The University of Denver swimming and diving teams finished the 2013-14 season on a high note as Summit League Champions and with two All-Americans.
As a testament to the success of the season, two Pioneer swimmers made it to the NCAA Championships. First, junior Samantha Corea (Vancouver, British Columbia) came in 7th in the finals of the 200 backstroke, making her the highest-placing female swimmer in DU history at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, on March 22 in Minneapolis. This finish qualified Corea as an All-American in the 200 back. Her consolation final win on March 21 qualified her as an honorable mention All-American in the 100 fly.
Dylan Bunch (Boulder City, Nev.) also impressed on the national stage. The sophomore came in 12th place in the 1650 freestyle (14:50.96) in the final day of the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas on March 29. Bunch’s placing in the 1650 free qualified him as an All-American in the event. The Pioneer’s career-best time of 14:50.96 in the event broke his own DU school record of 15:00.28 set in 2013 and, his time of 8:55.77 after the 1000 free mark, broke the DU school record of 9:01.83 that he also set in 2013.
Because of their success over the course of the season, Corea and Bunch were named Summit League Swimmers of the Year.
“Both honors are well deserved,” head swim coach Brian Schrader said. “They have both been high performers all season long and on an elite, national level. Each in their own way has been great about helping their teams be better by what they do on a daily basis, are coachable and are hard working. They both had a mission to finish at NCAAs and finish well and they did a great job preparing and accomplishing those goals. Sam and Dylan are both great representatives for our program –great students, great people, great athletes.”
The University of Denver men’s swimming and diving teams claimed 17 of 20 first place wins while the women’s squad posted 16 of 20 top times to clinch The Summit League Championship title at IUPUI in Indianapolis, beating the next closest teams by over 400 points Feb. 19-22 in Indianapolis, Ind. DU’s men won the title with 1018.5 points while the women claimed the title with 1017.5 points. This was Denver’s fourth women’s swimming and diving conference win and its 38th men’s swimming and diving conference win. The Pioneers are in their inaugural year with The Summit League.
Leading the Pioneers in Indiana were Kyle Milberg (Littleton, Colo.) and Corea who were named MVPs of The Summit League Championships. Corea posted three individual event wins and was a part of five top relay times, while Milberg claimed three individual event wins and was a member of three No. 1 relay teams.
Denver also won a number of other awards at the conference championships. Head swim coach Brian Schrader was named Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s swimming, and Clara Jenck (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Scott Bergstrom (White Salmon, Wash.) garnered Newcomer of the Year honors.
Internationally, Johanna Roas (Munich, Germany) and Andrew Torres (Arvada, Colo.) made waves.
Roas came in 2nd place in the 50 backstroke (28.84) in the A final of the event at the German National Championships in Berlin, Germany May 1-4. The freshman placed 14th with a time of 2:20.28 in the 200 back and anchored her 4 x 100 mixed gender free relay (56.17) which went on to claim the No. 2 spot. On the final day of competition, Roas placed 7th in the 200 back (1:02.85) and finished by helping her team to a second place in the women’s 4 x 100 free relay.
Torres started his summer early by taking first in the 200 butterfly during the opening day of the International Grand Prix, held at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus’ Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez Natatorium on May 23. The sophomore went on to finish third in the 50 butterfly with a time of 25.40 and first in the 100 butterfly in 54.69. Torres was vying to qualify for future national team opportunities with Puerto Rico this summer. This will lead up to the 22nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico on Nov. 14-30, and possibly the 2015 Pan American Games, 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
For the Pioneer diving teams, the season concluded at the Zone E Diving Qualifiers in Colorado Springs, Colo. March 13-15. Diving for the Pioneers at the event were Cat Badillo (Elizabeth, Colo.), Ross Edfort (Somerset, N.J.) and Dana Gau (Waukesha, Wis.).
Posting the top score for Denver was Edfort who made it to the finals in the 1-meter dive after coming in 15th in preliminaries with 297.50 points. The junior took 16thplace in the finals with a score of 297.50. Edfort also made it to the finals in the platform dive when he came in 16th place with a score of 275.37 in the prelims.
Gau and Badillo also came out strong for Denver. Badillo got 32nd in the preliminaries of the 1-meter dive with a score of 232.60 and then garnered 226.55 points in the 3-meter prelims for 42nd place. Gau, like Edfort, competed in all three diving events. The junior placed 37th in the platform preliminaries (159.45), 46th in the 1-meter prelims (219.50) and 51st in the 3-meter prelims (205.65).
The University of Denver swimming and diving teams will lose six male and four female senior swimmers.
College swimming news courtesy of University of Denver swimming and diving.