WASHINGTON - The Catholic University of America swimming and diving teams forced their eighth sweep of the 2017-18 season as the Cardinals downed NCAA Division I Howard University with finals scores of 187-107 on the men's side and 186-89 in the women's meet.
The victory closed out Catholic's dual meet season as head coach Paul Waas led the men's and women's squads to a combined 17-1 record. The Catholic men finished the season undefeated season (9-0) and the women' boasted an 8-1 overall record.
The Catholic men touched in for back-to-back individual sweeps in the 200-butterfly and 50-freestyle. Sophomore Luke Nicholson led the field in the 200-butterfly with a winning time of 1:59.13 followed by senior Peter Bajorek (2:01.87) and junior David Lanetti (2:03.08). Fellow sophomore George Isaacs won the 50-freestyle in 22.31 seconds, just ahead of freshman Matt Mahon (22.46) and sophomore Olivier Nguyen (22.51).
Junior Sam Hicks and senior Joseph Soraghan each won two individual events to help the Cardinals to the victory. Hicks led a Cardinals sweep in the 200-freestyle with a winning time of 1:47.12 along with a Catholic one-two finish in the 100-freestyle (48.72). Soraghan won both diving events with finals scores of 194.70 on one-meter and 187.05 on three-meter.
Isaacs (22.33), Hicks (22.28), Nguyen (21.90) and Mahon (21.79) teamed up to win the final event of the meet, the 200-freestyle relay with a victorious time of 1:28.30.
The women's team started off the meet with a one-two-three finish in the 1000-freestyle with junior Valerie Sander out in front for a winning time of 11:22.31. Sophomore Emily Tighe touched for second in 11:30.12 and junior Mary Margaret Deedrick hit the wall in third place (12:15.16).
Freshman Caroline Beal led a Catholic sweep of the 200-freestyle as she touched in at 2:03.53 then later won the 200-backstroke in 2:15.77. Sophomore Elizabeth Spernal trailed Beal in the 200-freestyle with a second-place time of 2:11.64 just head of freshman Katie Van Lew (2:12.76) who took third.
Senior Riley Hawblitzel and freshman Morgan James were each double winners during the weekend triumph. James captured the sprint freestyle events with the top time of 25.47 seconds in the 50-yard race and 56.79 seconds in the 100-yard race. Hawblitzel won both one-meter (172.80) and three-meter (166.95) diving.
For their final dual meet, the Class of 2018, seniors Jack Abbott, Madison Amann, Peter Bajorek, Rachel Chain, Kristen Dawson, Riley Hawblitzel, Patrick Jones, Brooke Krajewski, Basira Knight, Ryan Powers, Joseph Soraghan and Alexander Tenner were recognized prior to the meet.
The Cardinals head to the Landmark Conference Championships to compete for the league's Championship Titles. The three-day conference championship meet is set to kick off Friday, February 16 at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center. Information about the championship schedule and ticket pricing can be found on the Landmark Conference website.
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