Vikings Host Duquesne And Xavier

Vikings Host Duquesne And Xavier

Jan. 14, 2010

Contact: Renee Adam

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SETTING THE SCENE: The men's and women's swimming and diving teams will host Duquesne and Xavier on Saturday, January 16 in a double dual meet beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Busbey Natatorium.

REVIEWING THE LAST TIME OUT: The Vikings travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico over winter break and participated in the San Juan Sprint Invitational (Jan. 9) with the men's and women's teams both leaving with a 24-12 victory.

MEN (11-2): San Juan Sprint Invitational
Stephen Grove recorded the first victory of the meet in the 50 meter butterfly, finishing in 27.70 before teammate Pierre De Waal was victorious in the next race, the 50 meter backstroke, finishing in 31.19. Todd Winchell swam a 27.79 in the 50 fly, finishing second while Berry Thompson was the runner-up in the 50 breast with a time of 34.07 and Mike Marsico was second in the 50 free (26.11). Deni Gasparin and Justin Hill recorded third place finishes in the 50 breast and 50 free respectively.

WOMEN (10-3): San Juan Sprint Invitational
CSU had a first place finisher in all four races including Alice Sommerville, Joanna Olsson, Emily Simard and Jamie Puls. Sommerville won the 50 meter butterfly in 30.06, Olsson touched first in the 50 meter backstroke (33.59), Simard was victorious in the 50 meter breaststroke with a time of 38.47 and Puls won the 50 meter freestyle in 29.82.

Wally Morton (Miami, OH, '70)
AT CSU: as men's coach: 262-140-1 (29th year), as women's coach: 22-22-0 (3rd year)

THE MORTON FILE: Wally Morton is in his 29th season as the men's swimming and diving head coach and his third with the women's team. During his tenure with the Viking men, Morton's success has been backed up by a 262-140-1 dual meet record that includes nine Penn-Ohio Championships, a pair of MCC titles and one Horizon League Championship. In his second season at the helm of the women's program, the squad recorded the most dual wins since 2005-06, with swimmers earning podium finishes in three different events at the Horizon League Championships. Morton has led five swimmers to the NCAA Championships, including 2009 All-American Jakub Dobies. He has also coached swimmers that have reached the international stage, including Nedim Nisic, who competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Two more of Morton's swimmers have also gone on to be Olympic Trials finalists.

PREVIEWING THE WOMEN: Head coach Wally Morton and his staff have brought in an outstanding group of talented newcomers to join the returners from last year's squad that finished sixth at the Horizon League Championships, one of the best finishes in school history. The returning squad is comprised of one senior, three juniors and six sophomores, including the holders of all six school records that were set during 2009. The freshmen are making an impact on the CSU record books as three of the newcomers, Joanna Olsson, Alice Sommerville and Michelle Ferro, have recorded 15 all-time top-10 times this season. Sommerville has the team's top times in the 50 free (23.89), 100 free (52.04), 100 breast (1:05.83) and the 100 fly (57.34) while Olsson holds the top time in the 500 free (4:54.39), 1,000 free (10:19.16), 200 IM (2:05.31), 400 IM (4:22.99) and also the 200 fly (2:03.35), setting CSU records in the 1,000 free, 200 fly, 200 IM and the 400 IM. Ferro leads the team in backstroke and breaststroke events, having top times in the 100 (58.90) and 200 backstroke (2:06.89) and the 200 breast (2:27.07). Three-time individual school record holder, sophomore Carys Behn, has the team's best times in the 200 (1:52.23) and 1,650 free (17:49.72). Kacey Cummings paces the divers with 250.65 and 271.27 points in the 1-and 3-meter boards respectively. The sqaud has also set CSU records in the 400 free and the 400 medley relays. Sommerville, Behn, Olsson and Jamie Puls recorded the 400 free relay time of 3:31.24 and Ferro, Sommerville, Olsson and Behn recorded a 3:54.34 in the 400 medley relay.

