Swimming Heads To Valparaiso, Notre Dame This Weekend

Swimming Heads To Valparaiso, Notre Dame This Weekend

Jan. 16, 2006

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Setting the Scene: The men's and women's swimming and diving teams head to Valparaiso on Friday (Jan. 20) to battle the Crusaders at 6:00 p.m. The men's team will also swim at Notre Dame on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 1:00 p.m.

Previewing the Women's Team: The CSU women's squad features one of the deepest lineups it has had during head coach Mike Lehto's tenure, as seven freshmen add to a core of seven returning swimmers. Several of the newcomers have already contributed to the success of the team. Freshman Jen MacLauchlan has admirably stepped in to help fill the void left by backstroker and 2005 Horizon League Swimmer of the Year Samantha Jones, leading the team in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. Freshman Katie Bellew paces the league in the 100 butterfly and the team in the 200 fly and 200 breaststroke, while freshman Sandra Bunker touts the top mark in the 1,650 free. Meanwhile, the veterans have continued to turn in strong outings. Junior Marianne Lionell, the school record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyles and the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, has her sights set on the league swimmer of the year honors as the team's top sprinter and breaststroker. Seniors Kirsty McKechnie and Wendy Peel have added leadership as well as fast times in distance freestyle, backstroke and IM events. The Vikings hold a 6-6 record after falling to Duquesne (125-63) and Xavier (111-76) on Jan. 14.

Previewing the Men's Team: The CSU men's squad is primed for another run at the Horizon League Championship. Last year's Horizon League Male Athlete of the Year Pieter Pelser and Diver of the Meet Thatcher Carr lead a Viking team that features one of the deepest rosters that head coach Wally Morton has had in his 25 years at the helm. Pelser remains a force in the league in backstroke and individual medley events, while Carr continues to wow the competition on both the one and three-meter boards. Senior Bjorn Schantz has been the Vikings strongest swimmer this season, recording Horizon top times in the 200, 500 and 1,000 freestyles. Additionally, Pelser (100 and 200 backstroke), Carr (one- and three-meter boards) and sophomore Johan Norling (100 butterfly) hold top marks in the league. Sophomore Dave Duecker holds team-best marks in the 200 fly, 200 IM and both breaststroke event, while seniors Daniel Thomasson and Adam Wroblewski have stepped up their times in the sprint events. The Vikings have added depth with freshman swimmer Nedim Nisic and sophomore diver Chris Dalman now eligible after sitting out in the fall. CSU touts a 9-3 dual meet mark this season after topping Duquesne (128-61) and Xavier (111-70) on Jan. 14

Last Week in Review:
Jan. 14, 2006 - Busbey Natatorium - Cleveland, Ohio
Men' s Swimming
CSU 128, Duquesne 61
CSU 111, Xavier 70

Junior Bjorn Schantz posted a pair of wins and freshman Nedim Nisic scored his first victory with the Vikings as the Cleveland State men's team picked up dual meet wins over Duquesne and Xavier at Busbey Natatorium on Jan. 14. Schantz swam to wins in the 500 free (4:38.17) and the 1,000 free (9:32.91), while Nisic won the 200 fly (1:56.18). Freshman Marko Milenkovic put up one of the best showings of his career, winning in the 200 breaststroke (2:09.50), placing second in the 100 free (47.98) and third in the 200 free (1:45.62). Senior Daniel Thomasson finished just ahead of Milenkovic in the 100 and 200 freestyles, placing first (47.53) and a second (1:44.18), respectively.

Women's Swimming
Duquesne 125, CSU 63
Xavier 111, CSU 76

Junior Marianne Lionell posted a pair of the women's team's strongest efforts, claiming a win in the 100 freestyle (53.67) and a second-place time in the 200 IM (2:14.99). Senior Kirsty McKechnie added a second-place time of 5:15.84 in the 500 freestyle, while sophomore Leslie Jones swam the 50 freestyle in 25.43 for second as well.

On Top of the League: Nine Vikings currently hold a total of 12 Horizon League top times and scores. Women's swimmer Katie Bellew, men's swimmers Dave Duecker, Johan Norling, Pieter Pelser and Bjorn Schantz and diver Thatcher Carr all hold top individual marks, while the relay team of Daniel Thomasson, Schantz, Marko Milenkovic and Khaled Elgamal tout the top time in the 800 free relay:

Swimmer/Diver Event Time/Score
Katie Bellew 100 butterfly 58.09
Thatcher Carr 1 meter diving 383.90
3 meter diving 370.90
Dave Duecker 200 butterfly 1:51.78
Johan Norling 100 butterfly 50.52
Pieter Pelser 100 backstroke 50.21
200 backstroke 1:49.40
Bjorn Schantz 200 freestyle 1:40.28
500 freestyle 4:33.88
1,000 freestyle 9:23.94
1,650 freestyle 15:50.22
Thomasson, Schantz, Milenkovic, Elgamal 800 freestyle relay 6:51.20

