Spartans End Big Ten Championships on Positive Note
MSU men’s team will graduate seven seniors.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Michigan State men’s swimming & diving team had three swimmers compete in the 1650-yard freestyle and three in the finals on the last day of the Men’s Swimming & Diving Big Ten Championships on Feb. 25, at the McCorkle Aquatic Complex in Columbus, Ohio.
“I give a lot of credit to the nine other teams in the league,” said head coach Matt Gianodis. “It was the fastest Big Ten’s I think I have ever seen and our team did really well. I am really proud of our team in terms of how we performed this meet.”
Senior Jon Burke led the Spartans in the 1650-yard freestyle and raced to a season-best time of 15:18.09 to mark a 17th-place finish. Senior Adam Henley was the second MSU swimmer to finish and he also nabbed a season-high time of 15:44.11, while junior Joe Szczupakiewicz raced to a finishing time of 16:01.86.
In the evening finals, junior Lachie McLeish started off with a season-best time of 1:46.37 in the C-Finals of the 200-yard backstroke to claim three points for the Spartans.
Freshmen Scott Piper and Michael Schwers both found themselves in the C-Finals of the 200-yard butterfly. Piper took 15th-place and tapped the wall at 1:47.55 to claim 12 points, while Schwers finished at the 1:48.56 mark. Junior Mitch Strahlman finished 25th in the preliminaries of the event to make him just one place shy of competing in the evening finals.
“Our stars today were Scott Piper and Michael Schwers in the fly,” said Gianiodis. “Then it was great to see Lachie get in to the backstroke finals for the first time in his career too.”
The 400-yard freestyle relay team rounded out the swimming and diving season as it raced to a 10th-place finish clocking in for a season-best time of 2:59.70, crushing the previous season-high of 3:01.25. The team consisted of freshman Payton Woods, junior Nick Leshok, freshman Nehemiah Mork, and the anchor was McLeish.
The Michigan State swimming and diving program will graduate seven seniors this year: Jon Burke, Adam Henley, Sam Hiller, Alec Kandt, Brennan LaBar, Adam Marsh, and Ben Martin. Henley also received the B1G Sportsmanship Honoree for Michigan State.
“I’m really happy for our seniors,” said Gianiodis. “They all capped off really good years, they all swam great, and I think they should be happy with how they did. It was a good meet all around, it was a great season and again I’m proud of the seniors, they did a great job.”