Blake Booher Wins Horizon League 50-Yard Freestyle
Feb. 24, 2005
Brown Deer, Wis.- UIC sophomore Blake Booher made school history on Thursday night, winning the 50-yard freestyle finals with a school-record time of 20.53 on day two of the 2005 Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships.
Booher sped to the win over defending league champion and conference record holder Elvis Cirikovic of Wright State, beating the Raiders star by .15 of a second.
The second-year standout from Barrington, Ill., bashed Dan Pienta's eight-year-old school record of 20.73. Booher's win also marked the first UIC individual event title since Mike Magee won the three-meter diving competition in 2003 and the first swimming title since Paul Torres won the 2002 400-yard IM.
Teammate LeRoy Stevens turned in a career-best 20.71 in the race to finish third overall and establish UIC's second-best 50 free time in school history, while Athanasios Lamprou turned in a 21.15 for seventh.
The women's 50-yard freestyle was also a major record-breaking success for the Flames, as freshman Colleen Dougherty and sophomore Kelly Hyatt gave UIC two top-three finishers in the race and the school's newest additions to the top of the record book.
Dougherty punched in a school-record 24.02 to take second just behind Horizon League 50 free record holder Lindsay Caldwell of UW-Milwaukee, while Hyatt turned in a career-best 24.15 for third place at the championships and second-best all-time in UIC history.
Dougherty eclipsed Rebecca Hodgdon's 1998 time of 24.27 to take over the UIC 50 free record.
Jessica Darud's career-best 2:09.68 secured the sophomore an impressive third-place performance in the 200-yard IM, while freshman Dan Hare continued his fantastic rookie season with a career time of 1:52.55 in the men's version of the event to capture third place.
Mark Pappalardo and Ryan Fitzer were excellent on the boards for UIC as the sophomores finished third and fourth, respectively, in the one-meter finals. Pappalardo rounded out his day with a final tally of 276.05, while Fitzer was right behind at a 264.20.
Tara Goodwin led the ladies on the diving boards with a career-high 382.90 performance in the three-meter finals.
Despite missing the finals in the 500-yard freestyle, Laura Martensen gave the Flames a great performance in the 500 by chopping nearly 11 seconds from her prelim time of 5:18.12 to finish her day with a school-record 5:07.66 in the event, beating former teammate Jamie Redway's time of 5:07.99 set in 2002. Martensen took ninth overall despite beating the times of two finalists in the event.
After two days of intense competition, the UIC men's team moved up from fifth to third place, ending Thursday's events with 243 points. On the women's side the Flames stand in a solid fourth with 202 points.
The 2005 Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships resume Friday morning with swimming preliminaries.
2005 HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS