The University of Denver swimming and diving teams finished the 2013–14 season on a high note: as Summit League Champions and with two All-Americans.
As a testament to the success of the season, two Pioneer swimmers made it to the NCAA Championships.
Junior Samantha Corea finished seventh in the finals of the 200 backstroke at the March 22 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, making her the highest-placing female swimmer in DU history. The finish qualified Corea as an All-American in the 200 back. Her consolation final win on March 21 qualified her as an honorable mention All-American in the 100 fly.
Dylan Bunch also impressed on the national stage. The sophomore came in 12th in the 1650 freestyle in the final day of the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Texas, qualifying him as an All-American in the event.
Because of their success over the course of the season, Corea and Bunch were named Summit League Swimmers of the Year.
“Both honors are well deserved,” head swim coach Brian Schrader said. “Samantha and Dylan have both been high performers all season long — and on an elite, national level. Each in their own way have been great about helping their team be better by what they do on a daily basis. They both had a mission to finish at NCAAs and finish well, and they did a great job preparing and accomplishing those goals. Sam and Dylan are both great representatives for our program — great students, great people, great athletes.”
The University of Denver men’s swimming and diving teams claimed 17 of 20 first-place wins and the women’s squad posted 16 of 20 top times to clinch The Summit League Championship title at IUPUI in Indianapolis in February, beating the next closest teams by more than 400 points. This was Denver’s fourth women’s swimming and diving conference win and its 38th men’s swimming and diving conference win. The Pioneers are in their inaugural year with The Summit League.
Denver won a number of other awards at the conference championships. Head swim coach Brian Schrader was named Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s swimming, and DU swimmers Clara Jenck and Scott Bergstrom garnered Newcomer of the Year honors.
Internationally, team members Johanna Roas and Andrew Torres made waves. Roas placed second in the 50 backstroke in the A final of the event at the German National Championships in Berlin in May. The freshman placed 14th in the 200 back and anchored her 4 x 100 mixed gender free relay team, which went on to claim the No. 2 spot. On the final day of competition, Roas placed seventh in the 200 back and finished by helping her team to a second place in the women’s 4 x 100 free relay.
Torres started his summer early by taking first in the 200 butterfly during the opening day of the International Grand Prix, held at the University of Puerto Rico on May 23. The sophomore went on to finish third in the 50 butterfly and first in the 100 butterfly. Torres was vying to qualify for future national team opportunities with Puerto Rico this summer.
For the Pioneer diving teams, the season concluded at the Zone E Diving Qualifiers in Colorado Springs, Colo., in March. Diving for the Pioneers at the event were Cat Badillo, Ross Edfort and Dana Gau.
Posting the top score for Denver was Edfort, who made it to the finals in the 1-meter dive after coming in 15th in preliminaries. The junior took 16th place in the finals with a score of 297.50. Edfort also made it to the finals in the platform dive, coming in 16th.
Gau and Badillo also came out strong for Denver. Badillo placed 32nd in the preliminaries of the 1-meter dive and 42nd in the 3-meter prelims. Gau, like Edfort, competed in all three diving events. The junior placed 37th in the platform preliminaries, 46th in the 1-meter prelims and 51st in the 3-meter prelims.