Southwestern Earns Historic SCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Title

Southwestern Earns Historic SCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Title

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Southwestern University men led wire to wire en route to the program's first-ever SCAC Swimming and Diving Championship, taking home top honors with Saturday night at the Palo Alto College Aquatic Center. Official Website | Complete Results | Photo Gallery

The Pirates finished with 884 points to defeat second-place Trinity University, who ended the event with 823 points. Colorado College was third with 660 points, followed by Centenary College with 442 points, Austin College with 272 points, University of the Ozarks with 240 points and McMurry University with 227 points.

After Southwestern came within 5 1/2 points of toppling the Tigers in 2017, the Pirates finally broke through Saturday and snapped Trinity's string of seven consecutive conference crowns. 

Southwestern led by 57 points heading into today's final session but after the afternoon's 3-meter diving session, the Pirates' lead had been trimmed to four points.

The Pirates picked up individual wins by Keith Gill and Alek Argueta on Saturday, and ended the evening with a victory in the 400 free relay to clinch the title.

Gill earned his second win of the meet with his victory in the 100 free, navigating the course in a time of 45.72 while teammate Carl-Ake Willberg was third in 46.56. Miguel Vasquez of Centenary placed second in a time of 46.19.

Argueta picked up his second win of the meet as well by taking gold in the 200 breast in a time of 2:05.42. His teammate, Sean Calvert, was third in 2:09.80. Connor McClure of Trinity finished second in 2:09.32.

Southwestern iced its team victory with Saturday's session-ending win in the 400 relay. The team of Willberg, Gill, Todd Coachman and Peter Robinson touched first in a time of 3:04.39 with Trinity (3:06.18) and Colorado College (3:07.93) also earning All-SCAC relay honors.

Trinity swept both Diver- and Swimmer-of-the-Meet honors as sophomore Daniel Valmessei won the award for the second consecutive year on the heels of a victory Saturday on the 3-meter apparatus. He posted a final score of 494.65 to defeat teammates Anthony Liva (444.15) and Duncan MacAskill (417.25).

Junior Jacob Hurrell-Zitelman earned his third consecutive SCAC Swimmer-of-the-Meet award - the first man in SCAC history to do so since the award was started in 2008. Hurrell-Zitelman added a victory in the 1,650 free on Saturday to his victory in the 400 IM on Friday and his second-place finish in the 500 free on Thursday. He won Saturday's 1,650 in a NCAA 'B' cut time of 16:15.98, defeating Southwestern's Matthew Oevermann (16:24.38) and University of the Ozarks' Jacob Jones (16:51.83). The All-SCAC finish by Jones represented the first all-conference swim for an Ozarks swimmer (male or female) since the program joined the SCAC in 2017.

After two runner-up finishes earlier in the meet, Trinity' Daniel Sarmon picked up his first gold with a victory in the 200 back with a winning time of 1:50.89. Southwestern's Robinson was second in 1:50.95 and Eamon Morris of Trinity finished third in 1:52.24.

In the last individual swim of the meet, Trinity's Beau Tipton won the 200 fly for the second consecutive year and completed the 100-200 fly sweep - becoming just the second SCAC male to accomplish that feat since 2007. After breaking his own SCAC meet and open record in the event during the morning prelims when he touched in 1:49.01 (also a NCAA 'B' cut), Tipton took home gold Saturday evening in a time of 1:50.38. Teammate James Warren was second in 1:54.69 and Colorado College's Eric Dallesassse finished third in 1:54.98. 

Following the meet, the Southwestern University staff - led by eighth-year head coach Jon Duncan, along with assistant coach Sarah James, diving coach Jake Foust and volunteer assistant Dr. Scott McLean - earned SCAC Men's Coaching Staff-of-the-Year honors. It was the fifth honor for both Duncan and the program since he took over the program prior to the 2011-12 season.