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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sports

Swim team dominant heading into winter break


With the divers medaling in every meet they have competed in this season, they will once again look to score valuable points when the swimming and diving team returns from its winter break. | Nabil Ahsan/The Cougar

The swimming and diving team is seven meets into the season and has come out victorious each time. All members of the team, regardless of classification, have been performing at their best and have the medals to show for it.

The team is now in the middle of a two-month break, after which they will compete in two more meets before traveling to Dallas for the American Athletic Conference Championships in February. It is a well-earned break as the Cougars have dominated everyone they have faced this season.

After staying in Texas for their first four meets, the Cougars traveled to Colorado to face Colorado State and Northern Colorado. But the story remained the same as they beat both schools by a combined 346 points.

The diving trio of redshirt senior Micaela Bouter and sophomores Lauren Burrell and Katelyn Abernathy also earned some valuable experience at the Minnesota Diving Invitational, where the three competed against several teams from the Big 10 Conference, including No. 3 Michigan Wolverines.

Bouter had the top performance of the three, placing third in the 3-meter dive finals.

The team is also coming off its best performance so far, a 1749.5-point performance at the Phill Hansel Invitational. The Cougars broke nine school records over the three-day meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium as they won the invitational for the second year in a row.

Senior freestyle swimmer Ksenia Yuskova was the top performer on head coach Ryan Wochomurka’s squad. Yuskova had five podium finishes and two event wins. Her wins in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle both came in record times, 49.39 seconds then one minute, 44.88 seconds, respectively.

For her performance, Yuskova was named the American Swimmer of the Week for the first time in her career.

Bouter, meanwhile, entered the break continuing her hot streak. She again won both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, scoring 305 and 342.15 points, respectively. She was named the American Diver of the Week for her performance, the 10th time she has been given the honor.

After the break, the Cougars will host two meets before the conference championships. The first is against a pair of Southeastern Conference teams: the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Vanderbilt Commodores. The second will be against the LSU Tigers, the Tulane Green Wave and the Rice Owls.

After that, the team’s focus will be on winning their second-straight conference title in Dallas.

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