Smith's School Record Leads Valpo to Fifth Place Finish at Midwest Classic
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Travers Smith (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.) set a new school record in the 200 backstroke and helped lead Valparaiso University to a fifth place finish at the Midwest Classic Championships which concluded on Saturday evening in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Crusader freshman touched the wall in 1:55.99 to earn a third place finish in the event and better Kevin Hyde's 2002 mark of 1:56.22 by .23 seconds.

The Crusaders tallied 400 points for the meet, and trailed Eastern Michigan by just 24 for fourth place. Eastern Illinois was crowned the champion with 803 points, while Western Illinois finished second with 685 points and IUPUI placed third with 505 points. Miami (Ohio) finished sixth with 221 points, while Vincennes was seventh with 174 points.

Valpo opened the final day of the three-day competition as Dan Johnson (Palatine, Ill./Fremd H.S.) earned a ninth place finish in the 1650 freestyle. Neal Badgett (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit Prep) was just over a second behind Johnson (17:34.92) to place tenth.

Smith then set his school mark in the 200 back, marking one of four Crusaders to score in the event. Colin Simpson (Rockford, Ill./Auburn H.S.) also qualified for the finals and finished sixth with a time of 2:01.44, while Mike Stachniak (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg H.S.) and Mark Volberding (Tulsa, Okla./Union H.S.) were tenth and 11th respectively. Stachniak touched the wall in 2:07.87, while Volberding finished in 2:10.58.

The 100 freestyle saw Bob Schmidt (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville H.S.) earn a fifth place showing with a time of 47.73 seconds. Keith Aumend (Lake Worth, Fla./Wellington H.S.) earned a 14th place finish with a mark of 48.77 seconds, while David Kesler (Beverly Hills, Mich./Birmingham Groves H.S.) was 15th with a time of 49.63 seconds.

Three Crusaders scored in the 200 breaststroke, led by David Peterson (Schererville, Ind./Highland H.S.). The freshman finished in fifth place with a time of 2:14.05, while Jeff Ewers (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.) was two places behind, touching the wall in 2:15.28. Patrick Kirby (Danville, Ill./Schlarman H.S.) also finished 13th in the event for the Brown and Gold (2:27.70).

The final individual event of the meet was Bob Pedersen (Urbana, Ill./Urbana H.S.) finish in 12th place in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:03.14. Badgett also scored in the event, finishing 14th with a mark of 2:05.06.

Valpo concluded the meet with a fifth place finish in the 400 free relay. Smith, Aumend, Kesler, and Schmidt touched the wall in 3:12.75.

Valparaiso has now concluded its 2003-2004 season, where it went 2-8 during dual meet competition and finished in fourth place at the Mid-Continent Conference Championship in addition to its fifth place finish at the Midwest Classic.