Contact: Jeff Sattora
Cleveland, Ohio- With some of the team's best performances of the year to date, the Cleveland State Vikings' men's swimming and diving team continued to hold its strong lead on the second day of the Magnus Cup Invitational.
Junior Al Shillito, already with one record breaking performance on the weekend, continued to shine as he broke the 100 backstroke record again Saturday night to lead the strong performances, besting his record time from just 24 hours prior. Shillito's winning time of 49.13 in the 100 back surpassed the 49.49 time he set in the first leg of the 400 medley relay on Friday.
Head Coach Wally Morton could not have been more impressed with the way the junior has been swimming.
"Al is absolutely on fire, right now he is our swimmer of the meet through two days," Morton said. "What makes Al really successful is he's got great technique, his tempo is outstanding and he can kick very fast under water. When you combine all those things he's a spectacular swimmer to watch."
All of those skills were on display for Shillito as he swam well for the Vikings in multiple events all day long. Outside of his record setting performance he also swam the third leg of the winning men's 800 freestyle relay team (relay time of 6:49.11), and led off in the winning 200 medley relay team for CSU (relay time of 1:30.44).
The second guy, along with Shillito, to be on both of those winning relays and really stand out on the day was senior Berry Thompson. Along with the two relay performances, Thompson took home a first place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 49.38.
"He's a senior on our team and he just has the ability to win close races," said Morton of Thompson.
That 100 butterfly Thompson won was one of those close races, and one of the Vikings' strongest events on the day as a group. Three CSU swimmers followed Thompson in the finishing order. Al Shillito led the group with a second place finish (49.39), with Alex Lewis (49.45) and Justin Kermack (50.36) clocking in at third and fourth for the top four sweep.
Other swimmers that swam well on the day included De Swardt, who along with his relay win also picked up a victory in the 400 IM in a time of 3:57.55. That winning time was able to qualify him for the AT@T Winter National Championships in Austin, Texas later this year.
Junior Brian Ferro was also able to pick up a big win on the day with a lifetime best time in the 100 breaststroke, coming in at 56.27.
The Vikings will be back in the pool tomorrow morning for the final day of the three day long invitational, with prelims starting at 9:00 a.m. and finals beginning at 3:00 p.m.