UE Swimming & Diving Opens Season In Dominating Fashion At EIU


CHARLESTON, Ill. – The University of Evansville swimming and diving teams swept a dual meet from home-standing Eastern Illinois on Saturday in convincing fashion, as the Purple Aces earned 125-76 and 129-69 wins respectively on the men’s and women’s sides at Padovan Pool in Charleston, Illinois.

“All in all, it was a great team effort,” said UE swimming and diving coach Stuart Wilson.  “The freshmen class really stole the show early, as they put us ahead of Eastern Illinois to start, and then nothing can outshine the job that Riccardo Di Domenico did on the men’s side, as he broke the pool record in the 200 free, won the 100 fly, and helped the 200 medley relay team win as well.

“Overall, this was a great start to the season.”

Di Domenico, a junior from Johannesburg, South Africa, was dominant in UE’s 125-76 win on the men’s side, as he picked up right where he left off in the spring to claim individual victories in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly events.  Di Domenico won the 200 free events by over four seconds with a pool-record time of 1:40.82 and then came back six events later to beat the field in the 100 flyby over three seconds, clocking in with a time of 50.21.

Evansville’s freshmen sparked the Aces to an early win in the 200-yard medley relay, as rookies Daniel Santos Lopez (Madrid, Spain) and Jakob Grundbacher (Long Beach, Calif.) swam the lead and anchor legs to help UE coast to a medley relay victory with a time of 1:34.54.  Fellow freshman Logan Anderson (Knoxville, Tenn.) also swam the lead leg of UE’s B medley relay team which placed third and helped UE jump to a 13-4 lead.

From there, Di Domenico and sophomore Jackson Caudill (Mount Sterling, Ky.) posted doubles on the men’s side to expand the lead out, with Caudill taking home both the men’s 1,000-yard freestyle (9:39.92) and 500-yard freestyle (4:44.29) events in commanding fashion to help UE take control of the meet.  Santos Lopez and Grundbacher took home first place spots in the 50 free (21.62) and 100 free (48.51) events respectively, while senior Zeke Metz (Topeka, Kan.) cruised to a win in the men’s 200-yard IM with a time of 1:56.15.  True freshman Carlos Souto Vilas (A Coruna, Spain) also made an immediate impact for UE, as he won the men’s 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 57.98, which ranks 10th-fastest all-time at Evansville.

On the women’s side, the Purple Aces took home first place honors in 10 of the 11 events.  Junior Sarah Jahns (Lilburn, Ga.) highlighted the attack, as she posted an impressive double by winning both the 500-yard free and 1,000-yard free in dominating fashion.  Jahns began her day by winning the 1,000 free by over 30 seconds with a time of 10:35.28.  She then came back over an hour later to win the 500 free by over 15 seconds, with a mark of 5:11.96.

“Sarah really picked up right where she left off, and she did a tremendous job,” said Wilson.  “Overall, I was really proud of the effort that the women gave today.  Every single race, we had impressive performances, and this is a great start to the season.”

Junior Sonsoles Aguayo (Jerez, Spain) led a podium sweep for UE in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:57.66.  Senior Jessie Steele (Houston, Texas) claimed the individual title in the 50 free with a time of 24.66, while freshmen Mari Mueller (Aschaffenburg, Switzerland) and Sveva Brugnoli (Rome, Italy) placed first and second respectively in the women’s 200-yard IM (2:09.56 and 2:09.69).

Junior Maya Cunningham (Yakima, Wash.) and Brugnoli nearly tied in the women’s 100 fly event, as Cunningham edged Brugnoli by five one-hundredths of a second, 58.61 to 58.66, to claim the individual title.  Sophomore Iryna Tsesiul (Minsk, Belarus) led a trio of Aces who finished first, second and third in the 100 backstrokes with a time of 59.76, while junior Sage Moore (Lexington, Ohio) won the women’s 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:07.56.

Evansville will have a short week of training this week, as both teams will compete again on Friday, as UE welcomes Valparaiso to Wyttenbach Pool for a dual meet.  The meet will begin at 3:00 p.m.