PREVIEWING THE MEN: After a season in which the CSU men's swimming and diving team earned their first All-American, placed first in eight events at the Horizon League Championships and captured Swimmer of the Meet, Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, the Vikings are prepared to expand on their success with the addition of nine talented newcomers. The newcomers join three seniors, three juniors and six sophomores to complete the 2009-10 squad. 2009 All-American Jakub Dobies has control of the breaststroke events, recording top times in the 100 breast (55.72) and the 200 breast (2:04.82) at the TYR Invitational, while also setting a team best 45.21 in the 100 free. Sophomore Mark deSwardt returns after earning all three league honors for the Vikings last season; Swimmer of the Meet, Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, swimming top times in the 500 free (4:29.34), 1,000 free (9:16.07), 200 fly (1:50.65) and the 400 IM (3:57.85) and has recorded an NCAA "b" cut time in the 1,650 free (15:27.19). Senior Todd Winchell holds top times in two events this season, the 100 back (51.92) and the 100 fly (49.97). Juniors Zvonimir Androic and Deni Gasparin round out the veterans that hold this seasons top times, with a team best 1:52.92 in the 200 back for Androic, a 1:54.56 in the 200 IM for Gasparin. Berry Thompson is one of two Viking newcomers to post a top time this season, holding a 20.89 in the 50 free, while Pierre De Waal has recorded a 1:42.27 in the 200 free. Sophomore Josh Gonzalez has recorded the best scores for the divers in both the 1- and 3-meter diving events with 262.72 and 306.70 points respectively.

DOUBLE WIN SEASONS: For the first time since 1972-73, when CSU started a women's swimming and diving team both the men's and women's teams have double digit wins in the same season. The women reached 10 wins last Saturday with their 24-12 victory over Syracuse at the San Juan Sprint Invitational and the men recorded their 10th win against Valparaiso (Nov. 14). The last time the two teams were close to accomplishing 10 win seasons was during 2005-06 when the women had nine wins and the men recorded 11.

CLIMBING THE RANKS: CSU continues to make an impact on the College Swimming Mid-Major poll as the men are once again at the number seven spot with 222.5 points, while the women are receiving votes, barely missing the top 25. The monthly poll was released on December 27. The only other Horizon League school in the top 25 is Milwaukee, with the women's team coming in at No. 5 with 233.5 points.

DUAL SUCCESS: Both the men's and women's teams have recorded more consecutive dual meet victories this season than in the past four years. The men won eight straight dual meets from Canisius (11/6) to Valparaiso (11/14) and the women won nine consecutive meets beginning and ending with the same opponents. Last season the men's team had a streak of five straight victories while the women topped out at three dual wins.

DE WAAL WINS SWIMMER OF THE WEEK: After taking home a first, third and fourth place finish at the San Juan Sprint Invitational, freshman Pierre De Waal won Horizon League swimmer of the week honors for the period of Jan. 4 - Jan. 10. De Waal won the 50 meter back, touching in a time of 31.19, finished third in the 50 meter butterfly, swimming a 27.97 and placed fourth in the 50 free (26.32). This marked the first weekly award for De Waal, and the sixth for the Vikings this season.

2009-10 HORIZON LEAGUE HONORS: Cleveland State has been honored 11 times by the Horizon League this season. The following CSU athletes have earned either swimmer of the week or diver of the week honors:
Alice Sommerville - Oct. 20 (Swimmer of the Week)
Kacey Cummings - Oct. 27 (Diver of the Week)
Jakub Dobies - Nov. 4 (Swimmer of the Week)
Josh Gonzalez - Nov. 4 (Diver of the Week)
Carys Behn - Nov. 17 (Swimmer of the Week)
Mark deSwardt - Nov. 17 (Swimmer of the Week)
Joanna Olsson - Nov. 24 (Swimmer of the Week)
Mark deSwardt - Nov. 24 (Swimmer of the Week)
Joanna Olsson - Dec. 1 (Swimmer of the Week)
Jakub Dobies - Dec. 1 (Swimmer of the Week)
Pierre De Waal - Jan. 11 (Swimmer of the Week)

