Swimming Battles UIC, YSU On Senior Day Saturday

Swimming Battles UIC, YSU On Senior Day Saturday

Jan. 30, 2006

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Setting the Scene: Cleveland State returns home to Busbey Natatorium for the final regular season home meet of the year on Saturday (Feb. 4) when they host UIC and the Youngstown State women's team beginning at 1:00 p.m. Prior to the meet, the Vikings will recognize their 10 departing seniors in Senior Day ceremonies.

A Look at the Seniors: Prior to Saturday's meet, women's swimmers Kirsty McKechnie, Wendy Peel and Nicole Reddout and men's athletes Thatcher Carr, Mark Dilillo, Brian Klausner, Steven Ondercin, Pieter Pelser, Daniel Thomasson and Adam Wroblewski will be recognized for their outstanding efforts. During their careers, Viking teams have combined to record a .631 (70-41) dual meet winning percentage.

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 have added depth to a core of seven returning swimmers. 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. The Vikings hold a 7-7 record after falling in the final event to St. Francis (107-98) on Jan. 28.

Previewing the Men's Team: The CSU men's squad (10-4) 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, 1,000 and 1,650 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. The Vikings have added depth with freshman swimmer Nedim Nisic and sophomore diver Chris Dalman becoming eligible this semester and freshman swimmer Stef Potgieter joining the squad mid-season.

Last Week in Review:
Jan. 28, 2006 - Loretto, Pa.
Women's Swimming - St. Francis 107, CSU 98

St. Francis' 400 freestyle relay team beat out the Vikings team by under a second in the final event of the afternoon to edge-out Cleveland State, 107-98, on Saturday (Jan. 28). With the Vikings and Red Flash tied with one event remaining, CSU 400 free relay team of freshmen Jen MacLauchlan, Sandra Bunker, Alexandra Bagi and sophomore Lesley Jones posted a time of 3:43.23, but came up just short of St. Francis' winning time of 3:42.32. Junior Marianne Lionell swam to a team-best time in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:27.19, while sophomore Deanna Raedel claimed the 200 free (2:00.31). Jones and Raedel also finished 1-2 in the 100 freestyle with times of 54.49 and 55.50, respectively, while MacLauchlan and Peel placed 1-2 in the 200 back with times of 2:12.56 and 2:16.79, respectively.

On Top of the League: Five Vikings currently hold a total of 10 Horizon League individual top times and scores. Women's swimmer Katie Bellew, men's swimmers Dave Duecker, Pieter Pelser and Bjorn Schantz and diver Thatcher Carr all hold top individual marks. Additionally, the CSU men's team holds a pair of top times in relays:

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
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 9:23.19
1,650 freestyle 15:50.22
Thomasson, Schantz, Milenkovic, Elgamal 800 freestyle relay 6:51.20
Pelser, Potgieter, Nisic, Milenkovic 400 medley relay 3:26.38

Going the Distance: When it comes to distance swimming events, there really isn't any team in the Horizon League better Cleveland State. Junior Bjorn Schantz touts the league's top times in all four distance freestyle events (200, 500, 1,000 and 1,650), while senior Daniel Thomasson is second in both the 200 (1:41.56) and 500 (4:35.99).

Another Week, Another Viking: It seems like every week there is another Viking swimmer or diver being recognized by the Horizon League. In all, four CSU athletes have grabbed 10 weekly honors, including five by senior diver Thatcher Carr. Juniors Marianne Lionell and Bjorn Schantz have garnered the award twice this season, while senior Daniel Thomasson has been honored once.

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. Five 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 the team best in the 200 fly (2:12.35). 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).

Nisic, Potgieter & Dalman Add Depth to Men's Squad: The Viking men's team has added depth both in the pool and on the boards as swimmers Nedim Nisic and Stef Potgieter and diver Chris Dalman became eligible at the end of the fall semester. Nisic is currently second on the team in both the 200 butterfly (1:55.55) and 200 IM (1:58.05), while Potgieter is third in both the 100 breast (1:01.07) and 200 breast (2:09.30). Meanwhile, Dalman is giving teammate and last year's Horizon League Diver of the Year Thatcher Carr his strongest competition this season, touting second-best scores in both the one-meter (323.47) and three-meter boards (317.90).

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.

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 five events, pacing the team in the 50 free (24.45), 100 free (52.82), 100 breast (1:06.51), 200 breast (2:27.19) 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 and the second legs of the 800 free relay and the 200 medley relay. The Horizon League has taken note of her efforts, naming her the Female Swim Athlete of the Week twice this season.

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 218-126-1 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.