CLEVELAND, Ohio- Heading into the final day of the championships, the Cleveland State men's swimming and diving team head into the final day holding second place with 466 points. CSU competed in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, men's 1-meter diving, and the 800 free relay.
In the men's 100 butterfly, senior Alex Lewis set a new conference record with a time of 47.08. Lewis so far in the 2014 HL Conference Championships has set two individual conference records (100 fly, 50 free) and a conference record split time (19.56) in the 200 medley relay on Wednesday night. freshman Gage Alleman in the 400 IM swimming event. Alleman finished fourth with a time of 3:57.53. Finishing fifth in the 400 IM for CSU was senior Justin Kermack. He timed out at 3:57.58. In the 200 freestyle swimming event sophomore Adam Ingledew took second with a time of 1:39.52. In the 100 breast junior Nathan Grant continued his consistency in the pool, finishing second in the 100 breast with a fine time of 54.33. Grant's time gives him a chance to qualify in the NCAA National Championships. In the 100 back, senior Al Shillito finished third with a time 48.68.
In the men's 1-meter diving competition sophomore Danny Roberts finished atop the leader board with an impressive score of 333.20. Steve Schillero also had a very nice score of 317.35, finishing third. In the 800 free relay to end the evening, CSU finished fourth with a time of 6:45.36.
Diving Coach Rich Karban spoke about the men's 1-meter dive performances from Danny Roberts and Steve Schillero. "I wanted to congratulate all of the competitors because that was one of the finest contests I have seen since I have been in the Horizon League. There has been a few of them over the years, but that was a fantastic contest from top to bottom, one through eight divers. For Steve (Schillero) and Danny (Roberts) to perform as well as they did, Danny winning and Steve finishing third at a contest where everybody was diving really well, speaks highly for their competitive nature. Their ability to do what they did, it's great to see hard work pay off and have them do what they are capable of doing and going in competing in such a great contest," said a happy Karban.
"The thing about Danny is such a graceful diver. Aesthetically he's very pleasing to watch. He's probably the smoothest diver in the contest. He's got the prettiest lines and just looks good in the air. He can do the same dive as somebody else and he just looks better and probably will get a better score. He just does a nice job with his form and attacking his dives, so that he makes them very easily and very graceful. I think that was probably the separator today is that he looks so much better than everybody else in the contest. There were divers that had strong dives, but he just made them look easier and prettier. He just did a nice job."
"Steve dived good all day. He won the preliminary rounds doing a great job and stayed consistent all the way through. He was the top qualifier and came back and hit his high score he has ever hit until tonight. Steve has just grown as a diver in regard to his degree of difficulty doing much harder dives, making things much easier, lining up and getting into the water cleaner. He's come a long way and I am really proud of both of those guys. They did a nice job competing tonight and just stayed within themselves and do what they are capable of doing, so it was great."
Head Coach Wally Morton talked about the teams swimming performance heading into the final day. "If it was last year, we would be in first place, but we have a top dog in the conference and they have had great history and tradition behind what they are doing and are in front of us (referring to Oakland University). We are in a solidly second place and I am pleased with that. I am pleased that we haven't backed off. We have had to overcome some adversity with the men and some things that don't typically come up, but have not used it as an excuse. Our big dogs are really getting it done. Obviously Alex in another time trial had another 19 plus time. That has been the fourth time and has been now a day and a half that he has gone under 20 seconds in the 50 free. He is trying to improve his placing for the National Championship. He didn't have his best time, but was still great. He set a school record in the prelims and then he bettered it in the finals. He was just two-one hundredths of a second off of a pool record. He set the school and conference record and is absolutely on fire and is leading the Vikings," said an overjoyed Morton.
"The other swimmer that is having a great meet is Nathan Grant. Nathan finished second in the 100 breast. Al Shillito had a fabulous swim in that 100 back. Again, last year he won it and this year he got third, but since there is a different team this year and has made our conference championship even stronger and better. Other people that have stepped up is Robert Tolson who was in the finals in the 200 free. We had Adam Ingledew who went in on one of the top qualifiers in the 200 free, but still finished a very solid 200 freestyle. We had great second, third, and fourth splits in the 800 free relay. The person who was second was Robert Tolson who had a 1:41.50 and Kyle Riordan who is having a fabulous meet had a 1:39.70. Nathan Grant went a 1:39.30, which is a very good time. Overall, I am very pleased on how the three days have went and am excited for my final meet of my coaching career."
The Vikings will swim tomorrow on the final day of the 2014 HL Swimming and Diving Championships beginning with prelims at 10:00 a.m. and the finals will then start at 5:30 p.m. The schedule of events for tomorrow will be the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, women's 3-meter diving, and will finish out with the 400 free relay.