Swim teams end season at NCAA Championships

By BRANDON WOLFE | March 28, 2019


The Hopkins swimming teams traveled to Greensboro, N.C. this past week, as the Jays competed in the NCAA Championships, with the men’s team placing fourth and the women’s team placing 13th after the four-day event.

Day one of the Championships for the men started with sophomore Christopher Arena taking 13th place in the 500 Free to earn Honorable Mention All-American honors. A pair of Jays, senior Emile Kuyl and freshman Maxwell Chen, followed by placing fourth and 10th, respectively, in the 200 Individual Medley. Kuyl notched First Team All-American honors, and Chen secured his spot as an Honorable Mention. The 50 Free saw another pair earn All-American status, with junior Brandon Fabian and sophomore Nat Davenport finishing in 12th and 13th place, respectively, to garner Honorable Mentions. 

Kuyl, Chen, Fabian and Davenport ended the night competing in the 200 Medley Relay, taking third place and earning an additional First Team All-American honor for the foursome. They then doubled this honor on the second day with a sixth-place finish in the 200 Freestyle Relay, finishing with a program second-best time of 1:20:81.

On the women’s end, day one saw junior Kiki Petersen record the sixth-fastest time in Hopkins history in the 50 Free, finishing in 23.19. She came in fifth place and was named a First Team All-American. She also repeated this distinction on day two, competing alongside freshman Kristen Alicea-Jorgensen, junior Alison Shapiro and sophomore Mikayla Bisignani in the 200 Free Relay. The relay team took home a fourth-place finish. Petersen then went on to close the second night with an Honorable Mention ninth-place finish in the 400 Medley Relay with fellow junior Sonia Lin, senior Natalia Rincon and freshman Sydney Okubo.

Continuing the trend of All-Americans on day two for the men was sophomore Matt McGough and Arena once again. McGough placed first in the consolation final of the 400 Individual Medley, breaking his own school record by 0.37 seconds, and Arena took 14th place, as the pair finished with Honorable Mention accolades. 

Fabian went on to garner even more honors in the 100 Fly, his third First Team honor of the day, with a fifth-place finish and the best Hopkins finish since 2002. He then went on to earn another First Team award, along with Kuyl, Chen and freshman Jeffrey Vitek, in the 400 Medley Relay. The quartet finished in fifth and broke the school record with their 3:15.38 time.

Freshman Noah Corbitt was the highlight of day two, as he earned the silver medal and First Team status in the 200 Free, finishing just 0.06 seconds out of first. Another Blue Jay, freshman Collin Hughes, also garnered honors with a 12th-place finish to give him an Honorable Mention distinction. 

Corbitt was among five other Blue Jays to earn First Team honors on day three, with the freshman taking fourth place in the 800 Free Relay with classmates Mitchell Simmons and Hughes, as well as McGough, notching a time of 6:36.44. Vitek and Kuyl were the other Hopkins men to make First Team All-American on the third day. Vitek would earn his with a sixth-place finish in the 200 Fly, while Kuyl placed third in the 100 Back for his third career First Team honor. 

Day three also saw several Hopkins swimmers earn honorable mention honors. For the men, Chen earned his second Honorable Mention of the event with a ninth overall finish in the 100 Back. For the women, the 800 Free Relay unit consisting of junior Michelle Wang, sophomores Emma McElrath and Carmela Irato and freshman Sophia Girgenti earned honors with a 15th-place finish.

Kuyl earned two more First Team honors on the final day of the Championships with an eighth-place finish in the 200 Back and a fourth-place finish in the 400 Free Relay with Corbitt, Davenport and Fabian. Fabian also earned Honorable Mention honors for his 13th-place finish in the 100 Free, and Arena and freshman Dylan Wachenfeld also earned the distinction with their ninth-place finishes in the 1650 Free and 200 Back, respectively. 

Not to be outdone, the last day for the women also featured multiple Blue Jays earning All-American honors, starting with Honorable Mention performances in the 1650 Free and 100 Free by McElrath and Petersen. Okubo would add to her honors on the day with a sixth-place First Team All-American finish in the 200 Back, and the foursome of Shapiro, Petersen, Alicea-Jorgensen and Wang would close out the Championship with an Honorable Mention honor coming from a 14th-place finish in the 400 Free Relay.

Despite taking some time to find their groove, Petersen was happy with how the team continued to work throughout the Championship and finish strong.

“I’d say overall the team performed well at North Carolina. We had a slow start on the first day, but we rallied and had some great swims the rest of the week,“ she said.

With 99 points and all swimmers earning at least one All-American honor, the women’s team finished in 13th place while garnering 24 total All-American honors, led by Petersen’s six.

With a total of 300 points, its most since 2013, the men’s team finished fourth for the fourth straight year and combined for 37 All-American honors, the most since 2005. The senior duo of Kuyl and Fabian led the way for the Jays with seven apiece, repeating their impressive performances from last year when they did the same thing.

With a strong finish to an already successful season, Head Coach Scott Armstrong was happy with the way his team competed and appreciated the solid performances by the younger swimmers, as well as the leadership of the veterans. 

“It’s been a great year with a very strong and very young team. The senior leadership showed as they guided the team through the ups and downs to our highest point total in several years,“ Armstrong said.


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