Contact: Julie Farr DeLima
March 4, 2009
SETTING THE SCENE: The Cleveland State men's and women's swimming and diving teams wrapped up the 2008-09 regular season at the Horizon League Championships on Saturday, Feb. 28. Below is a brief recap of how the Vikings fared at the league championships.
MEN (10-5) - 4th with 612 points (Hosted by Milwaukee Feb. 25-28 at the Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer, Wis.) The men put the finishing touches on an outstanding season with a solid four days at the Horizon League Championships. Freshman Mark deSwardt was the league's unanimous pick to receive all three conference post-season honors - Swimmer of the Championship Meet, Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year - becoming the first Horizon League athlete to earn all three honors in the same season. On top of six Horizon League Championship records and five league records, the Vikings finished with three of the meet's Top-10 scorers led by deSwardt (1st with 60 points), junior Jakub Dobies (4th with 52 points) and sophomore Deni Gasparin (tied 10th with 46 points). CSU swimmers set 10 school records during the meet and also recorded five NCAA "B" cut performances. During the four-day event, the Vikings earned 15 podium finishes that included eight wins, three runner-up times and four third-place finishes.
WOMEN (8-9) - 6th with 290 points (Hosted by Milwaukee Feb. 25-28 at the Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer, Wis.) The women met the challenge of moving up in the rankings after an exceptional effort at the championships. In the four-day event, the women finished with 10 new school records, including four of the five relays. Freshman Carys Behn finished the meet as the eighth-highest scorer (50 points) with three school-record podium finishes and was a member of three of the record-setting relays. Freshman Whitney Hickey also set a school record with her seventh-place finish in the 100 fly and was instrumental in the Vikings' success with Top-8 finishes in all three of her events. Freshman Maria Culjak also added significant contributions with a Top-8 finish in the 200 back while senior diver Heather Dietz recorded an 8th-place finish in the 1-meter event.
MORTON ON THE VIKINGS' 2008-09 SEASON: The swimmers and divers had an excellent season highlighted by 10 men's and 10 women's school records. We also had 50 Top-10 performances, 26 on the women's side and 24 for the men.
The women improved their dual meet record and moved up in the Horizon League Championship standings. Carys Behn was involved in eight school records and Whitney Hickey set a record in the 100 fly. Carys had a solid and consistent year, being one of the top 10 swimmers in the conference for points.
The men's team had five NCAA "B" cuts toward qualification for the NCAA Championships. Jakub Dobies' 52.94 in the 100 breast is one of the top swims in the nation and will qualify him for the Division I national championships. Mark deSwardt did something no other Horizon League swimmer has ever done, receive every individual award at the league championships (Newcomer of the Year, Athlete of the Year, Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet). Mark's time in the mile is in the nation's Top-25 but he intends on improving that race at the Ohio State Last Chance Meet.
Overall, we have made great progress with the women's program and had great performances with the men.
MORTON RECOGNIZES IMPACT OF SENIOR CLASS: My senior class was outstanding this year for both the women and the men.
For the women, co-captain Kristina Nagy returned in great shape and showed enthusiasm and enjoyment in all that she did. Kristine Bunker, our other co-captain, did everything the coaches asked throughout the year and trained harder and smarter than she had done in her previous three years. Sandra Bunker and Katie Bellew were instrumental in setting a pattern of dedication for the freshmen class to emulate.
Olympian Nedim Nisic, who was coming straight off the experience of a lifetime in Beijing, was one of the leaders of our team. He came into the season determined to do everything possible to have his best year. A late season injury prevented him from reaching his full potential, yet he almost set the school record in the 100 back and was an important part of the school record 400 free relay. Marko Milenkovic was both intelligent and intense with his workouts, which led to his best year of performances. Volkmar Baur was one of our co-captains, and although he is in the honor college and carries twice as many credit hours per semester as required, he still came to the pool and truly enjoyed workouts. He loves swimming.
We will miss all seven of our graduating seniors. They led by example with excellence both in the classroom and in the water.
WOMEN'S 2008-09 SEASON REVIEW: The 2008-09 season was Wally Morton's second as the head coach of the women's program. Morton's goals for the team were to improve school record times and make a jump in the Horizon League Championship standings. What he got out of his team was an effort and enthusiasm that met the challenge and ultimately produced one of the best seasons in school history. The women's improvement is easily noted in their win total of 8-9 (3-4 HL), where they doubled their record of 4-10 (0-5 HL) from 2008 and made significant strides in every meet. On the year, 10 school records were set, nine of which came during the four-day Horizon League Championship meet. In addition, the women tallied another 22 new all-time Top-10 times, all but three of which came during league championship competition.
