Swim / Dive Falls in Senior Day Meet
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s swimming & diving team dropped its Senior Day matchup with Florida State Friday afternoon, falling 193-107.
Paced by a sweep in the springboard events by its diving contingent, the Hurricanes wrapped up their home dual meet slate at the Norman Whitten Pool.
“We’ve been back at training for only two weeks since the holiday break ended,” head diving coach Randy Ableman said. “Usually things are a little rough at the beginning, but we’re always building towards the conference meet and NCAA Championships, so I really like where we’re at right now.”
Miami honored five seniors in pre-meet ceremonies: diver Millie Haffety along with swimmers Danika Huizinga, Maddie Lauther, Zorry Mason and Grace McGinnis.
“I’m super proud of our seniors. Whether they’re fifth-year graduate students, transfers, fourth-year seniors…they’re such great leaders, and have such great perspective on this whole process,” head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said. “The thing the team is doing better and better is just relaxing and racing, and not getting too caught up in the different stressors and pressures. That’s a credit to our seniors in leading that charge, having the confidence and owning the deck, and going to the blocks with Hurricanes pride.”
Miami started the meet off strong, with back-to-back wins in individual events. Aino Otava became the first Miami swimmer under Kershaw’s direction to post a performance under 10 minutes in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
Otava finished in a first-place time of 9:58.89 – the second-fastest time in program history.
Veteran Carmen San Nicolas added a win in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.99) to continue the early-meet momentum.
“We had some great, personal-best times, season-best times…to do that, a few weeks out of ACC Championships, is really good to see,” Kershaw said.
Emma Sundstrand earned a top-three finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.12), as did Isabel Traba in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.84) and Jacey Hinton in the 50-yard freestyle (23.18).
“We had pretty good performances. I’m very happy with the progress we’re making, looking intrinsically at our times,” Kershaw said. “Hats off to the Seminoles. They were on it as well today. It was a good challenge, good to see where we’re at against some very good competition. They pushed us and helped raise the level of our meet.”
Miami’s divers delivered a dominant performance on the boards. Emma Gullstrand and Mia Vallée took the top-two spots in both the 1-meter and 3-meter, while Haffety was third in both events.
“The kids have been working very hard,” Ableman said. “We added some new dives for this competition, and I think we’re on schedule. Special shoutout to Millie, who had one of her best performances in four years. To see her get that validation, the smile on her face, meant a lot to me.”
Otava (4:52.60) and Adrianna Cera (4:53.85) took second and third, respectively, in the 500-yard freestyle to score points for the Hurricanes late in the meet.
“We saw lots of good. There’s still lots to do, but I think we’re in a good spot and looking forward to ACC Championships,” Kershaw said.