Swimming & Diving Finishes Third, Fourth At Championships

Melanie Waszak
Melanie Waszak

March 2, 2013

Final Stats

CHICAGO – The UIC men's and women's swimming & diving teams closed out the Horizon League Championships at the Flames Natatorium Saturday with third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively.  Melanie Waszak was named Swimmer of the Meet, Whitney Johnson collected Diver of the Meet and Veronica Gibson came away with the Newcomer of the Year award, while head coach Paul Moniak and diving coach Susan Bromberg both received Women's Coach of the Year awards.

The men's team finished the tournament with two school records from Brian Sivak and Christian Grobe, and two first-place finishes from Joel Demuth and the 400 free relay team.

Sivak entered into the 200 back prelims to produce a time of 1:50.20 for a school record, while he finished sixth in the final with a 1:50.75.  Peter Errichiello came away with a career-best time of 1:53.15 and John Mordach took a season-best 1:53.80 in the consolation final.

In the 200 breast, Grobe paced the Flames for a third-place finish, while breaking a school record with a time of 2:00.82.  Conor Ozog set a top time on the season with 2:04.66 and Brayden Amendola came in with a career-best 2:05.99 while competing in the consolation.

Demuth locked up first place in the 100 free with a time of 44.59, after garnering a career time in the prelims with 44.59.  Mike Reed came in fourth with his time of 45.10 and Vince Errichiello rounded out the final with 45.64, with a prelim career high of 45.57.

The 400 free relay team of Demuth, (Vince) Errichiello, Sivak and Reed received the top time in the final event of competition, placing first with a time of 2:59.02, as Reed led the team with his 44.26 split.

Rodolfo Zuniga took the top time for the Flames in the 1650 free with 16.13.82, as Ramiro Almaraz swam a prelim time of 16:38.62, a career best.

Five competitors were present for UIC in the 200 fly, with Kei Ishimaru leading the way with a time of 1:49.27 for third place.  Ryota Kuwahara (1:52.57) and Sean Mayfield (1:53.40) also competed in the finals, after respective prelim times of 1:51.47 and 1:51.41.  Josh Jacobson led the consolation with a time of 1:52.69 and Zachary McClernon brought in a time of 1:53.28.

Mike Greco led 3-meter diving for the Flames with a second-place finish score of 330.25 and Connor Howard came in with a score of 251.80, as Mark Ciesielski competed in the consolation and scored a 258.65.

Waszak and Pinkus were in front of the women's team as they each registered NCAA B qualifying standards.  Gibson, Anne Jacobsen and Emily Gniatczyk also had top times for UIC.

First breaking her school record in the prelims of the 200 fly with 1:59.77, Waszak came into the final to snap the record again, in addition to her own Horizon League and Championship records, and mark an NCAA B qualifying time with 1:59.26.  Danel Voorhees placed sixth in the event with 2:07.73, with Kelsey Millin (2:07.47) and Emily Loveday (2:16.86) competing in consolation.

Pinkus set a school record with her NCAA B qualifying time of 2:15.40 in the 200 breast, taking second overall.  In the consolation, Gisun Pak (2:21.76) led the Flames followed by Alisa Penkala (2:24.72), Andrea Longlade (2:28.81) and Xenia Kopylova (2:31.75).

Gibson placed fourth in the 1650 free with a career-best time of 17:05.81, as Sara Pardue set a best with her time of 18:09.67.

In the 200 back, Jacobsen came in with a career-high 2:03.71 and Jocelyn Langballe placed eighth with her best of 2:05.25.

Gniatczyk took a season-best time in the 100 free with 50.96 for second, while Katherine Hare led all swimmers in the consolation with a time of 52.03.

The final 400 free relay team of Gniatczyk, Pinkus, Hare and Waszak were just barely ousted by Milwaukee, finishing in second in 3:23.71, with Pinkus leading with her 50.25 split. 

Waszak's Horizon League honors comes after she took first in all of her individual events, through prelims and finals, and was a member of three winning relay teams.  Waszak set school records in the 500 free, 200 free and 200 fly, and broke her own Horizon League and Championships record in the 200 fly with an NCAA B qualifying time.  It is the first such award to come to UIC.

Johnson's Diver of the Meet recognition is the first for the Flames since the 2000 season.  Johnson scored a 299.00 in the 3-meter board for first place before setting a Horizon League Championships record with her score of 296.95 on the 1-meter board.

While producing career-best times during the Championships, Gibson was named Newcomer of the Year after she capturing first place 15 times during the regular season.  Gniatczyk was the last recipient of the award from the 2010 season.

Saturday's achievements marks the second of Moniak's career with the women's team, after receiving the honor three times on behalf of the men's team in 2003, 2005 and 2009, and is the first of Bromberg's career.