Kristine Bunker, Kristina Nagy and Katie Bellew all finished their careers with solid efforts at the Horizon League Championships. Bunker wrapped up her career with the fifth-fastest 400 IM time (4:41.16, 15th) on Feb. 27 and a day later logged the seventh-fastest 200 fly time (2:10.61, 12th). She is also listed No. 8 in the 100 fly (1:00.06) from a swim in 2006. Bellew swam the seventh-fastest 100 breast in school history during the Feb. 27 preliminary race (1:08.23) and on Feb. 28 swam the third-fastest 200 breast during her prelim swim (2:26.93). The former school record-holder in the 100 fly, she is still listed No. 2 in 57.50 (2006), No. 4 in the 200 fly (2:08.92, 2006) and No. 9 in the 200 IM (2:11.89, 2006). Nagy carved herself a spot in the all-time Top-10 in the 50 free, swimming a 24.45 during her preliminary race on Feb. 26. In diving, Heather Dietz logged her best performance of the year in the conference championships, recording a score of 206.75 in the 1-meter event (8th).
This year's success also bodes well for the future of the program, as the holders of all six 2009 school records return as do 14 of the new all-time Top-10 times set this season. Freshman Carys Behn heads the freshman class after setting five freestyle records this season. Four of Behn's five records came during the Horizon League Championships. She earned runner-up finishes in both the 100 free (51.26 on Feb. 28) and 200 free (1:50.22) on Feb. 27 while also garnering podium finishes with a third-place nod in the 500 free (4:55.35 on Feb. 26). The 200 free time also broke the previous Horizon League record and her 1,000 free record came in a dual with Oakland on Jan. 16 (10:23.19). In addition, Behn is among the all-time Top-10 in the 100 fly (No. 5, 58.85 on Jan. 16) and the 200 IM (No. 8, 2:11.75 on Oct. 31). She was also named the Horizon League Swimmer of the Week during October.
Freshman Whitney Hickey also made significant contributions at the Horizon League Championships with three Top-8 finishes. She set a new school record in the 100 fly on Feb. 27 with a seventh-place finish (57.03) and swam the third-fastest 100 back time in school history the same day to finish eighth (58.38). Hickey's preliminary 200 fly time on Feb. 28 was also the fifth-fastest time in school history (2:09.33).
Sophomore Erin Green proved her worth in the distance free and breast events. She posted the second- and fourth-fastest swims in school history during preliminary swims in the 100 (1:06.51 on Feb. 27) and 200 breast (2:26.97 on Feb. 28), respectively. After making the Top-10 list in the 1,650 free as a freshman with the No. 8 spot (18:03.89 in 2008), she also jumped to No. 8 in the 1,000 free at the league championships (10:43.45 on Feb. 25, 17th).
Freshman Emily Splain was a consistent factor in the back events all year and shined in both in the season's final meet. On Feb. 27 she swam the seventh-fastest time in school history in the 100 back prelims (59.66) and a day later swam the ninth-fastest time during the prelims of the 200 back (2:11.29). Splain also swam the fifth-fastest time in CSU history with a 1:55.43 time in the 200 free preliminaries. Earlier in the season, Splain also recorded the seventh-quickest time in the 100 fly (59.92 on Nov. 25) against Ohio State.
Freshmen Maria Culjak and Rachel Arzadon also played critical roles in the Vikings' success as both recorded all-time top times in two different events. Culjak's used her expertise in the backstroke to swim the fourth-fastest 200 prelim (2:06.29) and CSU's fifth-fastest 100 (58.83) in the finals earned her an 11th place finish. Arzadon improved on her breaststroke times nearly every time out and swam her fastest times of the season in the preliminary heats of the conference meet. She logged a 1:06.96 preliminary time on Feb. 27, swimming the fourth-fastest 100 breast time in CSU history and her prelim time in the 200 breast (2:28.31) on Feb. 28 was the eighth-fastest time in school history.
CSU posted records in four the five relays at the Horizon League Championships, recording the second-fastest time in school history in the other. Behn, Culjak, Hickey and Kristine Bunker joined up for the 200 free relay (1:35.34 on Feb. 25) for a fourth-place finish. It was during the leadoff leg that Behn set her 50 free record (23.66). The group of Hickey, Behn, Kristine Bunker and Nagy also set a record in the 400 free with a sixth-place finish (3:32.48 on Feb. 28). The 800 free relay of Behn, Hickey, Splain and Kristine Bunker swam the second-fastest time in school history for a fifth-place finish (7:44.90 on Feb. 27). In the medley relays, Culjak, Arzadon, Splain and Hickey set a new mark of 1:47.86 in the 200 for a sixth-place finish on Feb. 25. It was Culajk, Arzadon, Bellew and Behn that finished fifth in the 400 medley with a new record time of 3:56.14 on Feb. 26.
