Women’s Swimming and Diving Second, Men Third at WU Invitational
St. Louis, Mo., January 14, 2012 – The Washington University in St. Louis women’s swimming and diving team finished as the runner-up, while the WUSTL men finished in third-place at the WU Invitational on Friday and Saturday as the Bears celebrated senior day at the I.E. Millstone Pool in St. Louis.
The Washington U. women won four out of five titles in the individual freestyle event to lead the team to a runner-up finish with 885 points. Saint Louis University won the women’s team title with 972 points, and DePauw University finished third behind the Bears in the seven-team invitational with 777.5 points. The Washington U. men scored 619.5 points to finish third out of eight teams. Lindenwood University won the men’s team championship with 701.5 points, while DePauw finished second with 686.
The WUSTL women claimed individual titles in the 50-, 100-, 500-, and 1,650-yard freestyle events. Sophomore Allison Siegel won the 50-free with a time of 25.48 seconds, while freshman Jennifer Tartavull (25.68) and junior Veronica Tse (26.29) finished third and fifth, respectively. Tartavull added a first-place finish in the 100-free with a time of 54.72, and a runner-up finish in the 200-free in 1:59.63. Tse (56.31) and freshman Katie Crist (56.53) finished behind Tartavull in third and fifth, respectively, in the 100-free. Crist also added a fifth-place finish in the 200-free with a time of 2:02.90.
Freshman Sara Taege swam a time of 5:12.14 to win the 500-freestyle, while sophomores Paige VanTassell (5:24.18) and Grace Murray (5:25.51) finished fifth and sixth in the event, respectively. Murray was Washington U.’s fourth individual champion, as she won the 1,650-free with a time of 18:01.78. Freshman Courtenay Willcox added a third-place finish for WUSTL in the event with a time of 18:24.45. Taege (4:45.62), VanTassell (4:48.44), and sophomore Meghan Lam (4:50.55) added a 2-3-4 finish in the 400-individual medley.
The Washington U. men were led by freshmen Zane Turpin and Luke Dobben with two runner-up finishes each. Turpin placed second in the 200-yard butterfly (1:55.25) and the 400-individual medley (4:15.25), while also adding a third-place finish in the 1,650-free (16:37.24). Dobben finished second in the 1,650-free with a time of 16:24.81, which was more than nine seconds faster than his previous season-best. Dobben also finished second in the 200-free with a season-best time of 4:43.41, while senior Chris Valach followed in third-place with a time of 4:45.08. Valach and freshman Jacob Hale also finished fourth and sixth in the 1,650-free with times of 16:52.24 and 17:02.64, respectively.
Sophomore Chi Pham led four Washington U. women who placed in the top six of the 200-individual medley. Pham swam a time of 2:15.73 to finish second in the event. Lam (2:17.61), freshman Hannah Chase (2:19.95), and freshman Katrina Leyden (2:20.34) claimed the fourth- through sixth-place finishes in the event. Pham also finished second in the 100-backstroke with a time of 1:02.15, and finished fourth in the 100-butterfly in 1:01.93. Chase was third in the 100-butterfly in 1:01.86, and added a runner-up finish in the 200-butterfly (2:14.02) as well. Lam also claimed a runner-up finish in the 200-backstroke (2:15.22) for WU.
Sophomore Brian Carpenter and senior Billy Griffitts also earned runner-up finishes for the Washington U. men’s team. Carpenter swam a time of 1:00.52 to finish second in the 100-breaststroke. Griffitts posted a season-best time of 55.30 seconds to place second in the 100-backstroke. Sophomore Jason Wan and Carpenter finished fifth and sixth in the 100-backstroke in times of 56.47 and 56.71, respectively. Freshman Matt Nutter shaved more than four seconds off his previous season-best to finish fifth in the 200-backstroke in 2:01.01.
The WU women and men also placed in the top-five in the 200-medley relay, 400-medley relay, 200-free relay, 400-free relay, and 800-free relay events at the meet.
The WUSTL swimming and diving teams had two special events at the WU Invitational as well. The Bears hosted several Special Olympics athletes for Friday evening’s competition. Prior to Saturday’s events, Washington U. recognized its 12 seniors – Evan Dorshorst, Griffitts, Ben Halperin, Mike Rao, John Scott, Nick Thornburg, Valach, Erika Antisdale, Kerri Blumer, Caroline Lee, Catherine Rafferty-Millett, and Amy Vanlishout.
The Bears travel to Principia College for their next meet, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, in Elsah, Ill.