Swimming and diving season ends at NCAA

Trevor Drew

The men and women’s swim and dive team packed their bags after a long break from the pool and traveled to Indianapolis to compete in their last meet of the season, the NCAA championships March 9-12.

At the conclusion of the competition, the women’s team finished in 19th place overall with 63 points, while the men scored 33.5 points, taking the 24th place finish. Three athletes walked away with All-American achievements as well some breaking school and team records.re-swimming_JR

“We were excellent,” head coach Heidi Voigt said. “We took nine to nationals, which is the most we’ve ever taken since I’ve been here. Three men and six women and everyone scored but one, which is incredible.”

Freshman Ryan Knox-Leonard and senior Molly Kearney started off the first day of competition with both earning All-American honors. This was the first All-American performance the men’s team has received in the last 36 years.

Kearney took seventh in the 3-meter dive with a score of 436.55. Knox-Leonard finished seventh in the 200-yard IM, clocking in at 1:48.08. He also made a new school record during morning preliminaries, finishing in 1:48.01.

Freshman Regan Kilburn, senior Crystal Bennet, freshman Savanna Saunders and  junior Rachel Borchardt all finished with a time of 1:45.54 taking 16th in the women’s 200 medley relay. Another school record was broken by Kilburn, who completed the backstroke leg of the race in 25.68.

Borchardt also took 10th place in the 1,000 freestyle, posting a time of 10:09.40.

Kearney struck again on the second day of competition, earning her second All-American performance when she finished in fifth place with a final score of 459.70 in the 1-meter dive.

Borchardt had a 14th place finish in the 500 freestyle with the time of 4:57.79, and in the 100 backstroke, Kilburn had a 16th place finish with a time of 57.00.

On the final day of competition, Saunders finished the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:58.06, putting her in fourth place. Not only did she set a new team record, but she also was the third Wildcat to walk away with an All-American finish.

Freshman Renars Bundzis finished in a tie for 14th place in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:47.71. Bundzis was followed by graduate student Marc Perelló who posted a 16th place finish, clocking in at 2:01.26.

With a fairly young team, the future is bright for the men and women’s swim and dive program. In the upcoming seasons, the youth of the team will mature and be a more menacing threat to other teams in the conference, Kearney said. With her graduation on the horizon, Kearney looks forward to keeping up with the Wildcats’ performance after her departure.

“Being a senior, the feeling is bittersweet,” she said. “I will miss my team very much. This past year with the new men’s team was the best yet.”