Contact: Jeff Sattora
Oxford, OH- For the second time in three years the Cleveland State Vikings' men's swimming match-up vs. the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks was too close to call Saturday afternoon, ending in a 150-150 tie.
The tie Saturday equaled the score the two teams swam to in 2010-11, with CSU earning a 170-129 win last year at home.
"Ties in swimming are very very unusual, extremely unusual," said Head Coach Wally Morton, a Miami (Ohio) graduate. "It's unbelievable, the second tie against Miami in three years."
Despite not coming away victorious as a team, CSU was able to have multiple individual winners, including four swimmers who were multiple event winners on the day.
The multiple event winners for the Vikings included seniors Mark De Swardt and Berry Thompson, as well as juniors Al Shillito and Brian Ferro. Thompson was a three time winner for the Vikings, taking home first individually in the 50 free (20.63) and 100 free (46.07), as well as teaming up with Justin Hill, Martin Persson andAlex Lewis to bring home first in the 400 free relay (3:05.26). Both Thompson's 50 free and the group's relay times were season bests.
Each of the other multiple time winners won twice for CSU against the RedHawks. De Swardt taking first in the 500 freestyle (4:41.19), and 1,000 freestyle (9:36.92). The two juniors, Ferro and Shillito also both swam very well to earn their wins, Ferro winning the 100 breast by .06 seconds (57.99) and 200 breast (2:07.49), with Shillito winning the 100 backstroke (52.01) and 200 (backstroke (1:52.49). Shillito's 200 backstroke time was another season best for CSU.
With four different guys stepping up and winning multiple events, Coach Morton mentioned one who stuck out and really swam well.
"I think that guy that probably raced the best in terms of our team and this particular event that swam really well was Brian Ferro," Morton said. "Both the 100 and 200 breast he was down (coming back to win), and had a great split on his medley relay."
Coming away from the meet as a whole, Morton was able to bring out positives, but also mention areas that need to be improved moving forward.
"Some of our top swimmers swam very well and won events, we could not have been in a position to win the meet without those wins," the coach said. Morton also mentioned that the depth swimmers in the outside lanes, as well as the top swimmers, need to keep improving as they will all be counted on at the League Championships late in the year.
"We have a balanced team, a well-positioned team, but we have room for improvement," he said.
The Vikings next chance to keep improving will be next Saturday as they stay on the road and head to St. Bonaventure, N.Y. to take on St. Bonaventure University at 1:00 p.m.