  5. Western Illinois – 252
  6. Valparaiso – 216

AWARDS

Men

  • Championship Swimming MVP – Adriel Sanes, Denver
  • Championship Diving MVP – Mitch Raihle, South Dakota State
  • Newcomer of the Championship – Riley Babson, Denver
  • Diving Coach of the Year – Elyse Brouillette, South Dakota State
  • Swimming Coach of the Year – Alicia Hicken-Franklin, Denver

Women

  • Championship Swimming MVP – Josie Valette, Denver
  • Championship Diving MVP – Sammy Walker, Denver
  • Newcomer of the Championship – Natalie Arky, Denver
  • Diving Coach of the Year – Aaron D’Addario, Denver
  • Swimming Coach of the Year – Alicia Hicken-Franklin, Denver

Denver took home their 7th consecutive men’s and women’s Summit League titles this week, winning both the men’s and women’s meets decsively. The Denver women swept the swimming events over the course of the meet, while Denver’s men only dropped one swimming event – the 100 IM. As of the conclusion of this meet, Denver’s men and women have now won a combined 152 of the last 154 events swum at the Summit League Championships. The Pioneer women broke the Summit League conference record for highest scoring team performance at a conference championship meet with their score of 1,147.5 points. The previous record was held by Oakland, who are now members of the Horizon League, with a score of 1,093 points.

One of Denver’s top performances on the final day came from diver Sammy Walker, who won the women’s 3 meter with championship record of 320.15. With that performance, Walker shattered the previous championship record of 301.40, which was held by Oakland’s Tricia Grant from 2013. The score was also a Denver school, record. Walker had also won the 1 meter diving earlier in the meet, earning her Diver of the Meet honors at the conclusion of the meet.

Another conference championship record fell at the hands of Denver senior Josie Valette in the women’s 200 fly. Valette swam a 1:57.79, narrowly breaking her own Summit League Championship Record of 1:57.91. Valette also holds the overall conference record and Denver school record with her personal best of 1:57.01 from 2019. Senior teammate Kylie Cronin came in a close 2nd behind Valette, swimming a lifetime best of 1:58.24. Cronin had already won an event earlier in the meet, the women’s 100 IM. She swam a 56.79 to win the race for the 3rd year in a row. Cronin holds a personal best of 56.29, which she swam to win the title in 2018. The conference record is held by Bailey Andison (54.41), who swam her first 3 years at Denver before transferring to IU for her senior season last year.

Valette was also a member of the winning 400 free relay, teaming up with Aysia Leckie, Erika Remington, and Sarah Lingen to swim a 3:22.66. Valette led the relay off in a field-leading 49.71, and was followed by splits of 50.56, 51.88, and 50.51 from Leckie, Remington, and Lingen respectively. Aysia Leckie was the women’s 100 free champion from earlier in the night, swimming a 50.57 to lead a 1-2-3 charge by the Pioneers. Behind Leckie were other members of the relay Sarah Lingen (50.85) and Erika Remington (51.25) in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Denver freshman Natalie Arky picked up a win in the women’s 200 back with the 5th fastest time in Summit League history. Arky swam a 1:55.55 to win the race by a huge margin, touching as the only swimmer under 2:00. The conference record is held by star Denver alum Sam Corea at 1:50.87. DenverSenior Andi Johnston defended her title in the women’s mile, swimming a 16:53.51. The time was off her season best of 16:50.79, and off her winning time of 16:52.31 from last year.

Denver junior Charlotte Simon took the women’s 200 breast with a 2:15.65, with junior teammate Emily Vandenberg coming in 2nd with a 2:16.57. Simon was out much faster, hitting the 100 mark in 1:03.40, while Vandenberg was 1:05.22. Simon had won the event the past 2 years, clocking a 2:13.84 in 2019, and 2:15.17 in 2018.

