Jan. 16, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State swimming and diving team will have a busy weekend full of competition beginning with the women hosting Bowling Green on Friday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. The women will rejoin the men on Saturday, Jan. 18 as the Spartans travel to Ypsilanti, Mich., for a tri-meet with host Eastern Michigan and visiting Buffalo.
The diving portion of the meet on Friday against the Falcons will be held at McCaffree Pool at IM West and will begin at 6 p.m. Due to a water main break at IM West, the swimming portion of the meet on Friday will be held at East Lansing High School on Burcham Road. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and there will be admission to the event. Live results for the meet can be found through the Meet Mobile app.
Saturday’s meet at Eastern Michigan will be held at Jones Natatorium with events scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
“We’ve got two meets this weekend and they’re all good teams,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “We’ve already seen Bowling Green - they were at Northwestern with us and they beat us in quite a few events. They have a good team. Eastern and Buffalo have good teams too, both their men and their women. The Eastern men won the MAC championship last year and the Buffalo men won it the year before.”
Last Time Out
The Spartans recorded eight event wins, but lost on the road to Purdue on Saturday with the men falling by a score of 112.5-187.5, while the women dropped a 125-167 decision. Summer Stickler led the Spartans with a win in the 100 freestyle as she clocked a time of 51.94. Shelby Lacy earned an individual win as she swam a time of 1:05.28 to take first-place points in the 100 breaststroke.
The Spartan women dominated the 200 individual medley, scoring first through fourth-place points in the event. MSU was led by Elizabeth Brown, who took home an individual win with a time of 2:09.73, followed by Hannah Pugh who swam a personal-best time of with 2:11.90. Jessica Cutler (2:13.73) and Marina Borri (2:14.46) finished third and fourth, respectively.
The men were led by Bryan Williams, who took home a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 49.10. He also turned in a winning time of 1:50.42 to hit the wall first in the 200 butterfly. MSU scored first and second-place points in the 200 breaststroke led by Nick Roberts, who swam a personal-best time of 2:07.08. He was followed closely by Alec Kandt with a time of 2:07.18. Freshman Sam Hiller took home an individual win in the 200 backstroke, posting a time of 1:52.40 for first place.
“Somebody asked me after the meet, “Do you think you could have done any better?,” Gianiodis said. “In general terms, I don’t think we could have. I thought based on where we were and based on how much time we had off from competitions, I felt like we performed really well. Now, it’s about getting a little sharper and trying to keep getting sharper and sharper as we own into the Big Ten.”
The Falcon File
Coached by Petra Martin, the Bowling Green women are 1-3 in dual meets this season. The Spartan women defeated Bowling Green last season, 151-143, led Alison Menzies first-place finish on the 1-meter board and Elizabeth Brown’s dominating win in the 200 butterfly.
“They had a couple girls make NCAA last year and they have a couple really, really good freshman,” said Gianiodis. “In fact, Summer was beat against them when we were at Northwestern. They’ve got a good team. They’re not the deepest team in the world, but Petra does a nice job.”
Edging the Eagles
Eastern Michigan is a formidable in-state opponent for the Spartans as the men are coming off winning their 31st MAC Championship in program history. At the helm is Peter Linn who is a nine-time MAC Coach of the Year winner. The Eagles are led by seniors Dexter Foos and Gus Everson in the sprint events, Tom Coates in the butterfly and breaststroker Michael Swain. MSU will look for revenge on the women’s side as the Eagles defeated the Spartans in a tri-meet in 2008. The EMU women are led by Jackie Swartz and Jessie Godlewski in the individual medleys and Audra Burtch in the distance events.
“They’ve got a good team,” Gianiodis said. “They’re pretty deep and they’re at home, so they’ll be really excited.”
The Book on Buffalo
Another MAC opponent, the Buffalo Bulls are led by head coach Andy Bashor with both teams coming off wins at the Cleveland State Invitational earlier this season. The men are led by school-record holder Dan O’Connor in the distance events and Charles Barry in the backstroke. On the women’s side, Brittney Kuras represents the sprint events, while Ava Giachino leads the Bulls on the boards.
“Buffalo is a big rival [to Eastern], especially on the men’s side. They’ve got some Big Ten level talent on their team. We’ve got to be ready to compete.”
MSU will have another busy week ahead as the Spartans host Oakland on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m., followed by Denison on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m.