SWIMMING: Teams take top spot at home

Josh Buckman

There was little this weekend that Western’s swimming and diving team did wrong – except sing “Stand Up and Cheer” flat. ?

And even though their poor singing resulted in them having to clean up the Preston Health and Activities Center pool area, that didn’t spoil a great win against Cumberland College.

“Our whole team just continues to amaze me,” head coach Bill Powell said. “Our kids, no matter what we do, swim well. We travel 15 hours in planes or vans and they swim well.”

The men remained undefeated at 6-0, while the women improved to 12-2. ?The women won 142-103, and the men cruised to victory 141-87.

The margin of victory would have been larger, but Western declared several matches exhibitions.

Since Cumberland College is a small NAIA school, the team had little to fear. This meet allowed Powell to move swimmers and experiment with the lineup, putting swimmers in races in which they wouldn’t normally compete.

“Considering what training we’ve been doing, and not swimming these events typically, we did really well,” said Paul Graves, who won the 100-yard backstroke. “We’re more concentrated on Ball State and Miami (Ohio).”

Western competes against those teams in coming meets.

For the men, senior Jerrod Janes won the 50-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle 25.46 and 21.61. ?Sophomore Greg Strickler posted victories in the 200-yard freestyle (145.52) and 100-yard Breaststroke (1:02.35).

“We feel good,” Janes said. ?”I think we’re going to do well next week. We keep swimming faster and faster.”

Not all news for the men was good. ?Team captain Gord Veldman sat out the meet with a shoulder injury. ?The Hilltoppers will need his services if they are going to contend next week against Ball State, according to Powell.

On the women’s side Meredith Mountjoy won the 50-yard butterfly (27.30), the 100-yard breaststroke (1:09.08) and anchored the 200-yard medley relay team to victory at 1:54.14.

“It was a fun swim meet,” Mountjoy says. “It was nice to be able to swim in front of our families.”

The most exciting race of the day was the women’s 50-yard breaststroke when teammates Lori Ludwiczak and Lisa Ross fought it out all the way with Ludwiczak winning by a one-hundredth of a second. ?

The win, Ludwiczak’s first of the season, was special because two months earlier she had been the victim of a hit-and-run accident where she suffered three broken ribs and a neck injury.

On a more humorous note junior diver Marci Kacsir got a chance to swim in the 50-yard freestyle. Kacsir got off to a solid start, and wound up finishing fifth, 3.33 seconds behind the winner. ?Her performance impressed many, considering she hadn’t swam in a meet since high school.

Next week, the Hilltoppers travel to Muncie, Ind., for a shot a Ball State, which as of Friday has a men’s team undefeated in dual meets (6-0) and women’s team with an equally impressive record of 7-1.