Nisic, Dalman Add Depth to Men's Squad: The Viking men's team has added depth both in the pool and on the boards as swimmer Nedim Nisic and diver Chris Dalman became eligible at the end of the fall semester. Nisic, a freshman from Tulza, Bosnia & Herzergovina, swam to his first win as a Viking against Duquesne and Xavier on Jan. 14, claiming the 200 fly in 1:56.18. Dalman, a sophomore from Auburn, Wash., gave teammate and last year's Horizon League Diver of the Year Thatcher Carr his strongest competition this season in an exhibition showing on Jan. 14, finishing second in both the one-meter and three-meter boards with scores of 319.05 and 317.90, respectively.

Dalman Brings a History of Success: While diver Chris Dalman has already shown signs of great potential in his first competition with the Vikings, his genealogy might have foreshadowed his success before he even stepped on the boards. Dalman is the son of former Cleveland State diver Jeff Dalman, who was the Vikings' top diver on teams that won four Penn-Ohio Championships from 1978 to 1981.

Fresh is Better: With half of the roster comprised of freshmen, the Cleveland State women's team features one of the the most youthful squads in the Horizon League. But the youth doesn't seem to be playing a factor in the performance. Six team top times and one Horizon League best are held by CSU freshmen, with Katie Bellew holding the league best in the 100 fly (58.09) as well as team bests in the 200 fly (2:12.35) and 200 breast (2:28.23). Jen MacLauchlan touts top marks in the 100 backstroke (1:00.42) and 200 backstroke (2:09.96) while Sandra Bunker holds the fast time in the 1,650 free (18:35.72).

Lionell Back On Top: Junior Marianne Lionell continues to be a dominant force on the Viking women's squad. The Sodertajle, Sweden native currently holds the CSU top times list in four events, pacing the team in the 50 free (24.45), 100 free (52.82), 100 breast (1:06.51) and 200 IM (2:12.97). She has also been a contributor in four of the Vikings' top relay times, swimming the lead legs in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays, the second leg of the 800 free relay and the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay. The Horizon League took note of her efforts, naming her the Female Swim Athlete of the Week for the week ending Nov. 9.

Carr Takes Another Lap: Senior diver Thatcher Carr continues to be a dominant force in the Horizon League this season. He had a 25-event winning streak - a streak which began last semester - come to an end at Ohio State (Nov. 22). During that time, he scored higher than 300 in each event and set pool records at Miami University's Nixon Aquatic Center and Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Center. He currently holds the top league marks in the one-meter (383.90) and the three-meter (370.90) dual meet events and the one-meter (621.35) and three-meter (693.85) marks in the tournament format while being named the league's men's diver of the week five times this season alone.

Lehto Getting It Done: Women's swimming head coach Mike Lehto is back for his 12th season and is the all-time winningest coach in women's swimming history with 82 victories. He coached the 2004-05 squad to an even 7-7 record, the fourth-straight season they have finished at or above .500, and a fifth place finish at the Horizon League Championships. Under his tutelage, Samantha Jones became the school's first Horizon League Female Swim Athlete of the Year award after winning the 100 and 200 backstroke championships.

Wally World: Cleveland State men's head coach Wally Morton certainly become synonymous with the Viking swimming program. Morton, in his 32nd season with the team and 25th as its head coach, currently holds a 217-125-1 career record after passing 200 dual meet victories last season. He has to his credit nine Penn-Ohio Championships, a pair of MCC titles and 22 winning seasons. He helped to guide last season's team to a 10-4 dual meet record and a second-place finish in the Horizon League Championship while, for the third straight season, a Viking took home the league's Male Swim Athlete of the Year award, with Pieter Pelser claiming the honor last season.

Another Championship at Busbey: The 2005-06 season will culminate when Cleveland State hosts the Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships at Busbey Natatorium from Feb. 22-25. Noted as one of the fastest pools in the nation, the natatorium has been the site of championships of all shapes and sizes during its history, including four Midwestern Collegiate Conference championships and the 2003 Horizon League Championship. It has been the site of the Penn-Ohio Conference Championships 17 times, the Eastern Intercollegiate Championships 11 times and the NCAA Championships five times.

Looking Ahead: The Viking women's squad makes a stop in Moon Township, Pa. on Jan. 28 when they face St. Francis beginning at 1:00 p.m. The men are idle until Feb. 4 when they host UIC at 1:00 p.m.