Crusader Men Close Gap, Remain in 5th at Midwest
Friday, February 20, 2004
Valparaiso University's men's swimming and diving team closed the gap on fourth place at the Midwest Classic Championships on Friday, but remain in fifth position heading into the final day of competition in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Crusaders have tallied 257 points through two days of competition, just 18 points behind IUPUI for fourth place. Eastern Michigan is third with 287 points. Valpo entered day two 29 points behind each of the two schools. Eastern Illinois leads the meet with 502 points, while Western Illinois is second with 428 points. Miami (Ohio) is sixth with 160 points with Vincennes posting 140 points.

The Crusaders began Friday with a third place finish in the 200 medley relay. Travers Smith (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.), Jeff Ewers (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll H.S.), Bob Pedersen (Urbana, Ill./Urbana H.S.), and David Kesler (Beverly Hills, Mich./Birmingham Groves H.S.) touched the wall in 1:37.81, the second fastest time in school history.

After not having an entrant in the 400 individual medley, the Brown and Gold had three individuals score in the 100 butterfly. Pedersen finished in 12th place with a time of 54.01 seconds, while Mark Volberding (Tulsa, Okla./Union H.S.) was 14th with a time of 57.12 seconds. Alan Regetz (Sugar Land, Texas/Lamar Consolidated H.S.) was one place in back of Volberding with a mark of 58.12 seconds.

Bob Schmidt (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville H.S.) earned a finals berth in the 200 freestyle and finished in eighth place with a time of 1:46.58. Keith Aumend (Lake Worth, Fla./Wellington H.S.) finished in tenth place in the same event with a mark of 1:46.68.

David Peterson (Schererville, Ind./Highland H.S.) led the way for Valpo in the 100 breaststroke, turning in a fourth place effort with a time of 1:00.93. Ewers finished tenth in the event with a time of 1:01.21, while Patrick Kirby (Danville, Ill./Schlarman H.S.) was 15th with a time of 1:04.93.

The Crusaders then shined in the 100 backstroke, the final individual event of the day. Smith turned in the second fastest time in school history on his way to a runner-up finish with a time of 52.74 seconds. Smith was just .78 seconds behind the winner. Colin Simpson (Rockford, Ill./Auburn H.S.) finished seventh in the 100 back with a time of 56.43 seconds, while Mike Stachniak (Orland Park, Ill./Sandberg H.S.) placed eighth in 57.45 seconds.

Valpo finished the day with another third place relay, this time turning in the effort in the 800 free relay. Aumend, Kesler, Pedersen, and Schmidt touched the wall in 7:08.30.

The Crusaders will take to the pool for the final time during the 2003-2004 season on Saturday. The conclusion of the Midwest Classic Championships are set to begin at 9 a.m. CST for the preliminaries, while finals are set for 5 p.m. CST.