CLEVELAND, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay women took another step toward their seventh straight conference title on Friday, extending their lead over the rest of the field, while senior Jason Askew (Durban, South Africa) paced the Phoenix men on day three of the 2011 Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships at the Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State.
The Green Bay women's squad used its depth of Friday to build a 78.5-point lead over second-place Milwaukee, as the Phoenix now has 566.5 points with just one day remaining in the meet. The Phoenix men remained in fifth place after the third day, finishing with 299 points.
Askew turned in an impressive performance in the men's 100-yard breaststroke, cruising to an individual Horizon League title with a time of 55.11. The winning time shattered his own school record of 56.80, which he set with a fourth-place showing at last year's conference meet. In addition, Askew's time was fast enough to achieve an NCAA B cut.
While the women did not have an individual winner on Friday, they were able to place several competitors in the top eight to rack up the points and build their lead.
The Phoenix women placed three in the top five in the 400 IM, as Amber Bartholomew (Alexandria, Minn.) earned a third-place finish (4:25.37), Melissa Killpatrick (Elk River, Minn.) picked up a fourth-place finish (4:26.47) and Lauren Caruso (DeForest, Wis.) ended in fifth place (4:26.66). Bartholomew broke her own school record in the event in Friday morning's prelims (4:23.84), snapping her old mark of 4:24.97 which she set at the 2010 championship meet.
Green Bay had three women place in the top eight in the 200 freestyle, as Shannon Demrow (Algonquin, Ill.) (1:52.18), Heather Bodin (Maple Grove, Minn.) (1:52.32) and Alyssa Danielson (Rogers, Minn.) (1:52.73) went 5-6-7. In the 100 backstroke, Green Bay's Emilee Harry (Sheboygan, Wis.) made the podium with a fourth-place finish, touching in at 56.86.
Junior Amy Burback (Waunakee, Wis.) picked up a third-place finish in 100 breaststroke (1:03.79), while Caruso also performed in the event, placing fourth with a time of 1:04.40.
After a fourth-place showing in the 3-meter dive on Wednesday, Kayla Deters (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) earned a runner-up finish in Friday's 1-meter event. The senior posted a score of 256.30 on the low board, finishing just seven points behind Cleveland State's Kacey Cummings. Deters' freshman teammate Merissa Gatti (Lakeville, Minn.) continued her solid debut at the Horizon League Championships, earning a fourth-place finish (239.20) after finishing eighth in Wednesday's 1-meter competition.
Senior Andrew Gelden (Kenosha, Wis.) had a strong showing in the 400 IM for the Phoenix men, finishing sixth with a time of 4:05.07. Classmate Ryan Loy (New London, Wis.) also earned a sixth-place finish Thursday, finishing the 100 butterfly in 49.80.
The Green Bay swimmers and divers have just one day remaining at the 2011 Horizon League Championships. Competition resumes Saturday morning with preliminaries at 9 a.m. CT, with finals beginning at 4:30 p.m. CT. Fans can watch all finals live on GreenBayPhoenix.com via the Horizon League Network. For more information, visit the Championship Central page.
Women's Team Scores
Green Bay - 566.5
Milwaukee - 488
Cleveland State - 471.5
Wright State - 392
UIC - 319
Youngstown State - 220.5
Valparaiso - 101
Butler - 68.5
Men's Team Scores
UIC - 538
Milwaukee - 537.5
Cleveland State - 470.5
Wright State - 348
Green Bay - 299
Valparaiso - 88