LSU Displays Strong Effort in Opening Dual Meet vs. Utah Despite Loss
SALT LAKE CITY – Despite falling to the University of Utah in the opening dual meet of the LSU swimming and diving season, the Tigers put forward incredible performances Saturday morning inside the Ute Natatorium.
LSU, which is coming off two top-16 finishes in the NCAA Championships, has shown continuous improvement throughout head coach Rick Bishop’s re-tooling of the program. With the addition and expertise of diving coach Drew Livingston, LSU expects to compete at a high level each time out.
Against Utah, LSU got off to a fast start winning 10 of the first 14 events prior to the first diving break. The Tigers won both 200-yard medley relays, which included 6-8 Croatian swimmer Jere Hribar serving as the men’s final leg and overtaking the lead in the final 25 yards for the victory.
In the distance events, Jacob Pishko shined, picking up his first individual win as a Tiger, winning the 1000-yard free with a time of 9:28.91. Pishko also touched the wall first in the 500-yard freestyle, clocking a time of 4:32.06.
During LSU’s strong first half of the meet, the Tigers got wins in the 200-yard freestyle from Megan Barnes. Katarina Milutinovich and Griffin Curtis got back-to-back wins in the 100-yard backstroke with respective times of 55.90 and 50.09. Miluttinovich and Curtis also won the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke events, respectively.
Team captain Mitch Mason won both breaststroke events with winning times of 55.17 in the 100-yard breaststroke and 2:03.19 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Sofia Sartori took first place in the 200-yard butterfly (2:03.28), while Hannah Bellina picked up the win in the 100-yard butterfly (57.64).
Hribar and Michaela de Villiers each won the 50-yard freestyle with respective times of 20.29 and 23.62.
On the boards, LSU and Utah competed on the springboards. On one-meter Montserrat Gutierrez Lavenant and Zayne Danielewicz finished in second place with respective scores of 304.20 and 288.23. Helle Tuxen claimed third with a score of 288.15, and Maggie Buckley placed fifth with a score of 250.58. Carson Paul and Thomas Dowling rounded out the men’s side on one-meter.
On three-meter, Gutierrez Lavenant collected another second-place finish with a score of 260.63 with Tuxen placing third and Buckley claiming sixth. On the men’s side, Paul came in second with a score of 370.50 with Danielewicz (3rd) and Dowling (5th) rounding out the total of six divers who competed.
LSU returns to action Thursday, October 12, when the women’s swimming and diving program takes on Arkansas at 1 p.m. CT inside the LSU Natatorium.