‘Canes set records at SMU Invitational

The Miami Hurricanes cheer on their teammates during their meet versus rival school FSU at the Whitten Center Pool on Friday, Nov. 4. Photo credit: Sam Peene

Over the course of four days, the University of Miami swim team set four new team records, a Brazilian record, the local pool record and eight new times that are in UM’s “Top 10 Performers.” The team also recorded seven new NCAA time standards.

Graduate student Tara Vovk put on a show as she flew to three individual school records in the 200-yard individual medley (1:57.22), 100-yard breaststroke (58.89) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:10.24). She was also a member of the 200-yard free relay (1:30.16).

Not only were her times record-breaking for Miami, but the 100-yard breaststroke was also a pool record.

“Tara was definitely a leader for us in the pool. She’s walking away from this meet with four school records, one pool record, and some of the fastest times in the country,” head swimming coach Andy Kershaw said. “More importantly, she has been a great teammate out of the pool. She works hard, earns her results, and lifts up her teammates.”

Vovk was not the only ‘Cane to have a career day.

Co-captain Zorry Mason broke her previous personal best, which was also a school record, in the 200-individual medley. The redshirt senior also earned NCAA time standards in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.84 – second place) and the 200 breaststroke (2:13.08 – fourth). She also played a crucial role in the 200-yard freestyle relay in the 400-yard medley relay.

Sophomore Giulia Carvalho also had a memorable performance, breaking the Brazilian record for short course yards and finishing fifth in UM history.

She also had success in many of the other events during the weekend, placing in the top three in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.

“Having three NCAA time standards in one heat was a great moment for the program,” Kershaw said. “That is something that hasn’t been done in my previous seasons here and is a testament to how hard this team is working to climb the national rankings.”

With the shorter events over, the ‘Canes were not finished dominating. In the 800-yard freestyle relay, Miami finished third. In the 400-yard freestyle, it finished fourth.

Senior Aino Otava was second in both the 400-yard IM (4:19.58) and 500-yard freestyle (4:48.71). She was fourth in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.32).

The Hurricanes beat three teams in points despite lacking a diving team. In just the swimming competition, UM finished second out of the eight schools there, coming behind San Diego State.

“We saw a lot of great things this week,” Kershaw said. “Our team represented the U with amazing class, great energy, and tremendous poise. We experienced some program and personal best times and had the opportunity to evaluate where we can improve going forward. Whether people were faster than ever or not, they are all hungry to do what’s necessary to evaluate our team’s standard as the season progresses.”

The swim team returns to action on Dec. 17 as it hosts Northwestern and Army.