Contact: Jeff Sattora
CHICAGO- The Cleveland State Vikings' men's swimming team could not have started much better Wednesday night, as CSU picked up first place finishes in all three swimming events at the first day of the 2013 Horizon League Championships.
The Viking men currently sit second in the team standings, just behind Milwaukee after day one, and Head Coach Wally Morton was very happy with how they performed.
"Spectacular day for the men, winning all of their events," said Morton. "I think they're swimming very well, I'm very excited.
The Viking men made a statement early to validate that excitement, picking up the squad's first win in the first men's event of the Championships. Justin Hill, Alex Lewis, Berry Thompson, and Martin Persson led the way for the Vikings, taking home first place in the 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:20.30. The group's time was over a second faster than their fastest time on the year previously.
Senior Mark De Swardt followed that relay win with the first individual win for the Vikings, taking home first place in the 1,000 freestyle in a time of 9:18.12. The 9:18.12 time was seven seconds faster than his best time this season. De Swardt's win also brought him to a perfect 10-0 in his career in Horizon League Championship events. The redshirt senior, who missed all of last season with an injury, is right back to his old championship level form.
"It's great to have Mark back, he's doing a great job," Morton said. "He took control of the race early and dominated."
Following that dominating individual win, CSU made it a perfect three for three in its final swim event of the day, taking home first place in the 200 medley relay. That group of Al Shillito, Nathan Grant, Alex Lewis, and Justin Hill swam a great 1:29.06 to take the win. The relay became the third CSU winner of the night to also swim their best time of the year for the event.
The Vikings will look to continue this strong start tomorrow when they are back in the pool for day two of the League Championships held at UIC in Chicago. The Championships in total run through Saturday evening.