Jan. 20, 2012
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams topped conference-foe Valparaiso on Senior Day, while the women just missed the mark with Illinois State on Friday evening at the Flames Natatorium. The men defeated Valparaiso 136-71, while the women edged the Crusaders 194-38. In competing against Illinois State, the women fell to the Redbirds in a tight race 123-119.
“We raced fairly well today, but fell a little short,” head coach Paul Moniak said. “It’s a bit of a let down on the women’s side, after a great performance last week, but we’ll regroup and then get focused on the next competition.”
The men’s team (7-2, 3-1 Horizon League) broke away from the very beginning to come out with the win against Valparaiso, placing top times in all events. In individual races, Jay Schackle, Joel Demuth, Daniel Corley, Gabe Cury, Vince Errichiello, Luke Martinez and Brian Sivak compiled the set of first-place finishes for the Flames.
Schackle topped the 1000 free with 9:58.38, Demuth took the 200 free in 1:44.70 and Corley held first in the 50 free with 21.57. Cury completed the 100 fly with 51.74, while Errichiello claimed the 100 free in 47.77.
Martinez and Sivak not only took first in the 400 IM with 4:07.63 and 100 back with 52.29, but also set season-best times. Will Ikeda led with a best time in the 100 breast with 56.93, setting a top time on the season.
The first-place 200 medley relay team of Cury, Luke Holbrook, Martinez and Corley put up a time of 1:36.36, with second and third place also being taken by UIC. The 200 free relay team of Errichiello, Schackle, Cody Meuris and Martinez concluded the meet with a top time of 1:27.49.
The women’s squad (6-4-1, 2-1-1 Horizon League) came out dominating against the Crusaders, while they were neck-and-neck with Illinois State for the length of the meet. First-place finishes for UIC came from the performances of Marissa Yontz, Kelsey Millin, Clair Martin and Andrea Longlade.
Yontz grabbed the 50 free, coming in at 24.48, Millin captured the 100 free in 53.78, Martin notched the 100 back with 58.83 and Longlade led a close race to the finish with 1:06.79.
Despite placing second, Melanie Waszak and Gisun Pak each set season-best times. Waszak came in at 10:38.18 in the 1000 free and Pak pulled in a time of 4:39.12 in the 400 IM.
Kristi Carling put up at stand-out score in the three-meter dive, posting a season-best 278.70.
The 200 medley relay team of Martin, Longlade, Yontz and Emily Gniatczyk knocked off their competitors to take first in 1:48.65. The 200 free relay team of Gniatczyk, Waszak, Millin and Yontz capped off the race with a win in 1:36.60.
Prior to the start of the meet, the Flames honored their 13-member senior class. Daniel Corley, Will Ikeda, Luke Martinez, Steven Mell, Zach Van Swol, Alex Webster, Lillian Cabel, Alexandra Farrar, Sarah Harper, Jamie Krause, Clair Martin, Hannika Schleebs and Sarah Walsh were all presented with plaques to recognize their time with the Flames.
“We want to thank our 13 seniors for all the hard work they have done over the last four years,” Moniak added. “It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to replace this senior class. They have helped send the program in a direction that we are really proud of and hope to continue. They will be missed.”
After a week away from competition, UIC heads to Ohio for a weekend of conference match-ups. The women’s team faces Youngstown State on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 4:30 p.m. (CT), while both squads take on Cleveland State on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m. (CT).