HOUSTON – The University of Connecticut women’s swimming and diving team earned sixth-place honors in the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championships after wrapping up the final day of competition on Saturday at the CRWC Natatorium. The Huskies finished with 457 total points, while SMU won the meet after accumulating 681 points. Tulane (637.5), Houston (554), Cincinnati (536) and East Carolina (515.5) rounded out the remaining spots.
Two Husky swimmers, freshman Annika Grewal (Oakville, Ontario) and junior Christine Pedersen (Vinterbro, Norway) earned top-three finishes on Saturday to pace the UConn swimming attack. Grewal was outstanding in the 200-backstroke, placing second with a time of 1:57.32, setting a new school record in the process. Pedersen was third in the event after swimming it in 1:58.72.
Junior Sophie Nothnagle (Victor, N.Y.) completed the 200-butterfly in 2:00.73 to come in sixth, while sophomore Emily Parillo (Phillipston, Mass.) placed 12th in 2:04.02. Senior Laura Ruttan (Stittsville, Ontario) finished seventh in the 200-breaststroke after she touched the wall in 2:15.70.
In the 400-freestyle relay, the final event of the conference meet, the UConn team of junior Margot Manning (Frederick, Md.) and rookies Madeline Blair (Bethlehem, Pa.), Jackie Van Lew (Tinton Falls, N.J.) and Grewal placed fifth with a time of 3:26.00. SMU won the race after swimming it in 3:19.75.
Manning was 13th in the B-Final of the 100-freestyle in a time of 51.23. Blair (51.86) and Van Lew (52.57) finished in 15th and 16th, respectively, in the race. In the first race of the night, the 1650-freestyle, senior Caitlin Cole (Trumbull, Conn.) checked in 13th (17:20.76), while freshman Alex McPherson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was right behind her in 17:24.01.
Diving coach John Bransfield was named Co-Women's Diving Coach of the Year along with Houston's Bob Gunter.