The top swim on the men’s side came from sophomore Adriel Sanes, who broke the overall Summit League record in the 200 breast. Sanes swam a 1:55.70, touching as the only swimmer in the field under 2:00, and breaking the previous Summit League record and Denver school record of 1:56.24, which were both held by Sanes. The 200 breast was another event where Denver was dominant, with Cy Jager taking 2nd in 2:00.49, and Harrison Fudge taking 3rd in 2:01.54. Denver’s Jessen Blayze also tied for 4th with Western Illinois’ Connor Owens at 2:03.49.

Denver juniors Cameron Auchinachie and Sid Farber continued to be a force in the men’s sprint events. Auchinachie broke Farber’s championship record to win the event in 42.63, with Farber coming in a close 2nd (42.72). Farber was actually under his own championship record as well, which stood at 42.78 from last year. The pair split exactly the same on the 2nd 50, posting a 22.23 on that lap. Auchinachie was out ever so slightly faster, 20.40 on the 1st 50 to Farber’s 20.49. Auchinachie holds the overall Summit League record and Denver school record at 41.81 from last year’s NCAAs. This was yet another event where the Pioneers put on a show, with senior Hugo Sykes coming in 3rd with a 44.28, and sophomore Darragh Mahns taking 4th with a 44.56.

Auchinachie, Farber, and Sykes teamed up with Adriel Sanes to win the men’s 400 free decisively. Auchinachie led off in 43.11, with Farber following in 42.74, then Sykes in 44.23, and Sanes anchoring in 45.75 for a final time of 2:55.83. The time was good for the title by over 5 seconds, but was well off Denver’s season best of 2:51.99. Their season best stands as an NCAA B cut.  Adding up the top 4 Denver swimmers from the men’s 100 free (Auchinachie, Farber, Sykes, and Mahns) would have put the Pioneers at 2:54.19 in the relay, and that’s with the added benefit of 3 relay starts.

Denver junior Trent Panzera won a tight race with senior teammate Graham Walker in the men’s 200 fly, with Panzera swimming a 1:49.74 to Walker’s 1:49.80. Walker went out way faster than Panzera, splitting 22.96 and 27.12 on the first 2 50s for a 50.08 on the first 100. Panzera was 51.86 on the first 100 off 23.82 and 28.04 50 splits. They split very similarly on the 3rd 50, with Panzera swimming a 28.90, compared to 28.86 for Walker. It was the last 50 where Panzera made his move, coming home in 28.98, with Wlaker splitting 30.86, and Panzera getting the touch.

Denver sophomore Patrick Groters was dominant in the men’s 200 backstroke, swimming a personal best 1:42.20 for the 6th fastest time in conference history. Groters swam the fastest split in the field on all 4 50s, splitting 24.00, 25.50, 26.34, and 26.36 respectively by 50.

Denver freshman Riley Babson won a very tight race with his teammates in the men’s 1650, leading a 1-2-3-4 charge by the Pioneers with a final time of 15:2891. babson is ensuring Denver’s distance squad will stay alive in the new future, as he led Denver senior Jesse Haraden (15:28.92), senior Colin Gilbert (15:29.03), and junior Nathan Rock (15:46.26). Babson was off his season best of 15:21.73.

The only event Denver didn’t win at this meet came on Day 4, where South Dakota’s Jacob Leichner took the men’s 100 IM in a time of 50.77. The sophomore led the field by nearly a second, with South Dakota teammate Elbert Chuang coming in 2nd with a 51.72. Denver didn’t have any swimmer compete in the men’s 100 IM.

Day 4 Champions:

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Swammer
7 months ago

I believe it’s Darragh Mahns, not Mahns Darragh.

Linbabe
7 months ago

Shout out to Denver’s sprint coach. He’s doing an incredible job.

NEWTOSWIMSWAM
7 months ago

Congrats to Denver. Without taking away their efforts, performance and dominance, I wonder how they would do in a more competitive conference.

Admin
Reply to  NEWTOSWIMSWAM
7 months ago

I’ll ask the Swimulator guys to run that and see…