CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Cleveland State men's swimming and diving team defeated UIC 165.5-134.5 on Saturday afternoon at Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.
The Vikings (9-5, 3-1 HL) had first place finishes by Steve Schillero in the 3-meter dive with a high score of 339.90. CSU began the meet finishing atop the leader board in the 200 medley relay (Shillito, Grant, Kermack, Lewis) with a time of 1:33.52. Freshman Patrick Walsh earned a top finish in the 1,000 free with a time of 9:43.09. In the 100 backstroke senior Al Shillito finished with a top time of 50.73. In the 100 breast junior Nathan Grant swam an excellent time of 58.31.
In the 1-meter dive Roberts earned a top score of 302.03. In the 100 free senior Alex Lewis picked up his second win of the day in the 100 free with a time of 46.46. Shillito added to his winning resume finishing atop in the 200 back with a time of 1:53.19. Grant posted his second win of the day, this time in the 200 breast. He tallied a time of 2:06.48. In the 500 free Walsh earned his second win of the day with a time of 4:44.40.
Cleveland State had second place performances from Danny Roberts in the 3-meter dive with a score of 323.40. Junior Kyle Riordan finished behind Walsh in the 1,000 freestyle with a time of 9:49.75. Senior Brian Ferro followed behind Grant in the 100 breast with a time of 59.06. In the 50 free Adam Ingledew swam a firm time of 21.30. Schillero earned a runner-up finish in the 1-meter dive with a score of 277.13.
Senior Ryan Blankenship finished behind Shillito in the 200 back with a time of 1:55.59. Riordan posted his second runner-up finish in the 500 free with a time of 4:45.50. In the 100 fly Shillito earned his second runner-up finish of the day (51.18). CSU finished the meet out with a second place finish in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:06.12. The Vikings were led by Lewis, Grant, Tolson, and Ingledew.
Head Coach Wally Morton spoke about senior day and how the last home swim meet went for CSU.
"It was a privilege to be a part of a great institution like Cleveland State University and mostly with these young people. These young people are outstanding students in very tough majors. They are doing a great job in the classroom almost all of them are graduating in four years. They are phenomenal to work with and this is a special team. Every one of the teams I've been involved with since I have been here in my 39 years as head coach have been special. But this group is they are very caring, very polite as the way they go about things, and are really supportive of each other and of me and the assistant coaches. Win or lose I am really proud of our team, but fortunately we are winning most of our meets. It looks like we are in a position now with nine wins that we can have a chance for double digit wins. We are going to do everything we can for that to happen in our last two meets.
(On senior day)- "It was a special occasion because our seniors (combined men and women) have been a part of the most successful men's and women's combined program in the history of the school. It's just not even debatable. Every one of their years they've been on their teams have double digit wins, highest win-loss percentage. The men won a conference championship. The women have marched right on up every year getting better and better until almost winning it last year. Just an extraordinary group of seniors and as extraordinary as they are in terms of their swimming accomplishments, they are extraordinary on what they do academically. What a great group of athletes. Al Shillito is the conference swimmer of the year last year. Alex Johansson is arguably one of the best swimmers in the Horizon League. Alex Lewis and on and on, and on and all of the other great seniors we have. It's hard to single one out. 16 seniors, two divers and 14 swimmers are really going to be missed."
(On the meet vs. UIC)- "On what was really impressive is we got off to a great start with diving. We knew the men's meet was going to be the closer meet and it was a close meet. The score was really close when you consider you score 19 points per each event. It was less than three events difference in terms of the total score. UIC is going to be a real factor in men's swimming. We knew the men's meet was going to be tough and what was a game changer for us was the divers stepped up in the first event winning two against them, which got us off to a great start. We went to the 200 medley relay and won that.
Our most impressive is we went one-two-three them in the 1,000 free. This allowed us to overcome our weaknesses' in terms of our lineup, which is the 200 free. (Alex) Lewis won the 100 free and came back. Another swimmer that gets it done week after week is Nathan Grant. He (Nathan Grant) was on that 200 medley relay. He (Nathan Grant) comes back winning the 100 breast in dominating fashion. (Nathan) Grant wins the 200 breast. Grant had great contribution in the 400 free relay, but great contribution in that 400 free relay was tremendous and put them in the hunt to win. Lastly, Patrick Walsh a freshman winning the 1,000 free and 500 free in convincing fashion. He looks very strong and very fit. Al Shillito is really coming around. He seems to be back and really getting it done. Overall, great team effort by the men and a meet I will always remember for the rest of my life and two quality wins against a quality opponent."
The Vikings will be back in the pool on Friday (Feb. 7) as the team will travel to Valparaiso. Swimming and diving will begin at 7:00 p.m.