Vikings Host City College Championship

Vikings Host City College Championship

Contact: Julie Farr DeLima

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Nov. 10, 2008


Contact: Julie Farr DeLima

SETTING THE SCENE: The Cleveland State men's and women's swimming and diving teams return to the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium to host the City College Championship on Tuesday, Nov. 11. The teams will host Notre Dame College, John Carroll and Gannon. Diving events begin at 3:00 p.m. while the swim events are slated for a 5:00 p.m. start. On Saturday, Nov. 15, the men host Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio) and the women host Notre Dame at 2:00 p.m.

REVIEWING LAST WEEK: The men recorded their third victory of the year, 146-91 over Niagara on Friday, Nov. 7, winnign all but four events at the meet. In women's action, CSU split a tri-meet, defeating Niagara 149-92 and falling to Youngstown State, 140-93. The women secured victories in three events, including both diving competitions. Below is a brief recap of the most recent Viking action.

MEN (3-1) - CSU 146, Niagara 91 (Nov. 7 in Youngstown, Ohio): The men showed their depth in a 146-91 win over Niagara last week winning all but four events on the night. Horizon League Scholar Athlete of the Month Stephen Grove recorded individual wins in the 50 free and 200 fly. He and his CSU teammates Nedim Nisic and Deni Gasparin finished 1-2-3, respectively, in the 50 free. Grove finished in 21.77 as Grove also won the 200 fly (1:59.31). In the freestyle events, Keith Everhart won the first race of his career with a 47.89 in the 100. He led the way for the Vikings' second 1-2-3 finish on the night, topping Marko Milenkovic (48.24) and Mike Marsico (48.61). In the specialty strokes, Mark deSwardt swam the team's top time of the season to win the 200 IM (1:57.39).

WOMEN (3-4) - CSU 149, Niagara 92 (Nov. 7 in Youngstown, Ohio); Youngstown State 140, CSU 93 (Nov. 7 in Youngstown, Ohio): The women's team split a tri-meet over the weekend, knocking off Niagara 149-92 and falling 140-93 to Youngstown State. The Vikings won three events on the night and set a new school record. Kacey Cummings won both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives for the Vikings. She took the 1-meter event with a score of 217.30 and her score of 240.00 won the 3-meter competition. CSU's other win came in the 400 free relay when Carys Behn, Emily Splain, Kristina Bunker and Maria Culjak swam a 3:42.05. Behn continued her impressive season with a new school record time of 5:04.53 in the 500 free, bettering the CSU mark of 5:05.93 set by Jen Henshaw in 1999.

MORTON ON CSU'S COLLEGE CITY CHAMPIONSHIP OPPONENTS: "I am pleased with both the intensity and volume of training that both CSU teams are doing heading into the College City Championship," head coach Wally Morton said. "We will not back off on our practices this week in preparation for the meets and as always, we expect to perform to our ultimate potential.

"Notre Dame College's head coach Mike Gallagher is one of the top young coaches in America and his teams are improving all the time. Although they may lack some depth, they have some excellent swimmers. Their men's team is in its inaugural season and the women are only in their third year. NDC is getting better and has made terrific progress.

"John Carroll has been the Ohio Athletic Conference's dominate team in swimming and diving for the last 35 years. We expect outstanding swimming and diving from the Blue Streaks.

"Gannon is one of the stronger programs on our schedule. Our women lost a close meet there last year and it is our goal to swim fast and dive well at home in order to have a better end result."

PREVIEWING THE WOMEN: Head coach Wally Morton and his staff worked hard in the off-season to bring in additional talent to compete alongside CSU's capable returning athletes and improve on last year's seventh-place finish at the Horizon League Championships. The 2008-09 squad includes four seniors, one junior, three sophomores and eight freshmen. The newcomers continue to live up to expectations and carry the load. Freshmen have the team's top times in 11 of the 12 individual events they swam this year, and in both diving events. Carys Behn has the team's top times in all five freestyle events including the 50 (24.80), 100 (53.52, relay leadoff), 200 (1:53.48), 500 (5:04.53, school record) and 1,000 (10:28.06). Freshman Emily Splain has recorded both Viking top times in the 100 (1:01.44) and 200 (2:13.16) backstroke events. Rachel Arzadon has been the team's best breaststroker, leading both the 100 (1:09.27) and 200 (2:30.13) events. Behn and senior Katie Bellew share the top times in the butterfly events. Behn leads Bellew in the 100 (58.92) while Bellew's time betters Behn in the 200 (2:10.06). Behn also holds the team's top time in the 200 IM (2:11.75). In the diving events, freshman Kacey Cummings has recorded season-bests in both the 1-meter (256.50) and 3-meter (268.12) events this season.

