Spartans close out dual season and honor seniors in style

On a day to honor the graduating students for their contributions to the program over the last four years, the Case Western Reserve University swimming and diving team finished out the dual meet part of their season with a bang. The men’s team picked up a 229-66 victory over Baldwin Wallace University (BW) this past Saturday, while the women’s squad defeated BW 243-56 and Ursuline College 252-21 (a NCAA Division II program) in the Veale Natatorium.

Before the meet began, the Spartans held a ceremony to recognize their 18 graduating students. They honored 10 students from the men’s side: Drew Hamilton, Oliver Hudgins, John Kilbane, Dominic Kizek, Ondrej Maxian, Aaron Pang, Stefan Roeseler, Evan Rose, Jared Shanks and Logan Smith. The eight students graduating from the women’s squad are Abigail Dessart, Jennifer Eurich, Kaitlyn Gorski, Sophia Hestad, Brooke Hortness, Taylor Johnson, Mary Katherine Miller and Inez Moore.

Head Coach Doug Milliken realizes how important this year’s graduating students were to the program throughout their time on campus.

“This year’s senior class will be impossible to replace,” said Milliken. “They have achieved so much in the pool, but also for the university.”

The Spartans came out and dominated the competition, with the women winning 15 of the 16 events, while the men were able to finish victorious in 14 of the 16 events.The women notched their 10th dual meet win of the season, raising their record to 10-2, while the men improved to 8-2 on the campaign.

Milliken was happy with the way his team competed and how they are looking coming into the end of the season.

“Honestly, I thought everyone competed well,” said Milliken. “It was a fun meet, but perhaps the best performance came from divers competing in some swimming relays … that was a lot of fun.”

Moving forward, the teams will next travel to Atlanta for the University Athletic Association Championships at Emory University from Wednesday, Feb. 14 through Saturday, Feb. 17. This will be the toughest competition the Spartans have seen this year.

Milliken is trying to freshen up his team for the big meet.

“We are tapering right now,” said Milliken. “So back off on the intensity of our workouts to get our bodies as well rested as possible to ensure our best performances next week.”

Milliken knows competition will be steep, as six out of the eight teams are nationally ranked in the top 25 on the men’s and women’s side.

“I want the team to challenge themselves to move up from either what they accomplished at the meet last year or from their best times, etc,” said Milliken. “We will control what we can control and if we can do that, we will have success.”