USAFA, Colo.– In Air Force’s first official action of the 2022-23 season at Cadet Natatorium, the Falcons claimed victory in 11 of 13 events, defeating both Nebraska-Omaha and Colorado School of Mines in head-to-head points.
“It was a really good of night racing,” said head coach Rob Clayton. “Both Nebraska-Omaha and Mines had some really good swimmers, so there were a lot of really good races. It was especially exciting for us to see some freshmen step up and win events.”
On the subject of freshmen, C4C Jack VanValkenburg raced to top position in both the 200Y Free (1:45.64) and the 500Y Free (4:52.86). Both races mark the first career wins for VanValkenburg.
Freshmen Camden Swigart also played a vital role in the Falcons dominant Friday night performance, placing first in the 400Y Individual Medley (4:14.39). Swigart, along with Wen Zhang, Grant Afman, and Gabriel Bartolomei, saw their 200Y Free Relay time of 1:23.94 best the field.
Zhang’s stellar evening also included wins in the 1000Y Free (9:57.19) and the 100Y Fly (49.25).
Air Force paced the pool in the 200Y Medley Relay, as the team of Bartolomei, Tory Bartlett, Andrew Armbruster, and Joseph Moore combined for a time of 1:32.81, tops among the nine participating teams. Bartlett also took first in the 100Y Breast, clocking in at 56.65.
John Plutt (21.44) narrowly edged Nebraska-Omaha’s Owen Hoak (21.48) in the 50Y Free, beating the Maverick by just .04 seconds to win the event.
Alex Kenyon was the star of the diving portion of the meet, winning both the one-meter (355.73) and three-meter (323.48). Erik Pfaffenbichler and Douglas Campbell also finished second and third in both dives, respectively.
“I felt like the entire team made great progress,” said Clayton. “We took some steps forward tonight and we’re excited to race tomorrow up in Denver.”
Next, Air Force travels up I-25 to take on Denver and LSU in a tri-meet event at El Pomar Natatorium. The event begins at 1:00 pm MT.
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