CWRU Swimming and Diving to Open Season at John Carroll on Saturday

CWRU Swimming and Diving to Open Season at John Carroll on Saturday

The Case Western Reserve University swimming and diving teams will kick off their 2018-19 campaign this weekend, when the Spartans make the short trip across town to take on John Carroll University.

The Spartan women earned five All-America honorable mention finishes at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, with senior Suhan Mestha finishing 14th in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:02.10. Mestha also teamed with former Spartan Inez Moore, senior Alli Drohosky and sophomore Caitlyn VonFeldt to place 14th in the 200-yard medley relay with a mark of 1:44.62. Altogether, Case Western Reserve competitors totaled nine points at the meet, leading to the 34th-place finish.

The Spartans' success at the NCAA Championships, followed a number of standout performances at the 2018 University Athletic Association Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Mestha earned All-UAA honors with third-place finishes in both the 50-yard freestyle (23.62) and the 100-yard backstroke (56.09), and set a new school-record with her time in the 100 Back. In addition, the Spartan's 400-yard freestyle relay of Mestha, Moore, VonFeldt and former Spartan Vanya Ruppart claimed a third-place finish in the event with a new school-record time of 3:28.84.

Mestha, Drohosky and VonFeldt are all scheduled to return to lead the Spartans this season. Mestha will be looking to improve on her school-record time in the 100-yard backstroke (56.09), while VonFeldt will be looking to better her school record in the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.47). In addition, junior Sarah Taekman will look to improve on her school-record time in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:24.50).

Other returners for the Spartans who will begin the season with top-10 times in school history include Ruppart (seventh in the 200 Free, 1:55.88), senior Kelsey Holmberg (seventh in the 1650 Free, 18:07.87), sophomore Sophia Vaccaro (eighth in the 1650 Free, 18:10.95), junior Olivia Picchione (sixth in the 100 Fly, 58.82; seventh in the 200 Fly, 2:09.91; ninth in the 200 IM, 2:11.99), senior Bhavya Kumaran (fourth in the 100 Back, 56.68; fourth in the 200 Back, 2:07.49), sophomore Olivia Love (seventh in the 100 Back, 1:00.52), senior Alexa Simoneau (fourth in the 100 Breast, 1:07.22; fourth in the 200 breast, 2:25.91), junior Elizabeth Ye (eighth in the 100 Breast, 1:08.26; seventh in the 200 Breast, 2:27.00), sophomore Caroline Dudenhoeffer (eighth in the 200 Breast, 2:27.38) and junior Julia Ver Voort (fifth in the 200 IM, 2:10.92; ninth in the 400 IM, 4:40.50).

Simoneau and senior Karine Zeidan are slated to serve as captains of the women's squad during the 2018-19 campaign.

The CWRU men finished the 2017-18 season with an 8-2 dual meet record, and placed sixth at the 2018 UAA Championships.

Senior captain Keith Erichsen will return to lead the Spartans in the water, entering the season with top-10 times in school history in the 500 Free (sixth, 4:38.52), 1650 Free (third, 16:00.83) and 400 IM (ninth, 4:09.97). Senior Brody Schmidt will also return to serve as captain for CWRU, as he will enter the season with top-10 times in the 200 Free (ninth, 1:43.24) in the 500 Free (seventh, 4:38.68) and in the 200 Breast (seventh, 2:06.83).

Other CWRU men returning to the squad this season with top-10 times in the programs record book include sophomore Will McDonald (sixth in the 100 Back, 52.53; third in the 200 Back, 1:52.74), sophomore Dakota Weinman (eighth in the 100 Back, 52.81) and sophomore Sean Twomey (ninth in the 200 Breast, 2:08.40; sixth in the 200 IM, 1:55.29; second in the 400 IM, 4:04.70).

The Spartans will open their campaign at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio on Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 p.m. Last season, the CWRU women claimed a 215-76 win over the Blue Streaks, and the men earned a 211.5-76.5 victory.

Saturday's season-opener will be the first of 10 dual meets on the Spartans 2018-19 schedule.

Other key meets for the team include the Wooster Invitational from November 29th-December 1st and the UAA Championships from February 13th-16th at the University of Chicago. The NCAA Diving Zone Meet is scheduled for March 1st-2nd, with qualifying swimmers and divers moving on to the NCAA Division III Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina from March 20th-23rd.