Nov. 18, 2012
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Michigan State men's and women's swimming and diving teams ended the three-day Magnus Cup Invitational on Sunday with the women taking home the team crown and the men finishing third. MSU won both women's diving events in addition to eight individual races by the women and two by the men at the meet hosted by Cleveland State University. The women concluded competition with 1741.5 total points to claim the victory, while the men bounced back to third place with 1046.5 points.
"It was nice to win the meet," said head coach Matt Gianiodis. "But, what's more important than anything else is that they have set themselves up in a good way for next semester. They behaved really well as a team and got behind each other, and that was nice to see. It was great to win, but the bigger thing is to make sure you get some things accomplished that we needed to, such as get some relays set up and figure out what we're doing when we get to the Big Ten meet in February."
Sophomore Becca Berman kicked off the final day of events by breaking the meet record in the 1,650 freestyle to earn a first-place finish with a time of 16:56.23. Junior KJ Burkland finished third in the event, posting a time of 17:19.04.
In the women's 200 backstroke, freshman Nicole Huffman broke the meet record with a season-best time of 2:03.88 to tie for first place. Teammate Kelly Delorme was close behind with a time of 2:04.42, good for second-place points.
Junior Summer Strickler qualified for the U.S. Nationals meet in the 100 freestyle. She swam a season-best time of 51.31 to finish second. Senior Tori Merritt came in third place, posting her season-best time of 51.64.
Another U.S. National meet qualifier, freshman Marina Borri broke another meet record by swimming a season-best national qualifying time of 2:17.78 to claim an individual win.
The Spartans sealed the win in the women's 200 butterfly, stealing first through third-place points away from the competition. Freshman Elizabeth Brown won her fifth-straight crown in the event, breaking the meet record with a season-best time of 2:04.00. In second place was senior Alexandra Pierce who stopped the clock in 2:04.59, followed by junior Jessica Wellick, who recorded a time of 2:06.80 to finish third.
The women concluded their three-day domination at the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay. The first-place team of Strickler, Pierce, Betsy Good and Merritt clocked in at 3:35.66, also a meet record.
On the men's side, junior Drew Goins placed second in the men's 200 backstroke, posting a season-best time of 1:50.33.
In the men's 200 breaststroke, freshman Chad Cathey earned second-place points by recording a time of 2:05.93. Another Spartan freshman, Ian Rodriguez posted a second-place finish in the 50 backstroke with a time of 23.98.
"We only had 10 of our guys here at the meet, but they swam pretty well, too," said Gianiodis. "There were some really good swims, especially from some of the freshmen who aren't as experienced."
After a week off for the holidays, the Spartans will be back in action as part of the team travels to the U.S. Short Course Nationals in Austin, Texas. The three-day meet will begin on Thursday, Nov. 29 and conclude on Saturday, Dec. 1.