SWIMMING AND DIVING: Record falls, swimmers on rise

Josh Buckman

Perfection is something athletes strive to achieve.

Saturday, Western diver Marci Kascir came closer to perfection than any other Hilltopper, setting a new Preston Health and Activity Center pool record in the women’s 1-meter diving event.

In a series of six dives, the junior from Indiana compiled a score of 284.03, breaking the previous record of 276.25 set in 1999 by Michelle Lynch.

The record also gives Kascir, the 2002 Sun Belt Conference Diver of the Year, an automatic entry to the NCAA zone — the qualifying event for the NCAA meet.

Kascir’s record-setting win in the 1-meter, along with her win in the 3-meter, helped lead the Lady Toppers to a 138-97 win over Wright State. The women’s team is now 15-3 on the season.

Western also got help from freshmen Meredith Mountjoy and Jordan Beck. Mountjoy won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:10.60 and Beck captured first in 200-yard butterfly in 2:08.72.

“We just came off our Christmas training so everybody’s been training really hard,” Mountjoy said. “I think we knew … Wright State was a really good team and so we were all really focused and we just worked as a team really well … hitting one, two, three in a lot of events.”

On the men’s side, the Hilltoppers won eight of 13 events to beat the Raiders 144-98 and remain perfect on the season in dual meets (10-0).

Senior Jerrod Janes won both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle with times of 21.23 and 46.76.

Head coach Bill Powell believes that getting off to a strong start in the first event, the 400-yard medley relay, was what gave Western the confidence to beat Wright State. The team was first in the event, with a winning time of 3:26.04.

“The very first relay we thought was really important,” Powell said. “They (Western) had been 3:27 this year in a relay. We didn’t know if we could go that fast tired. We went 3:26, and that was the key.”

The distance events were also important for the Toppers. In the 1,000-yard Freestyle teammates Karl Swanson, James Campbell and Kevin Kleman all went one-two-three in the event, giving the team the team a tremendous boost. Campbell and Swanson also went one-two in the 500-yard freestyle.

The win was sweet for the Hilltoppers, who last year suffered a defeat at the hands of Wright State.

Next week Western travels to Carbondale, Ill. to take on Southern Illinois in what is expected to be the Toppers’ most difficult meet of the season.

Reach Josh Buckman at [email protected]