Swimming Takes Fourth At Northwestern Relays

Freshman Blake Booher turned in a fine performance in his second collegiate event on Sunday.
Freshman Blake Booher turned in a fine performance in his second collegiate event on Sunday.

Oct. 27, 2003

Evanston, Ill.- After a dominating performance against Eastern Illinois in their season opener on Friday, the UIC men's and women's swimming team headed back to work on Sunday, taking on four tough teams in relay competition at the 2003 Northwestern Relays at the Norris Aquatics Center on Sunday afternoon.

Facing Horizon League rivals UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay, as well as Big Ten powers Northwestern and Illinois, the Flames were unfazed even with only one day of rest to prepare. The UIC women finished tied for fourth with UW-Milwaukee, earning 161 points, while the Flames' men took a solid fourth with 159 points.

Although the final standings did not reflect a strong outing, both UIC teams raced extremely well while battling a partisan Big Ten crowd that favored the Wildcats and the Illini.

Highlights on the men's side included a second-place finish in the final event of the day, a 400-yard freestyle relay. Adan Jimenez, LeRoy Stevens, Bill Hare, and Blake Booher raced to a time of 3:11.23 to finish less than six seconds away from the winning Northwestern squad. Jimenez, Stevens, Hare, and Booher also scored a 200-yard freestyle time of 1:27.66 to finish third in the event, just two seconds away from the first-place Wildcats (1:25.93) and less than an eyelash away from UW-Green Bay (1:27.00).

Other notables included the 300-yard butterfly team of Ari Bernstein, Kris Simos, and Enric Claret, who finished third at 2:36.08. UIC also secured third-place in the 800-yard freestyle (7:11.84) with Claret, Bernstein, Hare, and Stevens, as well as a third-place standing in the 500-yard freestyle with Booher, Brian Kroes, Mike Conroy, and Matt Huffman completing the event in 4:22.47. Alexander Marinof, Stefan Staev, and Nick Kaczor earned third in the 300-yard breaststroke relay at a time of 3:06.74.



In the men's standings, Northwestern took first with 220 points, followed by the Phoenix at 185, UW-Milwaukee at 169, and UIC with 159 points.

For the women, junior Vanessa Segovia fought through an arm injury to team with co-captain Stephanie Donovan, Christine Hare, and freshman Emily Biancalana to take third in the 800-yard freestyle relay at 8:12.62. Segovia came back to help Hare, freshman Jessica Darud, and sophomore Aisha Williams take fourth in the 400-yard IM relay with a team time of 4:10.74.

Hare was strong the entire day for the UIC women, playing a vital role in the 200-yard medley relay team of Darud, Kelly Hyatt, and Alicia Perry that was four seconds away from first at 1:53.96.

Senior and women's team co-captain Stephanie Murphy continued her return to the pool after an injury kept her sidelined last season, helping the young 200-yard freestyle relay and 500-yard freestyle teams take fourth-place in each event. Murphy teamed with sophomore standout Laura Martensen and newcomers Carlie Schoaf and Jenny Gessford to finish the 500 in 4:57.93, then led newcomers Hyatt, Biancalana, and Gessford complete the 200 event in 1:43.76.

Overall, Northwestern took the women's meet with 208 points, followed by the Fighting Illini with 182. UW-Green Bay took third with 176 points, while the Panthers and the Flames finished even at 161.

Both the men's and women's teams will return to action this Saturday, November 1st, as they host the 2003 Horizon League Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Champion Wright State Raiders for the first home meet of the season at the UIC Natatorium. The first heat begins at 12 p.m.