Contact: Jeff Sattora
COLUMBUS, OH- For Cleveland State Swimming Head Coach Wally Morton, the goal at the end of each season is to compete and do well at the three day long Horizon League Championships. One of the many ways his team's get ready for that is by pushing themselves early in the season, and that is exactly what they did Friday night taking on Ohio State and Kenyon College.
Although the men's team walked away with a split Friday night going 1-1 (falling to 0SU 110-171 and topping Kenyon 175.50-121.50), the opportunity to take on Big Ten title contender Ohio State, as well as Division III national power Kenyon was one they had to take.
"We were pleased to come down here and race some of the best swimmers in the world," Morton said on the meets' competition.
That top competition would need a high level of focus from the squad early for early in the season, and Morton thought that is what he got, saying he was very happy with the team's focus on each race.
That focus allowed more than a few swimmers and divers to hold their own against the top-flight competition.
Freshman diver Danny Roberts continued to make his name known on the college scene with his second straight strong weekend in a row, placing third in the 1-meter dive (302.60) and second in the 3-meter dive (295.75). Both scores bested his dives against Green Bay a week ago.
In the pool senior Berry Thompson helped lead the way for the men, as Morton mentioned him as one of the stand out performers.
Thompson came away two top-four individual finishes in the tri-meet, placing second in the 50 free (20.52), and fourth in the 100 free (45.65). Similar to Roberts, both of Thompson's times were better than a week ago.
The senior also teamed up with Al Shillito, Brian Ferro, and Alex Cohara for a second place 200-yard medley relay finish (1:32.56), as well as with Justin Hill, Martin Persson, and Alex Lewis for a second place 200 free relay finish (1:22.96).
Brian Ferro was another top performer for the Vikings in the tri-meet, swimming well individually as well as in the relay. Ferro finished third overall in the 100 breaststroke (57.93), second in the 200 breaststroke (2:06.38), and won the 200 IM (1:58.20).
CSU will not have long to rest, as the team will be back home tomorrow afternoon getting ready to take on Gannon and Niagara in another tri-meet. For Coach Morton, scheduling the meets stacked now will hopefully lead to an added advantage down the road.
"The reason we schedule the meets the way we do is when we get to the conference championships we have seven straight sessions of swimming," Morton said. "We purposely made it difficult on the team by going Friday night and having to go back and swim on Saturday, it will be very similar to what we have to do in the conference meet."
That meet will begin with the diving portion at Cleveland State tomorrow afternoon at 12:15 p.m.