Contact: Jeff Sattora
Austin, Texas- After the completion of the first two days of the AT@T Winter National Championship in Austin, Texas the Cleveland State Vikings swim team had accomplished multiple top times and history making performances, making it a tall order for the day three participants to live up to.
Looking back at day three after its completion the Vikings' swimmers not only lived up to that standard, they may have exceeded the first two days of accomplishments. Multiple swimmers brought home top-level times, and leading the way was Justin Kermack.
Kermack tore through the pool in the 200 butterfly, setting a school record with a time of 1:46.50 in the event. That school record placed him sixth overall nationally in the event, an incredible achievement. Kermack broke the previous school record, which he set last year, which was 1:47.30.
"Justin had a great swim at the U.S.A. Nationals," said Head Coach Wally Mortonon Kermack. "He's worked very hard, this is the second straight time he's made it to the championships in the 200 fly, so he's truly one of the best swimmers at the national level."
Kermack finished ninth in the 200 butterfly last season at the Winter Championships.
Kermack wasn't the only swimmer who finished up the meet and swam on the third day for CSU.
One of the swimmers that had one of the best meets of the week according to Morton was Al Shillito, who swam some of his best times of the year in the Texas.
Shillito, who swam in a record number of events on the weekend for the Vikings at a national championship event, came in 36th in the 200 backstroke Saturday with a time of 1:48.94.
Berry Thompson and Justin Hillalso made their presence felt on the final day in the 100 freestyle, Thompson placing 27th in 44.67 and Hill placing 51st in 45.85. Hill's time was his best of the year in the event.
"Berry Thompson and Justin Hillwere very solid in the sprints," Morton said, "And we know they're going to swim a lot faster at the end of the year with more rest."
Nathan Grantand Brain Ferro were also able to represent the Vikings in the 200 breaststroke, placing 21st and 22nd respectively. Grant (2:00.81), and Ferro (2:01.00) both swam their best times of the year Saturday.
"Nathan Grant and Brian Ferroare a great 1-2 punch for our conference and they're swimming at a very high level, we're really excited about them as the season progresses," Morton said.
On the women's side, although neither Alex Johansson nor Alice Sommervilleparticipated in any swims Saturday, Morton is pleased with how they performed and know they can learn a lot from the week.
"Alex is having a terrific season and she showed again how terrific she is swimming," Morton said on Johansson. Also adding how much Sommerville learned from the meet and how strong she is looking in the water.
"We think she can have her best year at the end of the year," he said talking about the senior Sommerville.
Overall Morton walked away from the national event happy with the results.
"I was really pleased with all the swims," Morton said on the whole groups' effort. "We're just slightly rested, certainly not shaved and tapered, and the result when you look at the swims under those circumstances by any measure they're impressive."
The Vikings will come back and join their teammates in the pool this Tuesday as the both the men's and women's teams will host the Cleveland College Dual Meet Invitational at the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium at 3:00 p.m.