LEAGUE SWEEP: After the men's and women's teams swept the weekly swimming honors three weeks in a row (Nov. 17, Nov. 24, Dec. 1), Pierre De Waal added another accolade for the Vikings this week, giving them a total of 11 awards this season. The 11 awards is tied for the most in the league with Milwaukee and also marks the most for CSU in the past five seasons up to this point in the year. The Vikings have the most individual winners, with eight different swimmers and divers earning the accolade. Milwaukee has had seven individual winners while UIC has had five, Wright State four, Green Bay three and Youngstown State one.

WINNING WAYS: If the women's team continues its winning ways, they will give head coach Wally Morton his first winning season while at the helm of the program. Morton was just shy of a .500 season last year when the Vikings went 8-9, dropping close meets to St. Francis (106-99) and Oakland (172-120). The Vikings have topped all but one of their opponents by at least 24 points this season, with the largest margin of victory coming against Malone (194-24). While Morton has been in charge, CSU has defeated its opponents by an average of 81.9 points or better over the past three seasons.

...MEN FOLLOW SUIT: The men are on pace to give Morton his 23rd winning season as the men's head coach and the 12th straight, which would be the Cleveland State record for consecutive winning seasons. During the streak, the Vikings have posted a .700 percentage or better seven times. The men are also closing in on the most single season wins record, which is 14 held by the 1996-97 squad, and with six dual meets left the 2009-10 squad could very well surpass that record.

OUTSTANDING OLSSON: After competing in seven dual meets as a Viking, freshman Joanna Olsson has already compiled 16 individual victories and has set five program records. Olsson has set herself up to record the most dual meet victories in the past four seasons, quickly catching up with teammate Carys Behn who won 24 events during her freshman campaign. The two are also tied for the number of CSU records set during their freshmen campaigns with five, Olsson setting the 500 free, 1,000 free, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM and Behn registering top times in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 free events last season.

BESTING THE BEST: Ten veterans have topped their personal best times this season, Carys Behn, Kacey Cummings, Whitney Hickey and Liz Victor on the women's side and Zvonimir Androic, Matt DiMasso, Keith Everhart, Deni Gasparin, Stephen Grove and Pieter Ritz for the men. The biggest improvement on the women's side comes from Victor, who added more than 30 points to her personal best 3-meter dive score, while Ritz took off 2.70 seconds from his best 200 free time.

DIVING DUO: Kacey Cummings and Josh Gonzalez are both in the top five in the league for the 1-meter and 3-meter events this season, just the second time in five years that both a men's and women's diver have represented CSU in the top five. Cummings is currently fourth in the 1-meter dive after scoring 247.42 points against Green Bay (10/24) and second in the 3-meter with 271.27 points that she posted during the City College Meet (11/10). Gonzalez leads the league in the 3-meter board after posting 306.70 points in the triple dual against Valparaiso, St. Bonaventure and Niagara (11/14) and is third in the 1-meter event with 273.60 points that he scored in his first meet as a Viking against Green Bay (10/24). Cummings was part of the last Viking duo to place in the top five, partnering with classmate Matt DiMasso last season.

DUQUESNE AND XAVIER IN CONFERENCE STANDINGS: The Vikings will have tough competition on Saturday, with a combined 44 swimmers from Duquesne and Xavier in the top-10 in their conference, the Atlantic 10. Duquesne leads the way with 17 men and 13 women having top-10 spots, while Xavier swimmers hold nine spots on the men's side and five for the women.

NEXT UP: The Vikings will travel to in-state Horizon League foe, Wright State on Saturday, January 23 for a 1:00 p.m. meet.