ATLANTA, Ga. – In the preliminary races on the first day of action at the 2022 University Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships, Brandeis University advanced two individuals to the evening session where they will look to score points for the Judges.
On the men's side, sophomore Sam Dienstag (Wilmette, Ill. / New Trier) lowered his own school record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:30.95. He shaved nearly two seconds off his previous personal best, and reached the NCAA Championship 'B' standard in the process. Dienstag placed eighth overall to reach tonight's 'A' final.
For the women, on the other end of the spectrum, junior Ema Rennie (Dublin, Ohio / Dublin Scioto) reached the 'B' final of the 50-yard freestyle. Her time of 24.07 seconds was just 0.06 off her own school record and was just under two-tenths of a second shy of qualifying her for the 'A' finals. Rennie was 13th overall in the prelims.
Rennie also anchored the 200-yard free relay that finished the prelims in 10th place with a time of 1:38.96, a second off school-record pace. Also on the team were junior Bailey Gold (Berkeley Heights, N.J. / Governor Livingston), sophomore Monica Iizuka (Chatham, N.J. / Chatham) and first-year Chloe Gonzalez (Miami Beach, Fla. / Miami Beach Senior). The men's 200 free relay, consisting of Dienstag, senior Benton Ferebee (Germantown, Tenn. / Memphis University School), junior James Barno (Ballston Spa, N.Y. / Ballston Spa) and first-year Andrew Ngo (San Gabriel, Calif. / Gabrielino) placed 11th in 1:27.15.
Other top performers for the Judges who did not reach tonight's finals included sophomore Maya Haubrich (Grayslake, Ill. / Grayslake), who was 34th in the 500 free for the women with a time of 5:22.98; first-year Anastasia Bekou (Limassol, Cyprus / Laniteio Lyceum), who was 41st in the women's 200 individual medley; Ngo, who was 43rd in the men's 200 IM; Iizuka, who placed 29th in the women's 50 free, about a quarter of a second out of the top 24 with a time of 24.76 seconds; and Ferebee, who was 37th in the men's 50 free in 22.04 seconds.
In the evening session, Dienstag placed eighth in the 500 free with a time of 4:32.88, two seconds off his preliminary time.
Rennie took 15th in the 50 free after lowering her prelim time by two-hundredths of a second to 24.05 seconds. She was less than a tenth of a second out of finishing in 12th place.
Both of the 'A' relay teams in the 200-free placed seventh in the finals, ahead of their rivals from Rochester. The women beat the Yellowjackets by more than a second with a time of 1:38.55, improving on their prelim time by 0.41 seconds, to finish just 0.22 seconds behind Case Western Reserve. The men edged UR by 0.42 seconds with a time of 1:26.12. They finished well behind CWRU.
In the final event of the day, the 400-yard medley relays, the women again finished in seventh place. The team of Iizuka, senior Olivia Stebbins (Willington, Conn. / Edwin O. Smith), Gold and Rennie swam 3:58.24. Though they missed out on a school record by a quarter of a second, they finished 0.38 seconds ahead of UR. The men's 400 medley relay team of Ferebee, senior Brendon Lu (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge), Barno and Dienstag were eighth with a time of 3:25.32, setting a new school record in the process.
In the team standings, both Brandeis teams sit in eighth place after Day 2 of the UAA championships - the Judges did not compete in women's diving on Day 1. The men have tallied 158 points and sit 26 points behind CWRU. The women have 148 points and are just 13 points behind Rochester.
The UAA Championships last through Saturday, Feb. 12th. You can follow this evening's finals and the rest of the action on video at https://emory.prestosports.com/sports/mswimdive/live.