Akers & van den Touw Bring Home Weekly Honors

Akers & van den Touw Bring Home Weekly Honors

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A pair of student-athletes on the Cleveland State University men's swimming & diving team garnered weekly honors in a pair of announcements Tuesday.

Freshman Matt Akers was named Horizon League Men's Diver of the Week by the League office while junior Jason van der Touw was selected Horizon League Men's Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.

Both Vikings played large roles in helping CSU defend its Magnus Cup crown and keep the men's trophy in Cleveland.

Akers and van der Touw have now earned these same honors after each of their past two meets. Van der Touw owns a trio of weekly awards this season, two of which have come from CollegeSwimming.

Akers continued to show promise amidst his youth as he surpassed the first NCAA Zones standard of his career and just missed a second qualifying score in helping Cleveland State defend its Magnus Cup crown. He began the meet by tallying 318.10 points in the 3-meter preliminaries, coming just shy of the necessary NCAA standard. Five of his six dives scored at least 50 points in posting that score. He ended up taking fourth in the 3-meter finals.

In the 1-meter finals the following day, Akers had 194.80 points with four of six dives complete, but he really finished strong. He scored at least 54 points on each of his final two dives—a reverse 1.5 somersault 1.5 twist free and a reverse 1.5 somersault 2.5 twist free—to post a season-best 306.40 points, surpassing the Zones standard in the process. He was just edged out by a competitor from George Washington for the first-place title, but nonetheless had a strong second-place showing.

Van der Touw helped Cleveland State to five race wins in the meet and was the only Viking, male or female, to win more than one individual event. His first individual race was the 500 freestyle, which he took third place in 4:32.28. He then helped CSU win the final event of the opening night—the 400 medley relay—by posting a lead split of 50.27 seconds. He began Saturday's final session in similar fashion, helping CSU to the 200 medley relay win by splitting 23.28 seconds on the opening leg.

Van der Touw then went on to win the 200 freestyle later Saturday night, in 1:38.93. He finished the meet in style Sunday, which started by winning the 100 freestyle in a new personal best 45.44 seconds. He closed the meet by swimming the second leg of CSU's 400 freestyle relay squad. He split 44.64 seconds to give the Vikings some breathing room in what had been a close race, as CSU cruised to the win in 3:00.96.

With his performances this past weekend, van der Touw now sits among the top four in the League in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle along with the 100 backstroke.

Cleveland State will resume action Dec. 9 with a dual meet at Ashland.