Houston Women, Cincinnati Men Boast Lead Heading into AAC Final Day

by Andy Hardt 0

March 02nd, 2019 AAC, College, News

AAC –  Women & Men

Women’s Recap

Houston more than doubled its lead on Day 3, and with a 218 point margin over SMU, may have already clinched the title. Houston took three wins tonight, and got three in the top 8 in every individual event except the 100 butterfly. Tomorrow will be the Cougars’ victory lap, and a chance to watch SMU, Cincinnati, Tulane, and UConn fight to hold their positions, or to overtake, on the last day tomorrow.

Team Standings After Day 3:

  1. Houston – 624
  2. SMU – 406
  3. Cincinnati – 379.5
  4. Tulane – 350.5
  5. Connecticut – 336
  6. East Carolina – 213

Tulane’s Olivia Johnson took the 400 IM title in a rout, winning by almost 5 seconds in 4:10.58 to her teammate Jordan Morling’s 4:15.53. Johnson had splits of 57.57-1:02.36-1:11.28-59.37, each of which was the fastest or second-fastest in the field. Maria Jimenez of Houston was in the lead at the 100 (57.11), but Johnson had taken control by halfway, and from there just pulled further ahead.

In the 100 fly, Erin Trahan of SMU was the heavy favorite coming in after a 22.62 fly split on the medley relay on Day 1. Trahan didn’t disappoint, as she won by over a second in 51.92. Most of that margin was on the first 50 as Trahan took it out in a scintillating 24.08, which gave her a 0.85 second lead at that point. Behind Trahan, Cincinnati’s Anhelina Kutsko was second (53.00), and SMU’s Felicity Passion was third (53.29).

Zarena Brown of Houston won the 200 free, and it continued to be a day of blowouts, as Brown’s 1:45.20 was good for a 1.93 second margin on her teammate Mykenzie Leehy in second place. Brown took her second title of the meet, after the 500 free last night, and Leehy took her second second place after a runner-up finish in the 50.

The 100 breaststroke brought the first fight to the finish of the evening, and in a comeback win, Andrea Podmanik of SMU won over Houston’s Peyton Kondis. Kondis had had the faster split on the 200 medley relay (26.78), and she went to the lead here, hitting the 50 in 28.11. But Podmanik was not too far behind in 28.35, and she made up that ground in the second 50 with a 31.46 split to win a photo-finish: 59.81 to 59.84.

Laura Laderoute of Houston then won her second title of the meet, adding the 100 back to the 200 IM title she won last night. Laderoute was the top seed with a 53.04 this morning, and though she couldn’t quite match that, she swam 53.21 to win by three tenths. Felicity Passion (53.52) had a successful double back from the 100 fly in second, and Wei Zhang (53.94) of Tulane was the only other swimmer under 54 in third.

Monica Marcello of UConn won the 3 meter diving event with a big score of 349.20. Marcello had gone over the meet record on 1 meter, but was nevertheless beaten there by Kathryn Crown (SMU). But Crown was only fourth here, and Marcello got her meet record with the highest score achieved in any of the four diving events so far. Houston teammates Lauren Burrell (309.05) and Katie Deininger (293.80) took second and third.

Houston closed out the day with a close, come-from-behind victory in the 400 medley relay due to a massive anchor split by Zarena Brown. Laura Laderoute (53.04), Peyton Kondis (1:00.07), Katie Higgins (53.52), and Brown (48.02) combined for a winning time of 3:34.65. SMU was a close second in 3:34.81, narrowly being outtouched after Erin Trahan’s 51.22 fly split had given them almost a two-second lead heading into the final leg. Watch that thrilling come-from-behind victory below:

Men’s Recap

The top end was all East Carolina, as ECU won five of the six events. But Cincinnati packed the pool, with half of the finalists in the 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 free, and it was they who have extended their lead and look formidable in the team standings. East Carolina and Connecticut are slot-machine winners in second and third, while SMU is within shouting distance of UConn in fourth.

Team Standings After Day 3:

  1. Cincinnati – 649
  2. East Carolina – 555
  3. Connecticut – 444
  4. SMU – 407

Marek Osina of East Carolina got the easy win in the 400 IM, swimming 3:48.15 to win by almost 5 seconds. Read the women’s recap of the same event, and just change the names. Osina had splits of 51.26-57.08-1:06.46-53.35, each of which was the fastest or second fastest in the field. Osina had a slight lead at the 100 over Cooper Knapp (51.52) of UConn, and then just kept pulling away. Cincinnati’s Blake Hanna finished strong for second (3:52.97) as Knapp was third (3:53.81).

Gustavo Santos of East Carolina demolished the field and demolished the meet record to win the 100 fly. Santos’ fastest time actually came in the morning: 45.86. The 46.01 he swam at night was still enough to win by 1.65 seconds over Alberto Garcia (47.66) of Cincinnati, who won a blanket finish for second over his teammate Parker Saladin (47.71) and SMU’s Szymon Golczyk (47.78).

Din Selmanovic had already won the 500 and put down the fastest split in the 800 free relay, so it’s no surprise he also won the 200 free. The Cincinnati junior was only third at the 100 (47.10), but closed in 24.62-24.14 for a half-second win in 1:35.86. Early leader Blaz Demsar was second (1:36.30) for East Carolina, and Alexander Fortman of Cincinnati was third (1:36.53).

In the 100 breaststroke, Jacek Arentewicz of East Carolina was out in the lead in a quick 24.39, and a back-half of 28.25 was enough for him to hold on and break the meet record in 52.64. The old record was 52.74 by Thomas Dahlia of Louisville (Kelsi Worrell Dahlia’s husband). Behind Arentewicz, Dominic Polling was second (52.98) for Cincinnati, and Lyubomir Epitro of East Carolina was third (53.57).

East Carolina struck again in the 100 back as Tristan Taylor won in 47.38. Connecticut’s William Kearsey was first at the 50 (22.44), but Taylor dropped the hammer with a 24.51 2nd 50 to take the win. Kearsey held on for second in 47.62, and Joseph Puglessi of Cincinnati was third (48.03).

East Carolina continued their run in the 400 medley relay, as Gustavo Santos once again destroyed everyone on the fly leg. Tristan Taylor (48.40), Jacek Arentewicz (52.52), Santos (46.02), and Victor Martins (43.61) took the win in a meet record of 3:10.55. The first three legs for ECU had all won their stroke events earlier in the session, but without Santos’ margin on the fly leg, Cincinnati, who finished second in 3:11.81, would have had enough to win.

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