The DU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won nine of the 11 relay events in El Pomar Natatorium this past Saturday, sweeping the competition in an impressive show of Pioneer pride.
The DU men’s team scored 1130 points, as the University of Wyoming trailed at 802 and Colorado School of Mines scored a 494. The women’s team swam just as well, scoring 1058, with Wyoming trailing at 822, Northern Colorado followed with 788 and Colorado school of Mines scored 212.
“This was a great start, and I have to applaud our athletes’ efforts this afternoon,” head coach Brian Schrader said. “We are still in an early part of our training and season, so our measuring stick today was attitude and effort, and I felt like we hit that mark. It was really fun to have so many loud alums, parents and friends in the stands today. With so much varied racing and many of our kids racing six to seven times, they all did a nice job supporting each other. In short, today showcased fast swimming and fun. I think a college season should always start with some relays to emphasize team.”
The Pioneer women’s team led with five wins each from senior Morgan McCormick (Golden, Colo.) and freshman Alysia Leckie (Georgetown, Ontario). The men’s team also led with five wins from senior Anton Loncar (Hillsboro, Ore.) and sophomore Sid Farber (Portland, Ore.). The Pioneers also saw three athletes snatch four wins on Saturday as junior Bailey Andison (Smith Falls, Ontario) and junior Lauren Moden (Parker, Colo.) swam impressively that afternoon for the women and redshirt freshman Stephen Calkins (Calgary, Alberta) won four relays for the men on his debut.
Denver opened its annual relay event with a sweep in the 200 Medley Relay. McCormick, Andison, senior Heidi Bradley (Victoria, B.C.) and Leckie combined for a time of 1:42.55 to start the season-opener with a victory. Loncar, freshman Cy Jager (Moscow, Idaho), sophomore Peter Webster (Odense, Denmark) and Farber touched first in the men’s event with a 1:30.52.
Colin Gilbert (Kamloops, B.C.), the 2017 NCAA Championships qualifier led-off for the Pioneers’ 3×750 free relay in the long distance swim of the afternoon. Gilbert combined with junior Kyle Ewoldt (Gilbert, Ariz.) and senior Alex Walton (Atlanta, Ga.) for a time of 14:04.07. Gilbert swam his 250 in 4:38.83. Ewoldt’s relay win was his first of three on Saturday.
Sophomore Josie Valette (Boulder, Colo.), Bradley and sophomore Kylie Cronin (Marblehead, Mass.) got the Denver women back in the win column in the fifth event of the afternoon with a 2:49.88 in the 3X100 butterfly relay. The win was one of three for Bradley, while Valette was part of two relay wins for the Pioneers on Saturday.
The Pioneers continued in this fashion of multiple wins for DU swimmers, as they swept the relay and showed their true ‘attitude and effort’ in the sport.
The yearly cherry on top of the Denver Relays is the 200 mixed medley exhibition features two male and two female swimmers from each team. Loncar, Andison, freshman Deniz Ozkan (Istanbul, Turkey) and Farber won the event with a 1:38.27 to cap off Denver’s season opener.
Denver will have two meets next weekend. On Oct. 13, Denver’s women host New Mexico, while the men have an inter-squad at El Pomar, beginning at 4 p.m. The Pioneers will then travel together to Wyoming for a meet. First swim is set for 1 p.m. in Laramie.