Feb. 2, 2013
CHICAGO – On a day where seniors Mike Greco and Emily Gniatczyk were honored, the UIC men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams concluded their regular season on Saturday at the Flames Natatorium against Cleveland State. The men’s team fell to the Vikings, 138-105, as the women’s squad was edged 125-118.
“Two very close meets, especially on the women’s side,” head coach Paul Moniak said. “It was our final tune-up for the Horizon League Championships in three and a half weeks and overall, I was extremely proud of how the women competed today. The men made some mistakes and we need to fix those quickly, but both teams are in position to do well at the Championships.”
The men’s team (6-4, 3-2 HL) was unable to stay on top of Cleveland State, coming up short at the beginning of the meet before finishing with first in five events. Greco, Christian Grobe and Ryota Kuwahara were able to produce firsts for the team, as Kei Ishimaru and Mike Reed came in close seconds.
Greco improved his career first-place total to 42 as he won on the 1-mtr board with 301.50 and on the 3-mtr board with 342.50, both NCAA qualifying scores. Grobe also took a pair of firsts with top times in the 400 IM with 4:07.17, a season best, and 200 breast with 2:05.69, another season best. Kuwahara brought in the 200 fly in 1:52.55.
Ishimaru placed second behind Cleveland State in the 200 free with 1:45.38, with Vince Errichiello just behind him with 1:45.71, and took second after Kuwahara in the 200 fly with 1:53.45. Reed’s second-place finish came in the 50 free, taking a season-best time of 21.04.
The women’s team (7-3, 4-2 HL) started out strong, capturing its first three events of the afternoon, before ultimately taking eight total. Wins for the Flames came from Gniatczyk, Whitney Johnson, Veronica Gibson, Anne Jacobsen, Melanie Waszak and the 400 medley relay team of Jacobsen, Monica Pinkus, Waszak and Katherine Hare.
Gniatczyk recorded season-best times and added to her career first-place total, taking her 25th with a win in the 200 free with 1:54.73 and 26th in the 100 free with 52.05. Johnson came away with an NCAA qualifying score of 294.45 on the 3-mtr board for first, while also taking first on the 1-mtr with 263.48.
Gibson was able to stretch for the top time in the 1000 free with 10:25.63 and took second in the 400 IM with 4:39.99 behind CSU, as Jacobsen took first in the 200 back with 2:10.35 and Jocelyn Langballe placed second with 2:11.36.
Waszak was able to push through the 500 free for a first-place 5:04.92, after finishing behind Gniatczyk in the 200 free at 1:54.83. Pinkus also had a notable performance, just falling behind the Vikings’ Sommervill with a time of 2:22.27.
The 400 medley relay team of Jacobsen, Pinkus, Waszak and Hare claimed first in 3:55.00, with the 400 free relay team of Gniatczyk, Hare, Devon O’Neil and Kelsey Millin finished just behind CSU for second with 3:30.63.
With the season coming to a close, the Flames break until the Horizon League Championships beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the Flames Natatorium.