Men's and Women's Swimming to Host Horizon League Rivals

Men's and Women's Swimming to Host Horizon League Rivals

Jan. 28, 2008

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Contact: Gene Natale, Jr.

Cleveland State Swimming & Diving
Dual Meets 17-18: vs. Illinois-Chicago and Youngstown State

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2008
Time: Noon
Site: Busbey Natatorium, Cleveland, Ohio
Event: Senior Day

SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State hosts UIC and the women's team hosts Youngstown State in league dual meets at Busbey Natatorium on Saturday, Feb. 2. The meet will begin with diving events at noon followed by swimming events at 1:00 p.m. The men are 10-4 (2-1 HL) with five wins in their last six contests. Meanwhile, the women are 4-8 (0-3 HL) overall.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK: Cleveland State hosted Niagara in a dual meet at Busbey Natatorium. Here is a brief look at how the Vikings fared over the weekend. Men (10-4) - CSU 137, NU 89 (Jan. 26th, at Busbey Natatorium) The Vikings won 10 of 13 events to defeat the Purple Eagles. Dave Duecker swam 4:01.84 in the 400 IM to win the event, while fellow senior Khaled Elgamal won both the 1,650 (16:55.50) and 500 free (4:52.51). Freshman Deni Gasparin won the 100 breaststroke (56.82) and the 200 freestyle (1:44.84). Women (4-8) - CSU 132, NU 95 (Jan. 26th, at Busbey Natatorium) The women's team also won 10 of 13 events to defeat the Purple Eagles. The team was led by Katie Bellew, who won the 100 breast (1:09.32, a new team best time) and 100 fly (1:00.98) and swam on the winning 200 medley relay team (1:55.38) which also included Lesley Jones, Sandra Bunker, and Alex Bagi. Jones also won the 50 free (25.02) and 100 free (54.40). Trisha Simon (122.03) finished second in the 1-meter dive despite a sprained ankle.

PREVIEWING THE WOMEN'S TEAM: The CSU women hope that their experience and skill they have shown will help them to improve on a sixth place showing at the Horizon League Championship last season. Seniors Lesley Jones, Deanna Raedel, and Trisha Simon lead the team in six events and set the stage for the team. Jones competes well in the freestyle events, topping the team in the 50 (24.53), 100 (53.18), and 200 free (1:58.90) as the team's top sprinter, while Raedel has the top time in the 200 breaststroke (2:30.58) and the second best time (1:00.33) in the 100 breast. Simon is the team's only diver, and she has been diving well lately, scoring her first victory of the season at Wright State (1/19). Junior Katie Bellew, who is the school record holder in the 100 fly (57.50), has the team's season best times in the 100 (1:00.18) and 200 fly (2:14.20), as well as the 100 breaststroke (1:09.32). Twin sisters Kristine and Sandra Bunker give the team a boost in the freestyle and individual medley events. Kristine's best time in the 100 butterfly (1:00.78) is nearly as fast as Bellew's in the event, and her efforts in that event and the 200 fly provide crucial depth. The team counts on freshmen Erin Green and Frances Carrion to lead the squad in the distance freestyle events. Green has the team's top times in the 1,000 (10:53.41) and 1,650 free (18.07.88), while Carrion has the team's top time in the 500 free (5:18.64).

MORTON ON THE CSU WOMEN: "What I like best about the women's team is that they are the first to get to practice, the first to get in the water, and they are always on time. They support each other and cheer each other on. If we can continue to work on our winning pattern we will be very successful the rest of the season."

PREVIEWING THE MEN'S TEAM: The CSU men's squad seeks to win a league championship this year after finishing second in the conference last season. A core of eight seniors provide solid leadership to a team that is helped immensely by its talented younger contributors, with sophomore Jakub Dobies leading the way. Dobies was voted the newcomer of the year at the league championship last season after winning the 100 (53.77) and 200 (2:00.92) breaststroke, setting school, meet, and league records in the process. He also was the first swimmer from Cleveland State as well as from the Horizon League to swim at the NCAA Championship in the last 20 years when he accomplished the feat during the 2006-07 season. He has carried that success into this season, and currently holds NCAA "B" qualifying marks in the 100 (54.03) and 200 breaststroke (2:00.43). He leads the Horizon League in both events, and his 200 breaststroke time is a Horizon League and school record. CSU may have another candidate for the newcomer award this season in Deni Gasparin. After joining the team in early January, Gasparin has won events in all three meets he has swam in. His best time so far in the 100 breast (56.64) was immediately the second best time on the team next to the NCAA qualifying swimmer Dobies. He also won the 200 breaststroke (2:06.49) at Wright State, and the 100 breast (56.82) and 200 free (1:44.84) against Niagara. Another underclassman contributing for Cleveland State is Todd Winchell, who leads the team in the backstroke events. Winchell, who also has the team's top 100 butterfly time (49.71, at the Miami (OH) Invite), leads the team in the 50 and 100 backstroke with his respective times of 23.97 (set vs. Ohio State, 11/20) and 51.19 (at the Miami (OH) Invite, 11/29). Senior Dave Duecker is another swimmer to watch, as he has the team's top times in the 400 IM (4:01.84), 500 free (4:38.54), and the 200 butterfly (1:51.64).With a strong core of seniors including Dan Baiko, Stef Potgieter, and Nedim Nisic, the team has the talent and experience needed to put Cleveland State back on top at the Horizon League Championships this season. Baiko leads the team in the diving events, while Potgieter gives the Vikings a nice one-two-three punch in the breaststroke events. Nisic, meanwhile, provides stability to the team's butterfly events, with the team's second best times in both the 100 and 200 fly.

