By Dalton Ray
The number eight University of Louisville men’s swim and dive team traveled to Dallas Friday for the first day of the two-day SMU Classic. Among the competition were four teams ranked in the top eight in the nation including number one Michigan, number three Florida, and number six Southern California. Purdue, who received top 25 votes, and host SMU rounded out the rest of the competitors.
Senior Joao De Lucca and freshman Grigory Tarasevich both posted victories for the Cards on Friday. Heading into the second day the team sat in fourth place with 136.5 points. Michigan lead the way with 175, followed by Florida with 156, and rounding out the top three was Southern Cal with 149.
The 400m-medley relay race was the first event and it saw the four man team of Tarasevich, Kameron Chastain, Pedro Coutinho, and Cryle Blondell place third with a time of 3:11.08. Michigan took the first event with a time of 3:07.76, #3 Florida came in second. Florida’s Dan Wallace took the next event, the 400-Yard IM, while sophomore Nolan Tesone just missed out on a top three finish with a 3:49.03 time.
In the 200-free defending national champion Joao De Lucco once again made it look easy as he posted a time of 1:33.66 and won the third event of the match. A very strong start for the Cards through the first three events that saw a top four finish in each race.
In the 100-back Grigory Tarasevich barely edged out USC’s fellow freshman Dylan Carter. Tarasevich, just out-touched Carter as he bested him by just .31 of a second, the winning time was 47.41. In the very next event Kameron Chastain felt the sting of a close defeat as Michigan’s Richard Funk beat Chastain in the 100-yard breaststroke by a little over a second.
Day two of the Classic would extend this excitement as fans saw multiple very close finishes between all of its participants on Saturday. The Cardinals would miss out on just three top three finishes by less than .45 of a second and a first place finish by a little over a second.
De Lucco would take home the 100-free with a time of 42.98 giving Louisville its lone victory on day two. Florida’s Corey Main just beat out Tarasevich in 200-yard backstroke, as Main’s time was 1:43.18 while Tarasevich’s posted a 1:44.65. The two were the best finishes of the day for the Cards.
In the 200-yard medley relay Chastain, Tarasevich, Coutinho, and Blondell would team up again and place fourth on a 1:27.94 time. Finishing right before the Cards was USC at 1:27.61 and Florida with 1:27.50. Chastain would miss out on a top three spot in the 200-yard breaststroke by .37 of a second with a time of 1:58.12.
Defending NCAA Champion and currently top-ranked Michigan would win with a score of 333, Florida was just behind with 321, USC was third with 298, number eight ranked Louisville scored 266.5 ahead of Purdue’s 244.5 and host SMU’s 210.