Case Western Reserve University senior Connor Farrell was named the 2016 University Athletic Association Men's Diver of the Year to lead the Spartan men to a sixth-place finish, while the women place seventh, at the conference championship meet in Webster, New York on Saturday.
Farrell became the first Spartan ever to garner the conference diver of the year honor. The senior finished second in the one-meter with a score of 493.50 on Saturday, after winning the three-meter dive earlier in the meet, and totaled 60 points during the meet for CWRU.
Farrell helped the Spartan men score 836 points to finish sixth overall in the team standings. Emory won the meet with 1,595.5 points, while Washington finished second with 1,444 points, and New York University third with 1,305.5 points. On the women's side, CWRU placed seventh with 630 points, while Emory won the meet with 2,015 points. Washingtin claimed second with 1,329.5 points, and Chicago claimed third with 1,319.
The Spartans set school records in four other events on Saturday. Individually, sophomore Oliver Hudgins broke the school record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:50.00 (good for an NCAA 'B' cut), earning all-UAA honors in the event with a third-place finish. Adding an individual record on Saturday was freshman Suhan Mestha, who finished sixth in the women's 200-yard backstroke, after swimming a school-record time of 2:03.49 in the preliminaries, an NCAA 'B' cut time.
Both the Spartans' men's and women's 400-yard freestyle relays notched school records as well. For the women, the combination of Mestha, senior Rebecca Pakradooni, sophomore Inez Moore and sophomore Jenny Eurich finished sixth with a new program-record time of 3:30.77. For the men, the 400-yard freestyle relay team of senior Aaron Tam, sophomore Drew Hamilton, Hudgins and senior Elliott Kerbel finished fifth with a school-record mark of 3:03.87, good for an NCAA 'B' cut.
Other top-eight finishers for the Spartans on Saturday included freshman Keith Erichsen in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a 'B' cut time of 16:00.83, and Pakradooni in the women's 200-yard butterfly (2:07.93 in the prelims). Hamilton added a 'B' cut mark in the 1,650 free with a time of 16:06.41, and sophomore Aaron Pang notched an NCAA provision mark in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:53.05, finishing 11th overall.
The Spartans will now turn their attention towards the NCAA Division III Championships. Swimming selections to the NCAA Championships are slated to be released on Wednesday, February 24th at 10:00 a.m., while NCAA Diving Regionals are scheduled for Friday, February 26th and Saturday, February 27th at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.