In diving, Liz Victor gained momentum as the season went along and peaked at the right time. She tallied her season-best scores in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions at the Horizon League Championships. Her score of 160.50 in the 3-meter was good enough for 12th place and her 163.85 points in the 1-meter earned her a 13th place finish.
WOMEN'S 2008-09 CSU SEASON IN REVIEW: TOP PERFORMANCES Event Athlete Time 50 Free Carys Behn 23.66* 100 Free Carys Behn 51.26* 200 Free Carys Behn 1:50.22* 500 Free Carys Behn 4:55.35* 1,000 Free Carys Behn 10:23.19* 1,650 Free Frances Carrion 18:20.17 100 Fly Whitney Hickey 57.03* 200 Fly Whitney Hickey 2:09.33 100 Back Whitney Hickey 58.38 200 Back Maria Culjak 2:06.29 100 Breast Erin Green 1:06.51 200 Breast Katie Bellew 2:26.93 200 IM Carys Behn 2:11.75 400 IM Kristine Bunker 4:41.16 200 Free Relay Behn-Culjak-Hickey-K. Bunker 1:35.34* 400 Free Relay Hickey-Behn-K. Bunker-Nagy 3:32.48* 800 Free Relay Behn-Hickey-Splain-K. Bunker 7:44.90 200 Medley RelayCulajk-Arzadon-Splain-Hickey 1:47.86* 400 Medley RelayCuljak-Arzadon-Bellew-Behn 3:56.14* 1-meter Dive Kacey Cummings 256.50 3-meter Dive Kacey Cummings 268.12 *set a school record in 2008-09
CSU WOMEN'S HISTORY AT THE HL CHAMPIONSHIPS: The women went from a seventh-place finish with 187 points in 2008 to a sixth-place finish with 290 points in 2009, capping one of their most successful seasons in school history and showing the kind of forward progress they expected to see this season. A breakdown of the women's individual event wins is below.
CSU's women's program picked up its only Horizon League Athlete of the Year award in 2005 when Samantha Jones was selected as the league's best. In 1999, Jen Grabski was tabbed as the league's Swimmer of the Championship Meet and the Vikings have twice earned Diver of the Meet honors when Tiffany Kolat garnered the recognition in both 1998 and 1999. CSU has also had two athletes named the league's Newcomer of the Year with Grabski (1999) and Marianne Lionell (2004) earning the honor.
CSU's Women's Horizon League Champions By Event 50 Free - 1 100 Free - 1 200 Free - 1 100 Back - 4 200 Back - 2 100 Breast - 1 200 Fly - 1 400 IM - 2 1 m. diving - 2 3 m. diving - 1
MEN'S 2008-09 SEASON REVIEW: The 2008-09 Vikings extended the team's streak of wining at least 10 dual meets for the eighth straight year (10-5) and qualifying an athlete for the NCAA Division I Championships for a third-straight season. There were plenty of highlights for the team, which won eight conference championship events and earned five NCAA "B" cuts in 2009. Through the Horizon League Championships, 10 school records have been set, all of which came during the four-day league meet. In addition, the men tallied another 19 new all-time Top-10 times, all but four of which came during league championship competition.
The senior class used its final season to set a solid example for its teammates, led by Olympian Nedim Nisic. He recorded the second-fastest time in school history in the 100 back (49.60 on Feb. 27) for a second-place finish and added a ninth-place finish in the 100 free with the fifth-fastest time in CSU history (45.41 on Feb. 28). Nisic also leaves the program holding all-time Top-10 times in the 100 fly (tied 5th, 49.26 in 2008) and the 200 IM (9th, 1:52.69 in 2006). Marko Milenkovic left his name in three all-time Top-10 categories, all set during the 2009 Horizon League Championships. Milenkovic swam the sixth-fastest 200 IM on Feb. 26 (1:51.79) to finish fourth, the sixth-fastest 100 breast on Feb. 27 (56.44) to finish fourth and the fourth-fastest 200 breast on Feb. 28 (2:02.42) to finish fourth.
Morton has a lot of talent returning as well, with 10 different swimmers who set new Top-10 times returning next year. Junior Jakub Dobies will lead the way after recording three of the school's new top times including two school records. He swam an NCAA "B" cut, CSU record and a Horizon League Championship record during his 100 breast (52.94) title on Feb. 27 and a day later set a new school mark of 44.53 with a 3rd-place finish in the 100 free. Dobies will also return as the record-holder in the 200 breast (2:00.43 in 2007) and the second-fastest 200 IM swimmer (1:49.82 in 2008).
