13 Dec 2021 | 09:58 | Diving
DALLAS – The University of Miami women’s swimming team opened its trip to the SMU Classic in impressive fashion on Friday night at the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center.
The Hurricanes set a record in the 400-yard medley relay, with Miami’s entry of Danika Huizinga, Emma Sundstrand, Giulia Carvalho and Carmen San Nicolas finishing the wall in a school record-setting time of 3:37.95.
In addition to the tone-setting medley relay, Miami had a number of strong individual performances en route to a fourth-place standing after the first night.
“It was another special night at the SMU Classic,” head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said. “As I told them going in, I said let the environment take you and grab you and go with it. That’s what they did right from the start. That [medley relay] record goes back to 2016…definitely great to see the celebration starting there and continuing through.”
The Hurricanes enjoyed two NCAA ‘B’ cut times – one from San Nicolas in the 200-yard freestyle and one from Sundstrand in the 100-yard breaststroke – and finished the night ahead of both Arizona and host SMU.
In addition to the strong performances in between the lanes, diver Mia Vallée took top honors in the 1-meter springboard. The Canada native – who earned her first NCAA All-America honors this past spring – won the 1-meter with a score of 313.10.
“We ended the night in a good place,” Kershaw said. “On the diving end, it’s huge from Mia to win the 1-meter. She’s our lone event winner and helping put us in a good position to succeed.”
Veteran Aino Otava finished the 400-yard IM in a time of 4:25.09 before San Nicolas made her mark in the 200-yard freestyle. The veteran swimmer posted a personal-best time in one of her signature events, shaving two seconds off for a time of 1:47.37.
San Nicolas moved into fifth place all-time in Miami history with the standout showing.
Freshman Jacey Hinton finished the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 23.45 before fellow freshman Carvalho took fifth in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 54.54. Huizinga was sixth in the 100-yard backstroke (55.10), and Sundstrand posted a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:01.70 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
The Hurricanes’ entry of San Nicolas, Adrianna Cera, Otava and Hinton was fifth in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:19.21.
“We still have lots of things to work on, which is a great place to be in – to be doing well and still have ways to improve,” Kershaw said. “To have the energy, to see them celebrating and smiling and cheering for each other, hanging over the blocks as their teammates are swimming…that’s really the goal. It was a great night for the Canes and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”