SALT LAKE CITY – The 28th-ranked Utah men’s swimming and diving team will host No. 22 USC this Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Ute Natatorium in its last dual meet of the season. The meet is set to begin at 2 p.m. MT. The Utes will honor eight seniors – Jacob Crayne, David Fraser, Bence Kiraly, Kristian Kron, Quillian Oak, Kyle Owens, Brandon Risley and Brandon Young.
“Our men’s dual meet against Southern California has become an end-of-year tradition. It’s a fun way for our guys to close the regular season,” said Utah head coach Joe Dykstra. “As we begin to taper for the Pac-12 Championships, the times are always fast at this meet. USC is one of the top teams in the nation. As the defending Pac-12 champs, they always bring out the best in us. We will also be honoring our seniors as they close out their fantastic careers.”
The men’s squad earned five first-place finishes in its last time out, a loss to No. 16 Denver, 149-141.
Paul Unger took top-honors in the 100 back (48.63) as well as the 100 fly (49.35). This season, Ungur has three wins in the 100 back, two wins in the 100 fly and a win in the 50 back with 13 top-five finishes.
Kristian Kron would later take first in the 200 IM (1:51.99) and he also took second in the 200 back (1:48.43) and the 1,000 free (9:26.21). This year, Kron has two wins in the 200 and 400 IM as well as wins in the 200 fly and back. His 17 top-five finishes are tied for most on the team with Justin McArthur.
In diving action, Jacob Crayne and Connor Cain took the top two spots in the both the one-meter and three-meter events. Crayne scored 341.03 on the one-meter and 331.50 on the three-meter, with Cain scoring 279.15 and 322.28. Crayne also won the platform event at the Air Force Diving Invitational.
Bence Kiraly is Utah’s most successful swimmer with four wins in the 500 free, three in the 200 free, two in the 1000 free and one win apiece in the 50, 100, 400, and 1650 free, as well as the 200 fly. Kiraly has won 14 of the 16 events he has competed in this season and finished second in the two he did not capture.
Along with Ungur, Kron, McArthur and Kiraly, six other Utes have double-digit top-five finishes; Cole Avery (10), Jack Burton (10), Brandon Deckard (10), Ganem Tabet (10), Nolan Rogers (11) and Ben Scott (12).
Five more Utes have captured individual wins this season – Sean Bloore in the 50 free, Jay Bollinger in the 1000 free, Keanu Interone in the 100 breast, Peter Kotson in the 500 and 1000 free and Brandon Shreeve in the 200 back.
The Utes hosted USC last year in a two-day meet. The Trojans ultimately came out on top, 158-139 but the Utes attained eight first-place finishes.
Bence Kiraly won the 500 free (4:28.17) as well as the 1,650 free, while Jack Burton won the 100 breast (56.13) and the 200 breast (2:01.36).
Kristian Kron took home the win in the 200 back (1:48.77) and also took third in the 200 free (1:41.20).
David Fraser took first in the 200 fly (1:50.01).
The men will head to the Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way, Wash. The event runs March 2-5.
The women’s team, as well as the divers, have their Pac-12 Championships next week, starting Feb. 24 and concluding on Feb. 27.
Swimming news courtesy of Utah Swimming & Diving.