Freshman Mark deSwardt is knocking on the door for the title of CSU's best distance swimmer after a record-breaking freshman campaign that included two school records, four other all-time top times, five Horizon League Swimmer of the Week honors as well as the league's unanimous pick for the Swimmer of the Championship Meet, Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards. The school record-holder and conference champion in both the 1,000 and 1,650 free, deSwardt swam a 9:01.46 in the first 1,000 meters of the mile swim on Feb. 28, which was also a new Horizon League record. At the finish of the mile, he'd also set a new CSU and Horizon League mark with a time of 15:02.06 and earned an NCAA "B" cut. He also improved on his 500 free time on Feb. 26 with a conference title in the 500 free (4:26.00) while swimming the second-fastest time in school history. In addition, deSwardt swam the second-fastest 400 IM in school history on Feb. 6 (3:57.41), the fourth-fastest 200 fly on Feb. 7 (1:50.16) and the fifth-fastest 200 free on Dec. 5 (1:40.08) as a relay leadoff leg.
Junior Stephen Grove had a tremendous season as well, setting records in both the 50 free and 100 fly at the Horizon League Championships. Grove won the 100 fly title in 48.60 on Feb. 27 and used a 20.09 preliminary time in the 50 free to set a new CSU and Horizon League mark. The Horizon League Scholar Athlete of the Month in October, he also swam the ninth-fastest time in school history in the 100 free in 2008 (45.78). Junior Todd Winchell, a Horizon League Swimmer of the Week selection January, was also a significant player for the Vikings. He swam the second-fastest 100 fly in school history during his preliminary swim at the league championships (48.61) on Feb. 25 after swimming the third-fastest 100 back (50.31) and the 10th-fastest 200 back (1:52.54) in 2008.
2009 sophomores Deni Gasparin, Zvonimir Androic and Mike Marsico were a powerful group this season, showing continued improvement and will be solid contributors in the program's future. Gasparin finished second to Dobies in the 100 breast, swimming an NCAA "B" cut and the second-fastest time in school history (54.46) on Feb. 27. To that, he returns with the second-fastest 200 breast (2:01.02) and fifth-fastest 200 IM (1:51.21) from 2008 swims. Androic's ability in the backstroke earned him two times among CSU's best. On Feb. 27, he swam a preliminary time of 51.06 in the 100 back to log the 10th-fastest time in school history. A day later, he swam the second-fastest 200 back (1:48.87) for a ninth-place finish at the championships. Marsico was one of four outstanding 50 free sprinters this season, recording the third-fastest time in school history with a fourth-place finish (20.48) on Feb. 26.
In addition to deSwardt, several freshmen also played key roles this season and will aim to contribute even more next year. Keith Everhart used his first season to swim the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 50 free (20.71) on Feb. 26 for a 10th-place finish at the Horizon League Championships while Colin Hanner swam the sixth-fastest 200 back (1:50.80) during the preliminary heat on Feb. 28.
CSU's record-setting relay teams also had a great Horizon League Championship meet, with four school records in five relay swims. The 200 free team of Dobies, Grove, Everhart and Marsico swam a CSU and Horizon League Championship record of 1:19.50 in their win while the 400 free relay of Dobies, Grove, Nisic and Marsico finished fourth in school-record time (3:00.45). During the leadoff leg of the 200 free, Dobies swam the second-fastest 50 free in school history in 20.18. The Vikings also set new school and Horizon League marks in the winning 200 medley relay of Winchell, Dobies, Grove and Marsico (1:27.58). The same group paired up for a runner-up finish in the 400 medley (3:16.72), setting a CSU record and also breaking the previous Horizon League mark. Earlier in the season, Dobies, Grove, Nisic and Marsico also swam the third-fastest 200 free relay of 1:21.56 on Dec. 5.
In the diving events, freshman Matt DiMasso showed steady improvement all season with some of his best dives coming at the Horizon League Championships. DiMasso earned a berth in the finals of the 1-meter competition, finishing eighth with a score of 253.30 and finished 11th in the 3-meter dive with 192.70 points.