MORTON ON THE CSU MEN: "We are making good progress right now. We have a long way to go, but I am pleased with the effort I see so far."

FOUR TIMES THE CHARM: Dobies, the reigning Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, leads the conference with top times in three different events, and has won swimmer of the week honors four times this season. His best showings in the 200 (2:00.43) and 100 (54.03) breaststroke were both NCAA "B" qualifying marks and both are season bests for the Horizon League. He also leads the league in the 100 free (44.62).

...AND HE'S ONE FOR THE AGES: Dobies represented Cleveland State at the national championship last season in the 100 breaststroke, and was the first CSU swimmer in 20 years to accomplish the feat. Dobies has school records in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke (53.77 and 2:00.43, respectively). His best times this season in the 100 breast (54.03) and 200 breast (2:00.43) were set on Dec. 1-2 2007 at this season's Miami (OH) Invitational. Both are NCAA "B" qualifying marks that should be good enough to qualify the sophomore for the NCAA Championship once more.

...AND FOUR TIMES THIS SEASON: While Dobies may have four career swimmer of the week honors including last season, senior diver Dan Baiko has gotten even more attention than Dobies from the league office. Baiko has won diver of the week honors four time this season, the most recent following his performance at Wright State (1/19) where he won both boards for the sixth time this season.

ELGAMAL WILL GO LONG: Senior Khaled Elgamal is the team's best pure distance swimmer, and has been showing signs of improvement lately. He posted a personal best in the 1,000 freestyle (9:52.54) at Wright State (Jan. 19).

JONES LEADS THE WAY: Lesley Jones has become a very reliable option in the freestyle events, as she holds the team's top times in the 50 (24.53), 100 (53.18), and 200 freestyle (1:58.90).

FRESH FACED: The quad meet on Jan. 12 saw the Viking debut of Deni Gasparin, who comes to CSU from Zagreb, Croatia. Gasparin proceeded to win his first race, the 100 breaststroke (56.64). In three meets this season he has won at least one event each time. He won the 200 breast (2:08.49) at Wright State and both the 100 breast (56.82) and 200 free (1:44.84).against Niagara.

DOUBLE BUNKER: Twin sisters Kristine and Sandra Bunker have impressed this season, leading the team in several events. Kristine has the top time in the 100 backstroke (1:03.37) and 400 IM (4:50.10), while Sandra tops the Vikings in the 200 backstroke (2:15.70). DIVING HARD: Senior diver Trisha Simon has seen some of her hard work pay off late in the season as she scored her first victory in the one-meter dive at Wright State on Jan. 19 (200.92). She currently has a season-best mark of 213.65 on the one-meter board.

RAEDEL COMING ON STRONG: Senior Deanna Raedel has the team's best time in the 200 breast (2:30.58) and second best time in the 100 breast (1:09.33).

CERTAINLY NO SLOUCH: Katie Bellew, the school record holder in the 100 butterfly (57.50), has been improving her times recently in other events. She improved upon Deanna Raedel's old team best time in the 100 breast (1:09.33) against Niagara with a 1:09.32 mark.

UPPER DUECKER: Dave Duecker currently holds the team's season best times in the 500 free, 1,000 free, and 400 IM, clocking in at 4:38.54, 9:50.09, and 4:01.84, respectively. After starting the season strong, he was recognized as the Horizon League Swimmer of the Week in early November (Nov. 7). Duecker also leads the team in the 200 fly (1:51.64).

CHAMPIONSHIP AT OUR PLACE: The Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championship will return to the Busbey Natatorium next month. CSU last hosted the event in 2006, and this year the event will take place on Feb. 20-23. When CSU hosted the event in 2006, the men's team won the overall championship while sweeping the post-meet honors. Wally Morton was named coach of the year, Rich Karban was named diving coach of the year, Bjorn Schantz was swimmer of the year and Chris Dalman was diver of the year.

Wally Morton
(Miami (OH) '70)
At CSU (as Men's Coach): 248-133 (27th Year)
          (as Women's Coach): 4-8 (1st Year)
Overall: Same as above

Morton, who is in his first season as the head coach of both the men's and women's teams, has led the Vikings to 12 Conference championships and 20 winning seasons in his 26 years at the helm of the men's program. Morton, who also serves as CSU's Director of Competitive Aquatics, has led the Vikings to six straight seasons of 10 or more dual meet victories and had a streak of four straight years for a Viking claiming the league's Male Swim Athlete of the Year Award, before it was broken last season. UP NEXT: The Vikings will have two weeks of training to prepare for the Horizon League Championship, which will be held at CSU's Busbey Natatorium from Feb. 20-23.