Men and Women Start Season 2-0

by Chris Heigle
Final Scores Final Results +0
Men and Women Start Season 2-0

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The LSU swimming and diving team started the season 2-0 on both the men’s and women’s side after an impressive day two against Navy and Uconn. The men beat Navy 201-152 and Uconn 283-64, while the women beat Navy 244-109 and Uconn 286-67.

In the pool, the men started and finished strong, and were led by Karl Luht and Luca Pfyffer. Luht and Pfyffer were joined by Lewis Clough and Matt Klotz to win the 200-yard medley relay, combining for a time of 1:29.90.

“Really a great second day for us,” said swimming head coach Dave Geyer. “The men’s meet was outstanding and we were able to land some big blows today to carry us through.”

Luht took home gold in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 48.78 seconds, as well as the 100-yard butterfly, touching the wall at 49.05 seconds.

“Karl continues to really open up and learn how to race yards better and better with each swim, while leading the push in 1-2 finishes was big in the backstroke and butterfly,” said Geyer.

Pfyffer went on to win the 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard individual medley with times of 56.52 and 51.47 seconds, respectively.

“Luca did the same thing,” explained Geyer. “I think the 100-yard breaststroke was the one event that sealed it for us today. Navy was really strong there yesterday so to take the win there ended any push I thought they could have.”

Clough also earned a crucial victory in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:39.01 to help secure the team wins for the men.

Clough anchored the 400-yard freestyle relay and as the men were able to win the final event of the meet. He was joined by Luht, Klotz, and Trent Schachter to swim a 3:01.90.

Sven Saemundsson rallied late to finish second in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:32.07 in what was his first competitive meet after taking a medical redshirt last season.

“Sven took a another big step after his medical redshirt last year and broke up a potential 1-2 finish for Navy in the 1000 free,” said Geyer. “He’s starting to get some confidence there and it will be fun to see his next step.”

The women won both relays on the day, starting the day with the 200-yard medley relay. Kate Zimmer, Summer Spradley, Helen Grossman and Leyre Casarin got things rolling with a time of 1:42.87.  Haylee Knight, Kit Hanley, Casarin, and Alyssa Helak ended the day with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, combining for a time of 3:27.24.

“The women did what we asked and really kept the gas pedal down throughout the whole meet,” said Geyer. “The best part about that is seeing some of our depth start to shine through and really see some scrappy swims for points.”

Helak, Zimmer, Grossman, and Nicole Rozier all won individual events.

Helak and Zimmer won the first two individual events of the day, winning the 1000-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke with times of 10:25.16 and 56.31 seconds, respectively.

Grossman and Rozier won the final two individual events to seal the team wins. Grossman swam the 100-yard butterfly in 55.03 seconds, while Rozier won the 100-yard IM, touching the wall at 57.21 seconds to win the event by .01 seconds.

Once again, Juan Celaya-Hernandez and Lizzie Cui led the way on the diving boards.

Juan Celaya-Hernandez came close to his three-meter school record, scoring 471.35. The men were able to sweep the podium thanks to senior Matthew Phillip and Dakota Hurbis, scoring 364.65 and 334.30, respectively.

Lizzie Cui led the women’s one-meter the whole way, winning the event with a score of 322.10. She was followed by freshman Jolie Blodgett, who rallied late to score 254.00.

Both Celaya-Hernandez and Cui set pool records with their victories.

“Their performances pretty much sum it up,” said diving head coach Doug Shaffer. “Knowing how close the meet was, Juan was on a mission today. For the weekend, we took three out of four pool records. It’s nice to leave a lasting mark here. We gained some very valuable experience over the past two days, which will help us moving forward and our next home meet versus Florida.”

“Really on both sides it was a team effort,” said Geyer. “The wins are great, but getting three scoring swims each event is what pushed us to wins. This was a great trip for our program. To see the difference of how Navy operates here brings a whole new perspective to what a student-athlete is. Navy were great hosts and it was a fantastic first meet for us.”

Up next for the Tigers is a home meet against SEC foe Florida on October 11 at 4:00 p.m.

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