MEN'S 2008-09 CSU SEASON IN REVIEW: TOP PERFORMANCES Event Athlete Time 50 Free Stephen Grove 20.09* 100 Free Jakub Dobies 44.53* 200 Free Mark deSwardt 1:40.08 500 Free Mark deSwardt 4:26.00 1,000 Free Mark deSwardt 9:01.46* 1,650 Free Mark deSwardt 15:02.06* 100 Fly Stephen Grove 48.60* 200 Fly Mark deSwardt 1:50.16 100 Back Nedim Nisic 49.60 200 Back Zvonimir Androic 1:48.87 100 Breast Jakub Dobies 52.94* 200 Breast Deni Gasparin 2:01.09 200 IM Jakub Dobies 1:51.34 400 IM Mark deSwardt 3:57.41 200 Free Relay Dobies-Grove-Everhart-Marsico 1:19.50* 400 Free Relay Dobies-Grove-Nisic-Marsico 3:00.45* 800 Free Relay deSwardt-Androic-Winchell-Milenkovic 6:48.52 200 Medley RelayWinchell-Dobies-Grove-Marsico 1:27.58* 400 Medley RelayWinchell-Dobies-Grove-Marsico 3:16.72* 1-meter Dive Matt DiMasso 252.90 3-meter Dive Matt DiMasso 242.85 *set a school record in 2008-09
CSU MEN'S HISTORY AT THE HL CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Vikings have won three conference crowns on the men's side, winning the league in 1998, 1999 and 2006. CSU has earned at least two individual titles in every event since joining the league in 1994. A breakdown of individual event wins is below.
The Vikings have been particularly strong in the 500 free, winning nine of the last 12 titles including seven straight from 1998-2004. In the 1,650 free, CSU has won nine of the last 13 and took seven straight from 1997 to 2003. CSU's win in the 1,000 free in 2009 was its third since the league started swimming the event in 2004. In the breaststroke, a CSU swimmer has won both the 100 and 200 events the last three seasons and CSU won its first 100 fly title since 2005 this season. In the relays, the Vikings have won the last three 200 medley relays and defended its title in the 200 free relay as well.
CSU has also been recognized consistently with league post-season awards. Five of the last six Horizon League Athletes of the Year have been Vikings - Warren Vickers (2004), Pieter Pelser (2005), Bjorn Schantz (2006), Jakub Dobies (2008) and Mark deSwardt (2009) - and Wally Morton has earned Horizon League Coach of the Year honors three times (1997, 1999, 2006). Head Diving Coach Rich Karban has earned the league's Diving Coach of the Year award in five of his six seasons with the Vikings (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). The Vikings have also had their fair share of the Horizon League's Newcomer of the Year selections including Julian Dooley (1995), Henrick Wahlberg (1997), Chris Dalman (2007), Deni Gasparin (2008) and Mark deSwardt (2009).
Individually, CSU had three and four-time champions in a single event only five times before Jakub Dobies made it six with his third win in the 100 breast. Henk Markgraaff (1997, 1998, 2000) and assistant coach Andrew Hancock (2001, 2002, 2003) both won the 1,650 free three times during their careers. Pieter Pelser, a specialist in the backstroke, won seven titles in the two events, three in the 100 back (2004, 2005, 2006) and four in the 200 back (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). Warren Vickers was also a three-time winner for the Vikings in the 200 IM (2002, 2003, 2004). Dobies has won the 100 breast in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
CSU Men's Horizon League Champions By Event 50 Free - 2 100 Free - 3 200 Free - 3 500 Free - 9 1,000 Free - 3 1,650 Free - 9 100 Back - 4 200 Back - 6 100 Breast - 8 200 Breast - 4 100 Fly - 3 200 Fly - 4 200 IM - 7 400 IM - 4 1 m. diving - 6 3 m. diving - 5 200 Free Relay - 3 400 Free Relay - 3 800 Free Relay - 8 200 Medley Relay - 3 400 Medley Relay - 7
CSU BOASTS SIX OF LEAGUE'S 20 BEST SWIMMERS: The Vikings ended last week with six swimmers in the Top-20 point scorers for the championship meet. On the men's side, Mark deSwardt was the league's leader with 60 points. Jakub Dobies was fourth (52) followed by Deni Gasparin (Tied 10th, 46), Marko Milenkovic (13th, 45) and Stephen Grove (Tied 18th, 42). For the women, Carys Behn's 50 points ranked her the league's eighth top scorer. On the men's side, only conference champion UIC had more of the league's Top-20 point scorers (seven) than Cleveland State (five).
DOBIES BACK TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: One of the top breaststrokers in Cleveland State history and a two-time NCAA participant, Dobies will make his third-straight appearance at the NCAA Division I Championships this spring after swimming a 52.94 to win his third straight 100 breast title at the Horizon League Championships. The first Viking since Harold Wagner (100 fly, 1987) to swim at the NCAA Championships, he finished 28th in the 100 breast as a freshman and finished 22nd and earned Mid-Major All-America honors as a sophomore.
