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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Spartans open season with brilliant showing at Rochester

Case Western Reserve University’s swimming and diving teams got off to one of the best starts in school history. The teams opened up their season against UAA competition in a tri-meet with New York University at the University of Rochester. The past few years the Spartans have had slow starts to the season with the men traditionally beating Rochester whilst losing to NYU and the women going winless over the weekend.

This year, however, was different as then men beat Violet 205-154 and Rochester 244-116 and the women defeated Rochester, 179.5-174.5, and lost against NYU, 179.5-171.5.

First year head coach Doug Milliken changed all of that though. Milliken arrived on campus just weeks before the season started and quickly began training his new team harder than ever.

“There are still something’s we need to work on but all in all, we did better than I had expected,” said Milliken, “The team’s been working hard and we’re determined to swim fast.

The Spartans combined for wins in 7 individual events and three relays on the weekend.

The Spartan men, infused with over a dozen freshmen, showed the speed of their incoming class as freshmen Heath Hudgins and Scott McHenry joined elder statesmen and juniors Mike Lin and Sam Geiger in winning the 800-yard freestyle relay. The quartet combined for a time of 7:21.59. CWRU’s B relay came to race as well, as Chris Emr, Karch Petersen, Josh Isaacson and Erik Laren came in second place, three seconds behind the A squad and over six seconds faster the next team. Both Spartan relays beat last years time in the 800-yard event, forecasting what appears to be an upcoming stellar year for the distance team that placed three swimmers in the top ten of the 1650-yard freestyle at the 2010 UAA Championships.

The sprinters, not wanting to be out done, went one-two-three for the Spartans in the 50-yard freestyle as freshman Gus Bailey took first in 21.86 seconds, with Lin and Hudgins close behind.

“The freshman class on both the men’s and women’s class is going to be a huge part of the team this year. There’s a lot of them and they’re very talented. We’re going to use them in a lot different spots in both individual events and relays,” said Milliken.

Super senior Robby Browning returned for his final eligibility and made his prescence known, grabbing a ribbon of each color. Browning took first in the 100-yard backstroke in 53.60 seconds and was the first runner up in the 100-yard butterfly. Browning also placed second in the 200-yard backstroke in 2 minutes and 1.14 seconds.

The lady Spartans are adorned with eight freshmen who are all making an impact immediately. Newcomers Sarah Tillie and Maggie Dillione teamed up with junior Stephanie Campbell and senior Roxanne Leyshon to win the 400-yard medley relay in 4:06.68, nearly five seconds ahead of the second place finished.

Dillione was a double winner, sweeping the butterfly events in an impressive fashion. She won the 100-yard race by over three seconds and blew away the competition in the 200-yard event by nearly eight seconds. Dillione provides a much-needed burst of speed and youth for the women who have just one sophomore on the current roster.

Senior Jacquie Buckler dominated the breaststroke, leading a sweep in the 100-yard race with Tille and Leyshon. Buckler finished in 1 minute 10.33 seconds while Tillie and Leyshon finished in 1:10.74 and 1:11.22, respectively. Buckler also took home the 200-yard crown in 2:33.44.

The Spartans will open their home schedule with the Veale Classic on Nov. 12-13. The meet brings cross town rival, John Carroll University; Oberlin College and rival the College of Wooster to CWRU for a pair of dual meets. The Spartan men are defending champions having defeated Wooster 126-113 last year. The women lost to the Fighting Scots 160-77 and are looking to avenge last years loss.

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