HOUSTON - The UConn swimming and diving team open The American Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 12 p.m. ET at the University of Houston. The Championships consist of four days of competition and will conclude on Saturday night. All night sessions will be streamed live on The American Digital Network.
“Our team is very excited for the AAC Championships,” said head coach Bob Goldberg. “We have dedicated the year to being ready for this meet and have trained through all of our in-season competitions. We have some outstanding individuals ready to compete and we seem to finally be recovering from a great deal of sickness and injuries just in time for the meet. I’m excited to see our team compete at full strength.”
Freshman Will Kearsey has excelled since stepping on campus. The backstroke specialist is one of the favorites going into The Championships with his top times in the 50-yard and 100-yard back ranking first in the conference and 200-yard back time settling for second- best.
Co-captain Donlevy is a major threat in the freestyle events this week. The senior has positioned himself inside the top 10 in the 50 and 100-yard events. Within the conference Donlevy’s 20.87 in the 50 is eighth best and his 45.67 is sixth best in the 100.
Mark Hunter is expected to make noise in the breaststroke, with his top times placing him within the top 10 of both the 100 and 200-yard events.
Junior Dan Kinney and Spencer Beaulieu have performed well throughout the season and head into the Diving Championships with confidence. Both divers have already qualified for the NCAA Diving Zones but seek a conference crown. Kinney ranks second best in both the 1M and 3M competitions based on the top scores from around the conference.
Seniors Christine Pedersen (Back), Sophie Nothnagle (Fly) and Margot Manning (Free and IM) lead the charge for UConn on the women’s squad. An accomplished diving quartet leads the Huskies on the boards: Alli Butera, Amanda Craig, Monica Marcello and Michelle Kapulski have all experienced success this season.
Pedersen (Vinterbro, Norway) enters the meet ranking inside the top 10 in all three-backstroke events (50, 100, 200) and has performed well down the stretch. Nothnagle had to play catch up after injuring her wrist entering the season. The senior has hit her stride the past few meets and is primed for a strong finish.
The Huskies best opportunity to claim a champion may come on the boards where four experienced divers take their shot. Butera (second) and Marcello (third/fifth) both rank in the conference’s top five in the 1M and 3M competitions. Craig and Kapulski sit in the top 10 of both events and look to take the next step this week.
The Championships schedule will consist of the Diving competitions beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Relays will follow at 6 p.m. ET. After Day One the schedule consists of the preliminaries starting at 11 a.m. ET, Diving at 1:30 p.m. ET and Finals at 7:00 p.m. ET over the course of the final three days. The Finals competitions will be streamed on The American Digital Network.
Stay tuned for daily recaps of the Huskies competing at The American Championships on uconnhuskies.com.