THIRD WIN JOINS ELITE COMPANY: Jakub Dobies joined elite company with his third-straight 100 breast title in 2009. With the win, he became just the sixth Cleveland State Viking to win the same event three times in his career. The win, which head coach Wally Morton called "CSU's Swim of the Meet," also came in new CSU record time (52.94) and was a Horizon League record as well. Dobies was a three-time podium finisher in individual events, finishing third in the 100 free in CSU record time (44.53) and third in the 200 IM (1:51.58). His 52 points in the four days were also the fourth-most in the Horizon League Championships. Prior to 2009, Dobies also won a 200 breast title in 2007 and was the 200 IM champion in 2008.
NCAA "B" CUTS ABOUND FOR MEN: The CSU Viking men had a spectacular season and five NCAA "B" qualifying times are the result. Jakub Dobies' time in the 100 breast (52.94) will guarantee him a third trip to the NCAA Division I Championships. Hoping to join him are freshman Mark deSwardt in the mile (15:02.06 on Feb. 28) and Deni Gasparin, also in the 100 breast (54.46 on Feb. 27). Other "B" cut qualifiers for the men are the 200 free and 200 medley relay teams which both set new CSU records at the Horizon League Championships. The 200 free relay team of Dobies, Stephen Grove, Keith Everhart and Mike Marsico won the event in a new CSU and Horizon League Championship record (1:19.50). The 200 medley relay of Todd Winchell, Dobies, Grove and Marisco also won their race (1:27.58) in new CSU and Horizon League Championship time.
DOBIES, MARSICO, GROVE LEAD RECORD RELAY SWEEP: In addition to their individual successes, Jakub Dobies, Mike Marsico and Stephen Grove were also a significant part of the relays that dominated the CSU record book this season. Dobies swam the leadoff of the winning 200 free relay which not only set a CSU and Horizon League record, but his leadoff leg was also the second-fastest 50 free time in school history (20.18). Dobies swam the second leg of both the winning 200 and runner-up 400 medley relays which broke CSU and Horizon League records, and he swam the leadoff of CSU's 400 free relay which also broke a school record (3:00.45) to finish fourth. Grove swam the second leg of both the 200 and 400 free relays and was the third leg of both medley relays. Marsico swam the anchor leg in all four events.
BEHN THERE, BETTERED THAT: Freshman Carys Behn may have been swimming at her first Horizon League Championships, but she used the meet to better her top times in nearly every event. Behn, who holds the school records in five of the six freestyle events, earned podium finishes in all three of her individual races. She took second in the 200 free in 1:50.22, which broke the CSU and Horizon League records. She also picked up a runner-up finish in the 100 free (51.26) in new school record time and added a school record with her third-place finish in the 500 free (4:55.35). In addition to her individual events, she was also a member of the school record 200 free and 400 free relay teams. On the 200 relay, her leadoff 50 free leg of 23.66 was also a school record. She swam the second leg of the 400 free relay. On the women's side, she finished 8th overall with 50 points.
THREE TOP-10 FINISHES FOR GASPARIN: Deni Gasparin earned three Top-10 finishes in his second Horizon League Championship. He defended his title in the 200 breast (2:01.09) and finished runner-up to Dobies in the 100 breast (54.46) to earn an NCAA "B" cut. He also added a ninth-place finish in the 200 IM (1:52.70) and his 46 points at the championships tied for the 10th most on the men's side.
THREE TOP-10 TIMES FOR SPLAIN: Freshman Emily Splain also had a solid four-day performance, logging new top-10 times in all three of her individual events. She swam the fifth-fastest time in school history during the preliminaries of the 200 free (1:55.43) and went on to finish 14th (1:55.69). Her prelim time in the 100 back was the seventh-fastest in school history (59.66) and her 59.74 in the finals earned her 12th overall. And in the 200 back, she swam a 2:11.29 in the prelims for the ninth-fastest time in CSU history and finished 16th in the event in 2:12.08.
deSWARDT UNANIMOUS PICK AFTER THREE WINS: Freshman Mark deSwardt keeps getting better and he put on a clinic in his first conference championship appearance. deSwardt won all three of his individual events and was unanimously selected as the league's Swimmer of the Meet, Swimmer of the Year and Newcomer of the Year after leading the meet in points scored (60). deSwardt won the 500 free in 4:26.00, the second-fastest time in school history and he improved as the distances got longer. During the mile swim, he set a new league and CSU record at the 1,000 mark with a time of 9:01.64, seven seconds faster than the 9:08.01 he won the event in earlier in the meet. He also finished the 1,650 with a new school and league record and an NCAA "B" cut time of 15:02.06.
