Oct. 18, 2012
CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati swimming and diving team opens its 2012-13 season Friday with the annual Crosstown Splashdown against rival Xavier University beginning at 3 p.m. at Keating Aquatics Center.
The diving competition is slated for a 3 p.m. start time, while the swimming competition is expected to begin at approximately 5 p.m.
Last season, the UC women defeated XU 183-105, while the men fell to Xavier 167-96.
Leading the group of returning letterwinners on the UC women’s team is sophomore Helena Pikhartova (Prague, Czech Republic/Gymnazium Jana Nerudy), who placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke at the 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championships after setting school record marks in both races.
Back to help Pikhartova with the backstroke events is senior Erin Frye (Huntington, W.Va./Paul G. Blazer), who placed 10th in the 200-yard backstroke at the BIG EAST meet with a mark of 2:00.22, which is the third fastest time in UC history.
Also returning for the UC aqua-women is senior Bailey Laban (Lima, Ohio/Shawnee) and junior Sammie Wheeler (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland), who teamed with Pikhartova in 400-yard freestyle relay at the conference meet and placed sixth with a mark of 3:24.01 for the fourth fastest time in program history.
Junior Weronika Wasiakowska (Przykop, Poland/School of Sports Championship), sophomore Aleksandra Kaminska (Warsaw, Poland/Wroclaw No. 24) and Laban are back to form three-fourths of the 800-meter freestyle relay team that set a school record with a time of 7 minutes, 24.82 seconds and a seventh place finish at the conference championships.
On the men’s team, junior Joe Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) headlines the list of returners expected to carry the load for the Bearcats. As a sophomore at last year’s BIG EAST Championships, Scherpenberg placed 12th in the 200-yard backstroke with a mark of 1:50.05 – the fifth fastest time in school history.
The all four members of the UC men’s 400-yard freestyle relay squad that placed sixth at the 2012 BIG EAST meet – Scherpenberg, seniors Roberto Nevarez (Chihuahua, Mexico/ITESM Chihuahua) and Bradley Langford (Mason, Ohio/William Mason) and junior Robert Walsh (Fort Wright, Ky./Covington Catholic) – are back for Cincinnati in 2012-13.
Following the Xavier meet, Cincinnati will host former BIG EAST rival West Virginia on Nov. 2 at Keating Aquatics Center.