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.