Vikings Gear Up For League Championships

Vikings Gear Up For League Championships

Feb. 22, 2010

Contact: Renee Adam

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Jakub Dobies All-American Recognition Photo Gallery

SETTING THE SCENE: The Vikings will travel to Chicago, Ill. for the 2010 Horizon League Championships this week. The championships will be hosted by UIC, taking place in Flames Natatorium. With competition beginning on Wednesday, February 24 and continuing through Saturday, February 27. The women's team ended the 2009-10 regular season with a school record setting 14-5 record, while the men tied the CSU record for most wins in a season, finishing at 14-4.

REVIEWING THE LAST TIME OUT: The men's and women's teams competed in their final dual meet of the season, the men hosting UIC and the women hosting UIC and Youngstown State two weeks ago. Below are recaps of the meet.

MEN (14-4):
Cleveland State 129.5, UIC 113.5
Mark deSwardt won three individual events, including a CSU record setting finish in the 200 fly (1:49.12) to lead the Vikings in their final dual of the season. deSwardt also won the 1,000 free (9:24.18) and the 500 free (4:31.87). Pierre De Waal, Keith Everhart and Josh Gonzalez each posted an individual victory, De Waal in the 200 free (1:42.97), Everhart in the 50 free (21.02) and Gonzalez in the 1-meter board with 255.55 points.

WOMEN (14-5):
Cleveland State 126, UIC 113 - Cleveland State 166, YSU 77
The quartet of Kacey Cummings, Joanna Olsson, Alice Sommerville and Carys Behn combined for nine individual victories to pace the Vikings. Olsson recorded victories in the 1,000 free (10:41.90), 200 IM (2:08.39) and the 200 fly (2:05.73). Sommerville placed first in the 50 free (23.80) and the 100 free (52.46) while Behn took home gold in the 200 free (1:55.12) and the 500 free (5:11.39). Cummings swept the diving events winning the 1-meter board with 231.20 points and the 3-meter board with 248.65 points.

Wally Morton (Miami, OH, '70)
AT CSU: as men's coach: 265-142-1 (29th year), as women's coach: 26-24-0 (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 265-142-1 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 (23.80), 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 (2:24.94). 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 261.45 and 285.10 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 its 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, setting a CSU record in the 200 fly (1:49.12) and swimming top times in the 500 free (4:29.34), 1,000 free (9:16.07), 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 1:52.23 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 recorded the best score in the 3-meter board, with a score of 317.32, while Matt DiMasso has the best 1-meter score with a 273.40.

FIRST MEN'S RECORD SET: Sophomore Mark deSwardt was the first Viking on the men's side to set a CSU record this season, doing so against UIC (2/6) recording a 1:49.12 in the 200 fly. deSwardt's time tops the previous best by two one-hundreths of a second that was set by Luke Wilkens in 2004. The record marks the third for deSwardt, as he already holds school records in the 1,000 free (9:01.46) and the 1,650 free (15:02.06).

VIKINGS SUCCESSFUL OUT OF THE POOL: The Horizon League released their Fall Academic Honor Roll last week, which included 63 CSU student-athletes. Of those 63 student-athletes, six came from the swimming and diving programs; Matt DiMasso, Stephen Grove, Carys Behn, Kacey Cummings, Brittany McCann and Diana Mruk. To be eligible for the honor roll student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or better.

...WOMEN HONORED BY CSCA: The women's team was also honored by the College Swim Coaches Association when they were named to the Division I Team Scholar All-American list for Fall 2009. To receive this award teams must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. The Vikings were joined by five other Horizon League schools, Wright State, Youngstown State, UIC, Butler and Milwaukee.

DESWARDT EARNS LEAGUE HONORS: Mark deSwardt earned his fourth Horizon League Swimmer of the Week honor after his performances in the 129.5-113.5 victory over UIC. deSwardt led the Vikings to a record tying 14th dual meet win after recording three individual victories including a CSU record in the 200 fly (1:49.12). deSwardt also took home first place finishes in the 500 free (4:31.87) and the 1,000 free (9:24.18). CSU has won swimmer or diver of the week honors 17 times this season, the most out of all Horizon League schools.

2009-10 HORIZON LEAGUE HONORS: Cleveland State has been honored 17 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)
Alice Sommerville - Jan. 18 (Swimmer of the Week)
Kacey Cummings - Jan. 18 (Diver of the Week)
Mark deSwardt - Jan. 18 (Swimmer of the Week)
Matt DiMasso - Jan. 18 (Diver of the Week)
Jakub Dobies - Feb. 1 (Swimmer of the Week)
Mark deSwardt - Feb. 8 (Swimmer of the Week)

CLIMBING THE RANKS: Following record setting dual meet seasons, 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 224.4 points, while the women are receiving votes, barely missing the top 25. The monthly poll was released on February 16, at the conclusion of the regular season for the Vikings. 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 and the men's team ranking 13th with 218.1 points.

DOBIES EARNS RECOGNITION: Senior Jakub Dobies was honored at halftime of the CSU men's basketball game on Saturday, February 13, receiving his All-American ring and plaque to commemorate his accomplishments at the NCAA Championships last season. Dobies became the first Division I swimming All-American for both CSU and the Horizon League after finishing 13th in the 100 breaststroke (53.13) at the NCAA Championships as a junior.

SWEEPING THE COMPETITION: For the first time this season the men's team finished first, second and third in both the 200 and 50 free in the same meet. In the final dual meet of the season against UIC (2/6), Pierre De Waal, Todd Winchell and Alex Cohara finished one, two, three in the 200 free while Keith Everhart, Berry Thompson and Justin Hill finished in that order in the 50 free. The Vikings have swept the competition once in each race previously this season, but not in the same meet. In 20 possible races, CSU placed two swimmers in the top three spots in 12 races.

SCHOOL RECORD SEASON: For the first time since the women's program was created in 1972-73, the CSU squad has recorded its first ever 14-win season. During the 1982-83 season, the Vikings had a 10-2 record, the most wins up until this year. With the 14-5 record, head coach Wally Morton has led his squad to just the fourth .700 or better season, and the first in the past 23 years.

RECORD FINISH: With the 129.5-113.5 victory over UIC last Saturday (Feb. 6), the men's team tied the school record for most dual meet victories in a season, ending 2009-10 with a 14-4 record. The 1996-97 squad recorded a 14 win season, also under head coach Wally Morton.

MORTON'S FIRST WOMEN'S WINNING SEASON: Head coach Wally Morton recorded his first winning season at the helm of the women's program with the 14-5 record the Vikings posted this season. In his first two seasons Morton led CSU to records of 4-10 (2007-08) and 8-9 (2008-09). With the 14 victories this season Morton is also above .500 for his career as the women's head coach, posting an overall 26-24 (.520) record. Morton leads all CSU head coaches, both men and women, with the most victories during the first three seasons in charge of the programs. Close behind is Lorry Wagner, women's coach from 1985-1991, who recorded 23 wins in the first three seasons.

HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP NOTE: Viking swimming and diving fans will be able to watch live coverage of all the final events at the upcoming Horizon League Championships (Feb. 24-27) by logging onto to watch the live streaming broadcast.

NEXT UP: Viking qualifiers for the NCAA Division I Championships will begin competition at Purdue University for the women from March 19-21 and at Ohio State University for the men from March 25-27.