PREVIEWING THE MEN: A conference contender for the last 35 seasons with 18 championships since 1974, the CSU men enter the 2008-09 season poised to make a run at their second Horizon League title in four seasons. All the pieces are in place including Nedim Nisic, a 2008 Summer Olympian, and Jakub Dobies, a two-time NCAA Championship competitor. In addition to eight freshmen, the Vikings return three sophomores, three juniors and three seniors. CSU's talented returning class picked up where it left off last season and is enjoying the addition of its talented freshman class. The Vikings' considerable depth is visible in the 2008-09 top times list. Four weeks into the season, five different athletes are listed with top times in the swimming events this season. In the freestyle events, junior Jakub Dobies leads the way in the 50 (21.11) while senior senior Nedim Nisic is tops in the 100 (47.53). Freshman Mark deSwardt is listed at the top of the 200 (1:44.27), 500 (4:36.78) and 1,000 (9:27.23) free. In the backstroke, Dobies is at the top of the 100 (55.08) while sophomore Zvonimir Androic has the team's top time in the 200 (1:55.33). Dobies has also recorded the Vikings' top time in the 100 breaststroke (56.89) while senior Marko Milenkovic is tops in the 200 (2:07.02). Winchell has the team's top time in the 100 butterfly (51.96) while deSwardt leads the 200 (1:54.68). In the 200 IM, deSwardt leads the Vikings (1:57.39). Freshman Matt DiMasso leads the diving events, with season-best scores in both the 1-meter (252.90) and 3-meter (233.02) events.

BEHN TAKES OUT SCHOOL RECORD: It was just a matter of time before freshman Carys Behn knocked off a reigning school record-holder. After some impressive performances, Behn topped the list in the 500 freestyle with her time of 5:04.53 on Nov. 7. Behn finished second in the event, bettering Jen Henshaw's CSU record of 5:05.93 set in 1999. Behn is knocking on the door of several other school records including the 200 freestyle (No. 2 all-time), 1,000 freestyle (No. 2 all-time), 100 butterfly (No. 4 all-time), 100 freestyle (No. 7 all-time) and 200 IM (No. 8 all-time).

RELAYS NO MATCH FOR COMPETITION: The Viking men took first and second in both the 400 free and 400 medley relay events on Nov. 7 against Niagara. In the 400 medley, Nedim Nisic, Deni Gasparin, Zvonimir Androic and Marko Milenkovic (3:32.39) held off Todd Winchell, Mark deSwardt, Travis Lombardozzi and Stephen Grove (3:37.15). The 400 free relay was nearly as close with Milenkovic, Winchell, Keith Everhart and Mike Marsico (3:16.61) edging out Colin Hanner, Derek Butts, Lombardozzi and Volkmar Baur (3:24.13).

SPLAIN, ARZADON RECORD LIFETIME BESTS: The freshman dual of Rachel Arzadon and Emily Splain turned in new lifetime best performances on Nov. 7. Splain swam the 200 free in 1:57.30 en route to a second-place finish. In the 200 breast, Arzadon swam the team's fastest time of the season, 2:30.13, to finish second.

EVERHART PICKS UP FIRST WIN: Freshman Keith Everhart led the way for a 1-2-3 Vikings finish in the 100 free, picking up the first win of his career on Nov. 7. Everhart finished in 47.89, followed by Marko Milenkovic (48.24) and Mike Marsico (48.61).

THIS WEEK'S HONORABLE MENTIONS: * Rachel Arzadon recorded the team's top time of the season during her second-place finish in the 200 breast (2:30.13) vs. Niagara/Youngstown State. * Mark deSwardt recorded the team's top time of the season during his victory in the 200 IM (1:57.39) vs. Niagara.

2008-09 HORIZON LEAGUE HONORS: The Cleveland State Vikings have been honored twice by the Horizon League this season. The following CSU athletes have earned Swimmer of the Week honors. Carys Behn - Oct. 22 Mark deSwardt - Oct. 29 Vikings athletes have also earned academic honors from the league. This season, the following swimmers have been named Horizon League Scholar Athlete of the Month. Stephen Grove - October

MEN'S & WOMEN'S HEAD COACH: Wally Morton (Miami, OH, '70) AT CSU: (as men's coach): 244-14-1 (28 years); (as women's coach): 7-14 (2nd year) Morton, who is in his second season as the head coach of the women's program and his 28th season as the head men's coach, has led the Vikings to 12 conference championships and 24 winning seasons in his 27 years at the helm of the men's program. Morton, who also serves as CSU's Director of Aquatics, has led the Vikings to seven 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 five of the last six seasons.

NEXT UP: The teams follow a busy week up with a week off before hosting Ohio State in the final home meet of the semester on Tuesday, Nov. 25.