Contact: Jeff Sattora
CHICAGO- The Cleveland State Vikings' men's swimming team continued to swim strong on the second day of the Horizon League Championships Thursday evening, moving into the top spot in the team standings halfway through the Championships.
The Vikings, who sat in second place after day one, currently have 317 points for the Championships, holding a 23 point advantage over second place Milwaukee.
A strong pack of depth and a record-breaking performance helped shoot CSU to the top of the standings. Six CSU swimmers and one diver were able to finish in the top five in their events to help pace the Vikings individually, while a relay made a new school mark to beat.
That group of Al Shillito, Brian Ferro, Alex Lewis, and Berry Thompson not only broke the UIC pool record but also the Cleveland State school record in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:15.24. That time broke the previous Cleveland State record of 3:16.72 set in 2009.
Head Coach Wally Morton was proud of the record-breaking group.
"For the 400 medley relay to go that fast is nothing sort of sensational," Morton said. "I'm very pleased and want to congratulate those guys."
On the individual side of things redshirt senior Mark deSwardt led the individual events off for CSU on day two with a third place finish in the 500 freestyle, clocking in a time of 4:31.41. He was followed in sixth place by teammate Graham Thoresen at 4:34.61.
The men's 200 IM was the next swimming event up, and CSU brought home three more finalists in that event. Nathan Granttouched the wall first for the Vikings, placing third with a time of 1:50.29. He was followed by teammates in fourth in Justin Kermack (1:51.36), and Brian Ferro in seventh (1:52.94).
Three Vikings placed in the top five in the next swimming event of the night, the 50-yard freestyle. Senior Berry Thompson led the way with a second place showing (20.25), while Justin Hill came in fourth (20.45), and Alex Lewis came in fifth (20.46).
On the diving side of things two freshman stood out and were finalists for Cleveland State in Danny Roberts and Steve Schillero. Roberts finished fourth with a score of 296.85, while Schillero placed seventh in 268.85.
Overall Morton was pleased with how the team was able to perform all day long.
"I thought we did a very good job this morning putting ourselves in position to score points tonight," Morton said. `We hung tough, we had solid performances and in some cases spectacular."
"We had some real good highlights, we're excited both teams are doing well and we need to build on that in the next few days," he added. "Tomorrow is important to see where we're at with our depth,"
The Vikings will be back in action and ready to show that depth tomorrow when they look to build on their lead on day three of the Horizon League Championships.