While the rest of the student body was on February break, the Brandeis women’s and men’s swim and dive teams were hard at work, breaking records and swimming personal bests at both the University Athletic Association Championship at the University of Chicago and the the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championship Championship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Though the Judges had placed eighth at the UAAs just a week before, this result had no effect on morale, as they placed second overall at the NEISDA.

At Chicago, Tamir Zitelny ’20 and Daniel Wohl ’21 carried the men’s team, with Zitelny swimming nine personal bests and Wohl walking away with six. Though the team did not perform best overall, Zitelny has reason to celebrate. He swam a qualifying ‘B’ cut of 49.76 seconds for NCAAs, making this his third NCAA qualifying time of his career. He also set three school records, breaking one of his own previous records. On the women’s side, Kylie Herman ’19, Claire Xu ’22 and Gazelle Umbay ’22 were the highest point earners for the team. The women’s A relay team took eighth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:40.06 seconds. Though the Judges did not perform their best, the NEISDA provided them with a second chance.

For the men’s team, Zitelny and Richard Selznick ’21 came in fourth and fifth, respectively, as overall top swimmers, while the team claimed second place. Zitelny and Selznick each won one silver medal and two golds. Zitelny swam nine personal bests and claimed second place in the 100-yard freestyle and first in both the 100-yard backstroke and the butterfly. In the 100-yard freestyle, Zitelny took second place with a time of 46.05, just three-hundredths of a second slower than first place. He set the NEISDA record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.07 seconds. While Zitelny also won the 100-yard butterfly, Brandeis’ Matthew Acremont ’20 swam into second place with a time just 1.3 seconds slower, making 51 seconds flat his personal best.

Selznick claimed second in the 500-yard freestyle. He also won both the 400-yard individual medley and the mile free with times of 4:09.08 seconds and 16:32.55 seconds, respectively. In the 400-yard individual medley, he was over 4 seconds ahead of second place.

Overall, the men’s team came back with five gold medals and six silvers. The women’s team was also competitive at NEISDA as they came in third place with three gold medals and two silver medals, with rookie Xu laying claim to two of these golds. Xu swam a personal best of 58.03 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke, bringing her in at first place, while Brandeis swimmer Audrey Kim ’21 came in second place with a time of 59.76 seconds — also a personal best. Xu also claimed first in the 50 yard backstroke, winning by more than 1.5 seconds with a time of 26.38 seconds. Though she did not place, Xu dropped an unbelievable 8.5 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle since swimming it in October.

As the season comes to an end, the Judges finish strong with incredible team wins and many personal bests.