CHICAGO (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's and women's swimming and diving teams wrapped up a successful four days at the 2013 Horizon League Championships on Saturday night at the UIC Flames Natatorium in Chicago. The women's squad finished third in a tight race for the team title, while the men's squad moved up a spot to fourth place after finishing fifth in each of the last five seasons.
Green Bay accumulated 647 points on the women's side, finishing 10.5 points behind second-place Cleveland State (657.5) and 41.5 points back of champion Milwaukee (688.5). The Phoenix edged UIC (646.5) for third by just a half of a point. Green Bay scored 533.5 points on the men's side, which was over 100 points more than it scored in last year's meet (432).
Aiding the men's team's improvement was freshman Willem Poelmans (Hasselt, Belgium), who earned Horizon League Men's Newcomer of the Year honors after picking up a pair of individual titles in record-breaking fashion. The newcomer first won the 200-yard IM on Thursday with a Horizon League and school-record time of 1:49.06, and then claimed the 400 IM in 3:52.85 on Friday while shattering another school record. Both swims were also good enough for NCAA B-cuts.
The Phoenix women, who entered the day just 28.5 points back of then-leader Cleveland State, could not have asked for a better start to Saturday's finals as junior Kendra Rottier (Green Bay, Wis.) and senior Melissa Killpatrick (Elk River, Minn.) finished 1-2 in the night's opening event - the 1650 freestyle. Rottier finished first in 16:50.94, marking her second individual title of the meet, while Killpatrick touched in at 16:55.91.
Megan Burley (Hazelhurst, Wis.) concluded her strong senior campaign with a third-place showing in the 200 butterfly on Saturday, finishing in 2:06.36. Another senior, Heather Bodin (Maple Grove, Minn.) was fifth in 2:07.64.
Sophomore Ryan Korslin (Rudolph, Wis.) produced the top finish for the Phoenix men on Saturday, racing to a fourth-place effort in the 200 breaststroke in 2:02.58. Poelmans was fifth in the 200 breast in 2:02.81, while senior Jonathan Lesniak (McHenry, Ill.) was sixth in 2:03.33.
Senior diver Mitchell Spaeth (Fredonia, Wis.) turned in an exceptional performance in his final Horizon League meet, placing fifth on the 3-meter board with an impressive score of 322.40.
For more on the 2013 Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships, including complete recaps and results from each day, please visit the Championship Central Page on GreenBayPhoenix.com.
1 - Milwaukee 688.5
2 - Cleveland State 657.5
3 - Green Bay 647
4 - UIC 646.5
5 - Wright State 391
6 - Youngstown State 343
7 - Valparaiso 176.5
Men's Team Scores
1 - Cleveland State 800.5
2 - Milwaukee 754
3 - UIC 705
4 - Green Bay 533.5
5 - Wright State 445
6 - Valparaiso 166
Women's Newcomer of the Year: Veronica Gibson, UIC
Men's Newcomer of the Year: Willem Poelmans, Green Bay
Women's Diver of the Meet: Whitney Johnson, UIC
Men's Diver of the Meet: K.J. Heger, Milwaukee
Women's Swimmer of the Meet: Melanie Waszak, UIC
Men's Swimmer of the Meet: Mark deSwardt, Cleveland State
Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Year: Emily McClellan, Milwaukee
Men's Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Year: Al Shillito, Cleveland State
Women's Diving Coach of the Year: Susan Bromberg, UIC
Men's Diving Coach of the Year: Todd Hill, Milwaukee
Women's Swimming Coach of the Year: Paul Moniak, UIC
Men's Swimming Coach of the Year: Wally Morton, Cleveland State
###For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics and Green Bay Swimming & Diving, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix @GBPhoenixSwim and @RyanHartwig
Like Green Bay Phoenix Athletics and Green Bay Phoenix Swimming & Diving on Facebook.