HICKEY SETS RECORD: Whitney Hickey swam an impressive 57.03 in the finals of the 100 fly to earn a 7th-place finish and set a new CSU record at the Horizon League Championships. She also swam the third-fastest 100 back in school history to finish eighth (58.38). Her preliminary time of 2:09.33 in the 200 fly was the fifth-fastest time in school history and she followed that up with a 2:09.83 in the finals to finish eighth overall.
SOLID FINISHES FOR MILENKOVIC: Marko Milenkovic swam as solidly as he did all season during the championship meet, earned fourth-place finishes in all three of his individual events. Finishing 13th in the points standings with 45 points, Milenkovic swam the fourth-fastest 200 breast (2:02.42), the sixth-fastest 100 breast (56.44) and swam a 1:51.79 in the 200 IM .
GREEN KNOCKING ON DOOR OF 100 BREAST RECORD: Sophomore Erin Green put also put up three new all-time Top-10 times at the Horizon League Championships last week and is knocking on the door of the 100 breast mark. With her 1:06.51 in the preliminaries, Green is listed No. 2 all-time behind Marianne Lionell (1:04.95). She also swam the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 200 breast during prelims (2:26.97) and finished 16th in 2:28.64. Her 1,000 free swim of 10:43.45 was the eighth-fastest time in CSU history and earned her a 17th-place finish.
NISIC ADDS NAME TO RECORD BOOK: Olympian Nedim Nisic put up three Top-12 finishes for the Vikings last week. His best finish came in the 100 back, where he earned a runner-up finish by swimming the second-fastest time in school history (49.60). He also added a ninth-place finish in the 100 free (45.41) in the fifth-fastest time in CSU history and finished 11th in the 100 fly (50.43).
CULJAK SHINES IN BACKSTROKE EVENTS: Freshman Maria Culjak has come on strong in the last half of the season and she made her performances count in the year's last meet. After a 2:06.29 in the prelims, the fourth-fastest time in school history, Culjak swam a 2:09.33 to finish 8th in the 200 back. She also swam the fifth-fastest CSU time in history with a 58.83 in the 100 back to finish 11th.
TWO RECORDS FOR GROVE: Junior Stephen Grove swam the fastest preliminary time and a new CSU and Horizon League record in the preliminary heat of the 50 free (20.09) and came back in the finals to grab a third-place finish in 20.33 after winning the event in 2008. He also set a new CSU record in the preliminaries of the 100 fly (48.86) and came back to win the event in 49.60. His time of 45.82 in the 100 free also earned him an 11th-place finish while his 42 points at the championships were tied for the 18th most on the men's side.
BUNKER GOES OUT WITH BANG: Senior Kristine Bunker went out with a bang in the final meet of her career. After swimming a 4:45.76 in the prelims of the 400 IM, she swam knocked off four seconds and swam the fifth-fastest time in school history to finish 15th (4:41.16). In the 200 fly, she dropped nearly a second off her prelim time to swim the seventh-fastest time in CSU history (2:10.61) and place 12th.
WINCHELL SWIMS TWO TOP-10 TIMES: In the final meet of his junior season, Todd Winchell came out and swam two of the fastest times in school history during the 100 fly and 100 back. In the prelims of the 100 fly, he swam the second-fastest time in school history (48.61) before coming to back finish fourth in the finals in 48.83. In the 100 back, he swam the school's sixth-fastest time during preliminaries (50.87) and finished fourth in the event in 50.98.
TOP BREAST TIMES FOR ARZADON: All year Rachel Arzadon has been flirting with Top-10 times in the breaststroke, and she used her first Horizon League Championships to solidly put herself into both the 100 and 200 breast lists. In the 100 breast, she swam a 1:06.96 during the prelims to put her into the No. 4 spot all-time. She went on to swim a 1:08.26 in the finals to place 16th. Her prelim time in the 200 breast was the eighth-fastest time in school history (2:28.31).
ANDROIC SOLID IN BACKSTROKE: Zvonimir Andoric's ability in the backstsroke was evident last week with two Top-10 finishes at the league championships. Androic finished sixth in the 100 back (51.28) after swimming the 10th-fastest time in school history during the preliminary heat (51.06). In the 200 back, he swam the second-fastest time in school history (1:48.87) to finish ninth. He also swam the 200 fly for the Vikings, finishing 11th (1:53.08).
