ST. GEORGE, Utah – Thursday was a very good day for the Eagles at the PCSC Championships. The men’s team have closed the gap and are now only 21 points from first place while the women have moved from 8th to 6th place and are aiming for a top 5.

Senior diver Kayla Newman ended his marvelous four-year career with another top-16 finish, this time in the 1m competition. His 11th place finish earned him the 2nd All-PCSC team honor. First year diver Alicia Wintermeyer finished 14th to earn a spot on that team as well.

Meanwhile, austin wade ends his two-year diving career with a remarkable 4th place in the men’s 3m.

In the 500 free, CUI senior Faith Silzel lost nearly two seconds to move up to 22nd in the final 500 meters of his career. The entire men’s distance group secured places in the A final (top-8) after very good preliminary races. In the final, Kyle Benjamin led from the start and won his fourth straight 500 freestyle title, the PCSC’s 8th individual crown overall and his time of 4:30.72 is an NCAA “B” cup. Helping the team cause were freshmen Kyle Stocek in 4th (4:39.99, 10th all-time in CUI history), soph Jon Sutherlin was 6th (4:44.48, season best) and rookie Joey Molettieri (4:45.00, PR) took 8th place. All were named First Team All-PCSC.

The men’s 200 IM has been good for the Eagles. hunter can used a powerful breaststroke leg to move up one spot from his seed and finish second with a season best time of 1:53.31. This is the 8th best time in CUI history. First-year student Thatcher’s Grooms also earned a PR (1:55.22) to place 5th and Jayden Hernandez was 8th (1:55.12p).

In the women’s 200 IM, Hannah Chabin lost two seconds to post a Season 2 best: 13.86 for 20th and senior Valeria Ugaz finished 23rd in 2:15.50 which was the best of the season.

In a harbinger of things to come, virtually every one of the 13 women entered for CUI in the Free 50 went for season’s best or PR. In the lead were Hailey Garcia (24h25) and Sarah Jones (24.30) who both finished in the top 13. In the “C” final, Victoria Schachle ran at 24.81 for 21st and Amelie Brady went 24.90 for the 23rd.

In the men’s 50 freestyle, runner-up Chris Haygood (20.94, 6th) and top class student Alberto Cortes (21.14, 8th PR) finalized for the Eagles in a very close race. In the “B” final, both Andre Dimino (21.27, 11) and Tim Townsend (21.37, 12th) earned RP and All-PCSC 2nd Team honors.

The final events were the 200 freestyle relays. The women’s quartet of Garcia (24.39), Silzel (23.59), Jones (23.82) and Brady (23.88) were exceptional in challenging Pepperdine and Cal State East Bay all the way before clinching the bronze in a NEW SCHOOL RECORD time of 1:35.68. They beat the old record set in 2015 by 1/100th of a second!

The men’s relay was equally exciting as Haygood, Hernandez, Dimino and Cortes clocked the 5th fastest time in CUI history (1:22.84) to earn another second place finish in an excellent FPU relay.

The Eagles enter Friday excited for what’s to come as some of their best swimmers compete in their best events in Utah.

The day begins at 8:30 a.m. PT (9:30 a.m. MT in Utah) and the day’s finals take place at 4:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. local time in Utah).

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