Thursday, October 06, 2005
Valparaiso's men's swimming and diving team will look to the versatility of their top swimmers to propel them to the top in 2005.
Nine swimmers return for second year head coach Bryan Morrison. Morrison also brings in eight newcomers to join a team that finished 3-7 in dual meets last season and finished fifth at the Mid-Continent Conference Championships.
Leading the way for the Crusaders will be two-time All Mid-Con honoree Travers Smith. The junior has made his impact felt on the school record books over his first two seasons. Smith currently holds all-time records in the 100 butterfly and 200 backstroke, in addition to being part of record-setting 800 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay teams. Smith also ranks among Valpo's all-time top-10 in ten other events. Smith will be asked to swim the backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle for the Brown and Gold this year as well as relays.
Also swimming the free and the fly for Valpo is senior Bob Pedersen. Pedersen is among Valpo's all-time top-five in both the 100 and 200 fly and the 500 free. He was also a key component in the record-setting 400 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay teams. Mike Stachniak returns for his junior season swimming the freestyle for Valpo. Stachniak specializes in the long distance events, ranking among Valpo's all-time best in the 500, 1000, and 1650 free.
Senior David Kesler is primarily a sprinter in the freestyle events. He was among the top Crusaders last season in the 50, 100, and 200 free, and anchored the record-breaking 400 medley relay team. P.J. Ciotola, also part of the fly lineup, and Edward Standen add good depth to the Crusader freestyle lineup. Joining them this season are freshmen Dan Cisek, Adam Jajtner, Brian Kelly, and Jay Michelson, while Ansel Hillmer and Matt Schuchhardt will swim the fly for the Brown and Gold.
David Peterson returns for his third season anchoring the breaststroke and individual medley events. Peterson set a school record last season in the 200 individual medley, was part of the school-record holding 400 medley relay, and anchored the record-breaking 800 free relay. He also sits among the top-three on Valpo's all-time 100 and 200 breaststroke and 400 individual medley lists.
Scott Dueball returns with a year of experience under his belt and will look to improve upon his breaststroke and individual medley times. Cisek and fellow freshman Kyle Verage round out the breaststroke lineup, while Verage adds to depth in the IM.
Sophomore Greg Stock broke into Valpo's all-time top-10 in the 200 back and 400 IM during his freshman campaign and will continue to make a push to move up the charts. Freshman Travis Thames completes the backstroke lineup for the Brown and Gold.
The Crusaders' schedule is designed to prepare the squad for the Mid-Continent Conference Championships, to be held February 16-18 in Indianapolis, Ind. The season kicks off October 7 at the Dennis Stark Relays, hosted by Notre Dame. Valpo will be competing at three other invitationals during the season, at Eastern Illinois, at Ball State, and at IUPUI.
In addition, the Brown and Gold will be traveling to numerous dual and triangular meets throughout the Midwest. Valpo will also take a trip to compete in a dual meet at Florida Southern, as well as hosting two dual meets during the season. Valpo will take on Cleveland State at the ARC January 20, and also compete January 21 at the ARC versus Eastern Illinois.