Louisville, KY, November 21, 2014 – The first night of finals at Ralph Wright Natatorium did not catch any NCAA “A” cuts, but spectators witnessed a pool record set by the host team, University of Louisville, along with some stiff competition and tight races across the board.
The Louisville women led off the night with a win in the 200y freestyle relay. The team of Andrea Kneppers (23.45), Kelsi Worrell (21.63), Maggie Patterson (23.16), and Tanja Kylliainen (22.43) finished in 1:30.67, just a hair off of the “B” cut of 1:30.17. Worrell’s split was not a typo; yes, she threw down a 21.63 in the second leg in the relay. Rounding out the top three squads in this event were Western Kentucky in second place (1:33.21) and Connecticut in third (1:33.83).
The Louisville women also stepped up in the final of the 500y freestyle, where a pair of Cardinals went 1-2 to put more points on the board. Freshman Marah Pugh earned an NCAA “B” cut in her winning time of 4:47.42, while Cardinal teammate Andrea Kneppers finished just shy of the cut (4:47.70) in her second place time tonight of 4:47.95. Third place was claimed by junior Dora Kiss of Missouri State in 4:49.13.
The top four swimmers cleared the NCAA “B” cut in tonight’s 200y IM final for the women, led by Western Kentucky Hilltopper, sophomore Nadine Laemmler, in 1:58.65. Her teammate, senior Allie Duff, followed closely behind clocking a 1:59.31. Third went to Cardinal senior Erica Belcher at 2:00.29.
The 50y freestyle saw the current pool record holder, Connecticut’s Chinyere Pigot, take a first place finish in 22.66, earning a “B” cut for her effort. She was followed closely behind by Kelsi Worrell (Louisville) in 22.78 (“B” cut) and Tanja Kylliainen (Louisville) in 23.14.
The final women’s event of the night was the 400y medley relay, which essentially was a two-team race. The Western Kentucky women just out-touched Louisville at the wall to earn the hard-fought victory and points on the scoreboard for the Hilltoppers. The line-up of Nadine Laemmler (53.27), Claire Conlon (1:01.50), Hanna Musser (53.47), and Michelle Craddock (49.20) collectively clocked a time of 3:37.44 to Louisville’s second place 3:37.72. A distant third place belonged to Missouri State in 3:49.17.
Women – Team Rankings – Through Event 9
University of Louisville – 472
Western Kentucky University – 397
Missouri State University – 287
University of Connecticut – 212
Southern Illinois University – 168
The Louisville men also started off the night with a win in the 200y free relay in a time of 1:19.25. Cardinals Thomas Dahlia (20.13), Caryle Blondell (19.73), Matthias Lindenbauer (19.64), and Trevor Carroll (19.75) topped second place Missouri State (1:21.22) and Southern Illinois (1:21.25). Lindenbauer’s split was the fastest of the field tonight.
Missouri State swimmer, Miguel Davila, put a stop to any Louisville men’s event win streak plans, as he topped the 500y freestyle field in a time of 4:24.25; a time that cleared the NCAA “B” mark of 4:24.99. Junior Till Pallmann of Southern Illinois touched closely behind in 4:24.98 for second place, but missed that “B” cut by the narrowest of margins with his time of 4:24.98. Third place went to sophomore Trevor Carroll of Louisville in 4:25.30.
Missouri State also went on to win the men’s 200y IM event, as Uvis Kalnins earned the win in 1:46.25, with teammate Paul Le close behind, touching in 1:46.53. Louisville’s Nolan Tesone rounded out the top three (1:46.74).
Without the likely winner of Louisville’s Caryle Blondell in the picture tonight (he did not swim in this morning’s prelims), the men’s 50y freestyle was rather wide open. So open, in fact, that it ended in a tie for first place: Aaron Young and Thomas Dahlia, both from Louisville, hit the touchpad simultaneously in a time of 20.43. Only .02 behind was Southern Illinois sprinter, Dusan Vukobrat, finishing in 20.45.
On top of the 50y freestyle excitement, the men followed up with a huge win in the 400y medley relay. The foursome of Grigory Tarasevich (47.16), Thomas Dahlia (54.24), Pedro Coutinho (46.18), and Caryle Blondell (43.28) teamed up to clock a new pool record of 3:10.85 (old record was 3:10.94 from February of this year), clearing the NCAA “B” cut in the process. Missouri State was the next closest competitor, finishing in 3:15.23 while Western Kentucky snagged third in 3:16.58.
Men – Team Rankings – Through Event 10
University of Louisville- 699
Southern Illinois University- 251.5
Missouri State University- 245.5
Western Kentucky University- 217
University of Connecticut- 214
Competition continues tomorrow with prelims beginning at 10:00am Eastern.
Full Meet Results Here