The SMU women earned their first women’s swimming title as a member of The American and their first conference title since they won the 2012 Conference USA crown. East Carolina’s men won their first conference title since they captured the 1989 Colonial Athletic Association Championship.
East Carolina’s win in the final relay gave the Pirates 892.5 points to edge second-place SMU, which finished with 858. UConn was third with 723 points followed by Cincinnati with 642.5.
The women’s meet went to SMU, which finished with 797 points. UConn was second with 619 points, followed by East Carolina (595.5), Tulane (494.5), Cincinnati (461) and Houston (449).
Cincinnati sophomore Jackie Keire, who won the 100, 200 and 500 freestyles, and set meet records in all three, was chosen as the Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer at the championship. SMU freshman Christian Scherubl, who also took first in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyles, was tabbed as the Men’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.
Houston sophomore Taylor Olanski was the conference champion in three-meter diving and platform diving and was named the Women’s Most Outstanding Diver. SMU senior Devin Burnett, who swept all three diving events for the second straight year, was the Men’s Most Outstanding Diver.
On the men’s side, East Carolina entered Saturday’s finals with a 33-point lead against SMU in the team standings. The Mustangs were able to cut into the lead after SMU took the top four places in platform diving, led by Burnett’s 388.15 total, giving SMU a shot at the team championship heading into the final relay.
East Carolina only needed to not get disqualified in the 400 free relay to claim the team championship, but the Pirates put an exclamation point on the meet as Kevin Irish out-touched Scherubl in the final leg to bring East Carolina home with a winning time of 2:56.79. SMU finished in 2:56.80.
The other individual champions on the men’s side Saturday were Cincinnati’s Christopher Brady, who won the 1,650 freestyle in 15:21.84 seconds; SMU’s Sam Straughan, who took the 200 backstroke in 1:44.72; and the Mustangs’ Tyler Rauth, woh won the 200 butterfly in a meet-record 1:45.00.
The women’s competition was all but a formality for SMU, which entered the final day of competition with a 122-point lead against second-place UConn. The Mustangs added event wins in the 200 backstroke, as Isabella Arcila won in 1:54.39; the 200 breaststroke behind Rachel Nicol’s 2:10.99 performance; and the 400 freestyle relay, which capped the meet with a 3:18.91 showing.
East Carolina’s Lauren Chew took the women’s 1,650 freestyle in 16:44.49, and the Pirates’ Bailie Monahan won the 200 butterfly in 1:58.72.Olankski defended her platform diving title with a score of 274.95 for Houston, while Keire, who won two individual titles last year, picked up her third title of 2015 with her win in the 100 free.
2015 American Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships
Feb. 18-21, 2015
Greensboro Aquatics Center • Greensboro, N.C.
Final Women’s Scores
1. SMU 797
2. UConn 619
3. East Carolina 595.5
4. Tulane 494.5
5. Cincinnati 461
6. Houston 449
Final Men’s Scores
1. East Carolina 892.5
2. SMU 858
3. UConn 723
4. Cincinnati 642.5
Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer
Jackie Keire, So., Cincinnati
Women’s Most Outstaning Diver
Taylor Olanski, So., Houston
Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year
Steve Collins, SMU
Women’s Diving Coach of the Year
Yulia Pakalina, Houston
Men’s Most Outstanding Swimmer
Christian Scherubl, Fr., SMU
Men’s Most Outstanding Diver
Devin Burnett, Sr., SMU
Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year
Rick Kobe, East Carolina
Men’s Diving Coach of the Year
Jim Stillson, SMU