Mustangs narrowly fall to No. 10 Texas A&M at senior night swim and dive meet

DALLAS – SMU’s men’s and women’s diving teams faced defeat against No. 19 Texas A&M, with the women’s team losing 176-113, and the men losing 172-108.

The seniors of the SMU men’s and women’s swim and dive teams were honored with a pre-meet ceremony followed by the start of a riveting meet against the Aggies.

Maggie Aroesty, sister of SMU men’s team senior Ryan Aroesty, enjoyed seeing the senior night celebration.

“It was great to see all the seniors celebrating with their families,” Aroesty said. “I think the athletes looked like they had a lot of fun, too.”

Family members took pictures alongside a parade of flowers and the framed posters of each senior added to the electric energy of the meet.

Some supporters like Shawn Jones traveled thousands of miles to honor the seniors on their special day.

“I flew in from California and whoever put this together did a great job,” Jones said. “It was all really appreciated.”

Swimmers from SMU and No. 10 Texas A&M compete in the Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr- McMillion Natatorium at Friday's meet.
Swimmers from SMU and No. 10 Texas A&M compete in the Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr- McMillion Natatorium at Friday's meet. Photo credit: Ceara Johnson

Top swimmers of the women’s individual events included sophomore Luana Alonso for butterfly events, freshman Lucrezia Napoletano for freestyle events and relay team members Napoletano, sophomore Tiffanie Ruan, junior Indra Vandenbussche, and junior Johanna Gundsdottir for the closing 200-yard freestyle relay.

SMU senior Nicole Stambo won fourth place for both her 1-meter and 3-meter dives. The scores for both of these dives, 280.95 for the 1-meter and 284.40 for the 3-meters, met the NCAA Zone standard.

SMU seniors Julia Yakushi and Valentina Becerra won third place in the 100 breast and 100 fly respectively and were honored alongside Stambo and seven other seniors prior to the meet.

The support for the all of seniors was overwhelming at this senior night meet. The stands of the upper balcony at the Robson and Lindley Aquatics center were packed with families cheering on the Mustangs during their meet against the Aggies.

Joanna Barfield, a supporter of SMU men’s team senior Tyler Barfield noted the electric energy in the aquatic center.

“I think it’s nostalgic tonight because it’s the senior’s night,” said Barfield. “They do bring high energy and it’s emotional.”

The arguable highlight of the men’s events involved seniors Cole Bruns, Riley Hill, Justin Baker and junior Lance Butler winning first place in the 200-yard medley relay.

“This was not meant to be a fast meet,” Barfield said. “I think they all swam very well for the type of meet that it was.”

In men’s diving, SMU Senior Peter Smithson finished runner-up on the 3-meter, earning a score of 358.50 and earning an NCAA Zone standard alongside Stambo.

“The divers were awesome, [they] looked great tonight, they always do,” Jones said.

In other men’s events, SMU senior Charlie Kaye won third in the 50-meter freestyle while senior Colin Feehery claimed first in both the 100 and 200 breast.

The men’s team swept the final relay race, with Burns, Baker, Butler and Kaye winning the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:20.75.

“I think they’re getting ready for conference in two weeks, that’s when they’re going to be really ready to go fast,” Jones said.

The American Athletic Conference Championships will begin on Feb. 13 at the Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center in Dallas. Admission is free.