Contact: Jeff Sattora
Cleveland, Ohio- With one day down in the first annual Magnus Cup Invitational, the Cleveland State Viking men currently sit in first place in the team standings, ahead of Xavier, Michigan State, and Ohio State.
With the Vikings jumping out to a strong 155 point lead over second place Xaver (530.5-375.5), Head Coach Wally Morton walked away from the first day of competition happy.
"I thought we got off to a little bit of a lethargic start this morning, a little bit off from the way we were training but tonight everybody came back they were ready to swim fast and I was really impressed," Morton said. "We did a great job of racing and finishing races and some of the things we've been working on."
The teams' usual cast of strong swimmers came out and performed well to start the meet, and at the top of that list is senior Berry Thompson. Thompson was a triple winner on the night, placing first in both the 50-yard freestyle (20.36) individually, as well as swimming the opening leg of the winning 200 medley relay that finished with a time of 1:21.34, and the closing leg of the 400-medley relay for the Vikings, also taking first place in 3:19.74. All three of those times, both relays and his individual 50 were season bests for CSU. Joining Thompson on freestyle relay was Justin Hill, Martin Persson, and Alex Lewis, and joining him on the medley relay was Al Shillito, Brian Ferro, and Alex Lewis.
Another swimmer that came out and performed extremely well was a teammate of Thompson's on that 400-medley relay, Al Shillito. Shillito swam the opening leg of the relay and was able to break the six year old school record in the 100-yard backstroke opening leg of the relay with a time of 49.49 to help the Vikings get off to a strong start. He also finished seventh individually in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.13.
Morton was also quick to point out the impressiveness of senior Mark De Swardt in the 500 freestyle, a race he won by four seconds with a time of 4:30.48. That time was 10 seconds ahead of his previous best on the year. Graham Thoresen also finished strong in the 500 free for the Vikings sliding in in the third position with a time of 4:38.08.
With the great individual performances on the day, everyone seemed to step up and swim well for the men on the first day of the invite.
"We had just solid swims all around, both our relays won, we were just solid, in the 500 free we had two people in the 4:30's, our IM'ers were almost as fast as they were in the conference championships last year," Morton said listing off achievements. "Overall our men looked very good, I think it really looks promising for them."
The Vikings will be looking to keep that strong swimming going as they get back in the pool for the second day of the three day long invite tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. for the prelims, with finals starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.