Dec. 17, 2011
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams came out surging as they surpassed Western Illinois and Saint Louis at the Flames Natatorium on Saturday. The men’s squad topped WIU 233-63 and Saint Louis 178-121, while the women’s squad notched the Leathernecks 214-66 and the Billigens 178-118. UIC combined for a total 27-of-32 first-place finishes, with 13 coming from the men and 14 coming from the women.
“We’re really happy with the momentum that was building in training sessions the last two or three weeks and it all came out today,” head coach Paul Moniak said. “The coaching staff is not surprised at all of what we saw…we’re happy and encouraged. We put a great several weeks of training in since the November invitationals, so we’re very happy with how they performed.”
The men’s team (5-2, 1-1 Horizon League) put together a collective effort with performances by Jay Schackle (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township East), Luke Martinez (Sugar Grove, Ill./Marmion Academy), Zach Van Swol (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), Sebastian Ostrowski (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South), Will Ikeda (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) and Gabe Cury (Novo Hamburgo, Brazil/Instituicao Evangelica de Novo Hamburgo).
Schackle pulled away from all competitors and took the 1000 free with ease, finishing in 9:57.74. In the 200 free, Martinez and Van Swol battled against each other before Van Swol pulled away with first in 1:43.56 and Martinez came in second in 1:44.01. Van Swol additionally took the 200 back in 1:55.94 and the 200 IM in 1:55.84, a season-best.
Ostrowski topped his career- and season-best time in the 100 back, coming in first with a time of 52.39. Ikeda claimed first in the 100 breast with 58.97 and edged Dustin Anderson of Saint Louis to take first with 4:49.56 in the 500 free. Cury set a pair of season-best times in the 50 free (20.94) and 100 fly (51.08).
Cury, Joel Demuth (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North), Cody Meuris (Chicago, Ill./Whitney M. Young Magnet High School) and Vince Errichiello (Westmont, Ill./Downers Grove South) completed the meet with a first-place finish in the 200 free relay.
In the diving events, Mike Greco (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) topped the scores with 313.30 in the three meter and 283.65 in the one meter.
The women’s team (5-3, 1-1 Horizon League) began competition by claiming first place in their first 11 events. Melanie Waszak (Lemont, Ill./Lemont), Marissa Yontz (Canton, Ill./Canton), Clair Martin (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha South), Andrea Longlade (Windsor, ON, Canada/St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School), Kelsey Millin (Monona, Wis./Monona Grove) and Emily Gniatczyk (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) all contributed in claiming top performances.
Waszak set a season-best time in the 1000 free, placing first at 10:41.80, and claimed first in the 100 fly with 58.18. In Heat 2 of the 200 free, Yontz was neck-and-neck with Lizzy Osterman of Saint Louis for most of the race before pulling away with the win in 1:55.00, setting a season best, and taking first in the event. Yontz additionally grabbed the 100 free, finishing at 52.57.
Additional first-place finishes came from Martin in the 100 back (59.46) and 200 back (2:05.37), Longlade in the 100 breast (1:05.90) and 200 breast (2:23.20), Millin in the 200 fly (2:12.20) and Gniatczyk in the 50 free (24.38).
The team of Martin, Monica Pinkus (Chicago, Ill./Northside College Prep), Millin and Gniatczyk took first in 1:48.62 in the 200 medley relay, while Gniatczyk, Pinkus, Waszak and Yontz came held the best time with 1:37.19, a season best, in the 200 free relay.
Whitney Johnson (Roscoe, Ill./Hononegah) grabbed the top scores in diving, tallying 255.15 in the one meter and 283.65, an NCAA standard, in the three meter.
“We’re starting to get healthier as a team,” Moniak added. I think that’s really going to propel us into the championship part of the season. Now, we let them go home for a few days, and then we’ll reconvene and then time to go on the training trip.”
The Flames break for the remainder of 2011, before heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to begin their annual training trip on December 29.