WATCH LIVE: 2013 Horizon League Championships - Day 4 Finals
CHICAGO, Ill. (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.
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
Day Four Recap
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.
Day Three Recap
Despite sitting in fourth place, the Green Bay women's swimming and diving team (459 points) is within striking distance of first-place Cleveland State (487.5 points) heading into the final day of the 2013 Horizon League Championships. The Phoenix men's squad is also in fourth following Friday's finals at the UIC Flames Natatorium after picking up a pair of individual conference titles in school-record fashion.
"It's interesting on the women's side to have the top four teams very much in the mix heading into Saturday," Green Bay head coach Jim Merner said. "We have some good opportunities tomorrow to make a move, but it's going to be very difficult. Only time will tell."
Senior Megan Burley (Hazelhurst, Wis.) continued her strong conference meet for the Green Bay women with a runner-up finish in the 400-yard IM, touching in at 4:25.87.
One day after bursting onto the scene with a record-setting win in the 200 IM, men's freshman Willem Poelmans (Hasselt, Belgium) was at it again on Friday with another dominant performance. Poelmans claimed the 400 IM with a winning time of 3:52.85, smashing the 2003 school record of 4:02.80 previously held by Dan Brzozowski. The time, which was less than a second away from the Horizon League record of 3:52.07, was also good for his second NCAA B-cut of the meet.
Sophomore Ryan Korslin (Rudolph, Wis.) also earned an individual championship, a school record and an NCAA B-cut on Friday, winning the 100 breaststroke in 54.81. The time broke the old school record of 55.11 set by Jason Askew in 2011. Senior Jonathan Lesniak (McHenry, Ill.) was third in the 100 breast, finishing in 55.96.
For a complete day three recap, click here.
Day Two Recap
Green Bay freshman Willem Poelmans (Hasselt, Belgium) made some noise in his first Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships experience on Thursday, winning the 200-yard IM in record-breaking fashion at the UIC Flames Natatorium. The Phoenix men moved up a spot into fourth place following the second day of competition, while the women's squad remains in second, just 16 points behind first-place Cleveland State.
Poelmans finished the 200 IM with a blazing time of 1:49.06 in the finals, breaking the Horizon League record of 1:49.09 set by Cleveland State's Jakub Dobies in 2010. The time, which earned an NCAA B-cut, also shattered the 14-year-old Green Bay record of 1:52.67 set by Jens Sonntag in 1999. Poelmans also broke the school record in prelims earlier in the day, finishing with a time of 1:49.37.
The Phoenix also had success in the 200 IM on the women's side, as seniors Heather Bodin (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Megan Burley (Hazelhurst, Wis.) finished second and third behind Milwaukee junior standout Emily McClellan (2:00.49). Bodin grabbed the runner-up spot with a time of 2:03.34, while Burley was close behind in 2:04.67.
Junior Kendra Rottier (Green Bay, Wis.) followed up Wednesday night's win in the 1000 freestyle with a runner-up finish in the 500. Rottier finished with a season-best time of 4:55.80, less than three seconds behind champion Melanie Waszak (4:52.95) of UIC.
For the complete day two recap, click here.
Day One Recap
Led by Kendra Rottier's (Green Bay, Wis.) victory in the 1000-yard freestyle, the Green Bay women's swimming and diving team finished the first day of the 2013 Horizon League Championships at the UIC Flames Natatorium in second place, just nine points behind leading Cleveland State. The men's squad ended day one of competition in fifth, only five points out of third.
Rottier, who won three individual championships as a sophomore at the 2012 Horizon League meet in Milwaukee, successfully defended one of her titles on Wednesday, touching in first in the 1000 with a season-best time of 10:07.32. The junior finished three seconds ahead of UIC freshman Veronica Gibson, who was second in 10:10.20.
The highlight for the Phoenix men came in the night's final event - the 200 medley relay. The underclassman quartet of Matt Hollub (Appleton, Wis.), Ryan Korslin (Rudolph, Wis.), Cole Hackney (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Ben Loeffelholz (Dubuque, Iowa) raced to a second-place finish with a time of 1:30.04, breaking the Green Bay school record of 1:31.71 set at last year's conference meet. Hollub, Korslin and Hackney were also on last season's record-setting relay team.
For the complete day one recap, click here.
2013 Horizon League Championships Preview
Head coach Jim Merner previewed the 2013 Horizon League Championships on this week's episode of Poolside.
The Phoenix women, coming off a third-place finish at the 2012 Horizon League Championships, enter this year's meet with a 5-4 record in dual meets. Among this year's highlights, the Phoenix claimed the team title at the seven-team IUPUI House of Champions Invitational on Dec. 2. Prior to last season, Green Bay had won seven consecutive Horizon League titles.
On the men's side, the Phoenix aims to improve upon its fifth-place finish from a year ago. Green Bay, 3-5 in dual meets, earned a pair of invitational victories this season at the House of Champions Invite and the Butler Invite.
For a complete schedule of events, visit the Championship Central Page on HorizonLeague.com.
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