RELAY RECORDS NO MATCH FOR WOMEN: The CSU women wasted no time rewriting the relay record book last week. The Vikings set new records in four of the five relays, swimming the second-best time in school history in the other. The 200 free relay of Behn, Culjak, Hickey and Kristine Bunker went 1:35.34, finishing fourth, and Behn's leadoff leg of 23.66 in the 50 was a school record as well. In the 400 free relay, Hickey, Behn, Kristine Bunker and Kristina Nagy went 3:32.48 to finish sixth. The 800 free relay of Behn, Hickey, Splain and Kristine Bunker finished in the second-fastest time in school history (7:44.90) to take fifth at the meet. In the 200 medley relay, Culjak, Arzadon, Splaina and Hickey paired up to swim a record 1:47.86 and place sixth. In the 400 medley relay of Culjak, Arzadon, Katie Bellew and Behn, the group went 3:56.14 to finish fifth.
OTHER PERFORMANCES OF NOTE: * Katie Bellew swam the third-fastest time in school history during the prelims of the 200 breast (2:26.93) and finished 14th overall (2:27.95). She also swam the seventh-fastest CSU time in the 100 breast during prelims (1:08.23).
* Matt DiMasso earned the first finals berth of his career in the 1-meter diving competition where he finished eighth (235.30 points). He also tallied an 11th place finish in the 3-meter dive with 192.70 points.
* Heather Dietz earned a spot in the 1-meter diving finals in her first season with the Vikings. The senior scored 185.8 in the finals to place eighth after a score of 206.75 in the preliminaries.
* Keith Everhart picked up his first Horizon League Championship as a part of the 200 free relay which set a CSU and Horizon League record (1:19.50). Everhart swam the third leg. He also finished 10th in the 50 free with the fourth-fastest time in school history (20.71).
* Colin Hanner swam the sixth-fastest 200 back in school history (1:50.80) during the preliminaries and finished third in the finals with a time of 1:50.97. He also finished 12th in the 100 back (52.60). * Travis Lombardozzi recorded a 10th-place finish in the 100 fly (50.37).
* Mike Marsico swam the third-fastest 50 free in school history during his fourth-place finish (20.48).
* Kristina Nagy capper her college career with a listing in CSU's all-time Top-10. She swam the 50 free prelim in 24.45, the 10th-fastest time in school history, and followed that up with a 24.49 in the finals to finish 14th.
* Nedim Nisic swam the third leg of CSU's record-setting 400 free relay (3:00.45) that finished fourth.
* Freshman Pieter Ritz has been a solid competitor in the distance events this season, and he proved it last week by picking up two Top-8 fnishes. Ritz was seventh in the 1,650 free (16:11.73) and 8th in the 1,000 free (9:37.65).
* Brittany Tweardy locked up a 16th-place finish in the 50 free (24.71) after swimming her fastest time of the season in the preliminaries (24.66).
* Freshman Liz Victor showed improvement throughout the season on the boards and turned in some of her best performances of the season at the league championships. In the 3-meter, she scored 160.50 to place 12th. In the 1-meter, she scord 163.85 to finish 13th.
* Todd Winchell was a member of both the 200 and 400 medley relay teams which broke CSU and Horizon League records. He swam the leadoff leg of both races, helping the 200 medley to victory (1:27.58) and the 400 medley to a runner-up finish (3:16.72).
MEN'S & WOMEN'S HEAD COACH: Wally Morton (Miami, OH, '70) AT CSU: (as men's coach): 251-138-1 (28 years); (as women's coach): 12-19 (2nd year) Morton, who wrapped up his second season as the head coach of the women's program and is in his 28th season as the head men's coach, has led the Vikings to 12 conference championships and 25 winning seasons in his 28 years at the helm of the men's program. Morton, who also serves as CSU's Director of Aquatics, has led the Vikings to eight straight seasons of 10 or more dual meet victories and one of his men's swimmers has earned the league's Male Swim Athlete of the Year award in six of the last seven seasons.
MORTON SECURES 250TH WIN: CSU head coach Wally Morton hit another milestone in his accomplished coaching career on Jan. 24 when the Viking men knocked off Wright State in dual action. During the 133-108 win, Morton recorded his 250th dual win with the men, the most of all active Horizon League men's coaches. Green Bay's Jim Merner is the only other action league coach to join Morton with 200+ dual victories. Merner is a combined 214-135-1 with the Phoenix men and women. In his career, Morton Is 251-138-1 with the Viking men's program In 36 seasons and has a 12-19 record in two years with the women for a combined mark of 263-157-1.
NEXT UP: The Vikings' top men's swimmers will get one last shot at qualifying for the 2009 NCAA Division I Championships with a Last Chance Meet at Ohio State on March 8. Four CSU individuals will make the trip and attempt to qualify for the meet. Jakub Dobies will make the field in the 100 breast but he and Stephen Grove are also trying to advance in the 50 free. Mark deSwardt will aim to improve his mile time and Todd Winchell will try to advance in the 100 fly. NCAA qualifiers will compete for national titles from March 26-28 at Texas A&M.