swimming and diving looking great this year
By Amanda Wood
October 27, 2011
The Cleveland State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams kicked off their 2011-12 season with two firsts in program history. On Oct. 8, CSU participated at the Michigan State University Long Course Invitational. This season opener was the first time in school history where the teams have participated in the first official long course meet.
The long course consisted of 50 meters, the official Olympic distance.
Not only was this the first long course meet, but it also marked the first outdoor meet in program history. When you have a men’s swimming and diving program that has been around since 1931, and a women’s team which was founded in 1972, there aren’t a lot of program firsts left to achieve.
“It’s special to kickoff the season in an Olympic year in an Olympic pool with Olympic events,” said head coach Wally Morton, who has been a part of many firsts as he enters his 38th year at CSU. This will be Morton’s 31st season in charge of the men’s team and fifth overseeing the women’s team.
The Vikings took third, behind the host Michigan State University and Oakland University. Joanna Olsson led the way for CSU women, taking second in both the 200 IM (2:29.06) and the 200 fly (2:28.14).
Carys Behn, who was named the Horizon League “Swimmer of the Year” in 2010-11 season, was a close second in the 200 free (2:13.86). She also took fourth in the 100 free (1:02.09).
Diver Josh Gonzalez, who was named the 2010 Horizon League “Diver of the Year,” picked up right where he left off by winning both the 1-meter (296.25) and 3-meter (288.05).
Justin Hill won the 50 free (24.23) while Berry Thompson won the 100 free (54.41).
Justin Kermack, who received the 2010 Horizon League “Newcomer of the Year” title, won the 200 fly (2:08.49).
“The teams benefitted by being able to compete in the opening meet of the season in a long course meter pool on a beautiful warm and sunny day,” Morton said of the day in which temperatures were in the 80s.
The men’s and women’s Vikings also won a meet at Niagara on Oct. 15.
CSU then proceeded to follow up the Niagara meet with another victory over Green Bay on Oct. 22. The meet was held right at home.
The women won every event except the 200 backstroke and 200 breaststroke. Behn, Alice Sommerville and Olsson led the charge.
Behn showed her skill in the freestyle events, taking three titles. She won the 200 free (1:54.53) by a full second and the 500 free (5:10.19) as an individual. She then swam the final leg of the 400 free relay (3:34.75) with a team-best 52.12 split.
Individually, Sommerville won the 50 free (23.99) and 100 free (52.08). Olsson won the 1,000 free (10:37.15), 200 IM (2:07.18) and 200 fly (2:07.29) to obtain 27 points for the team.
On the men’s side, Graham Thoresen was one of several individuals who produced phenomenal performances. He won the 500 free (4:46.56) and 1,000 free (9:55.49).
Nathan Grant won the 200 free (1:42.41), ahead of teammate Thompson (1:44.72), as well as the 200 breast (2:10.47).
After two consecutive dual meet victories, the Vikings will be back in action on Nov. 4 when they travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State, Denison and Virginia Tech.