Valparaiso's men's swim team is in fifth place after day one of the Midwest Classic being held at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Thursday.
Western Illinois holds a one-point lead over Eastern Michigan, 211-210, while Eastern Illinois (140.5) is third. IUPUI enters day two in fourth place with 122.5 points, followed by the Crusaders with 79 points. Vincennes tallied 56 points on the opening day.
Valpo began the finals session with a fifth place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. Sean Conrin (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.), Bob Schmidt (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville H.S.), Bob Pedersen (Urbana, Ill./Urbana H.S.), and David Kesler (Beverly Hills, Mich./Birmingham Groves H.S.) finished in a time of 1:27.30, a season's best.
In the 500 freestyle, Neal Badgett (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit Prep H.S.) was the Crusaders top finisher, placing 18th with a time of 4:57.33. His evening time was just .02 seconds slower than his time in preliminaries, which mark a season's best.
Conrin led the Brown and Gold in the 200 individual medley with a tenth place finish. The junior's time of 1:59.22 not only was the third fastest mark in school history, but also a seven second improvement on his best time of the year. Pedersen finished 15ths with a time of 2:02.29, while Mike Hermes (Hudson, Ill./U-High) placed right behind him with a time of 2:02.81, both season's bests.
The final individual event of the opening day saw Schmidt finish tenth in the 50 free with a time of 22.07 seconds. Kesler was .17 second behind in 12th place with a collegiate best time of 22.24 seconds, while Edward Chester (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka H.S.) wound up in 16th place with a time of 22.72 seconds
The Crusaders finished fifth as a team in the final event of the evening, the 400 medley relay. Badgett, Patrick Kirby (Danville, Ill./Schlarman H.S.), Chester, and Alan Regetz (Sugar Land, Texas/Lamar Consolidated H.S.) touched the wall in 3:55.42.
Valpo will dive back into the pool on Friday morning for day two of the championships. Prelims begin at 9 a.m. CST with finals slated for 5 p.m.