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Valpo Men Dive into 2009-2010 Season
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
When the Valparaiso Crusaders dive into the water for the 2009-2010 season, head coach Howard Hunte will see a youthful team look to build upon 11 school records which were set one year ago when the Brown and Gold finished in sixth place in the Horizon League. Hunte enters the season with just one senior and three juniors on his squad, so he will have to look toward the underclassmen to make a mark as the season unfolds. Hunte does return eight letterwinners for the upcoming season, and has brought in four newcomers as well, with the hopes that they are able to make an immediate impact upon the Crusader program.
Edwards helped the Crusaders set a pair of relay records during his junior campaign as a member of both the 200 and 800 freestyle teams which set the marks at the Horizon League Championships. As he enters his final season with the Brown and Gold, Edwards looks to continue to climb Valpo’s all-time lists.
As a sophomore, Sivak set new school marks in the 100 and 200 freestyle as well as the 200 individual medley individually while posting the second best 500 free time ever. He also notched the third quickest 50 free mark in school laurels, and ranks second all-time in the 100 breaststroke. The all-around swimmer also ranks in the top-10 in school history in the 400 individual medley, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, and 200 breaststroke.
Sivak also competed on the 200, 400, and 800 freestyle relays that set school records at the Horizon League Championships a year ago as well as the 400 medley relay.
Sivak’s classmates, Toshko Ganzorigt and James Shang, added depth to the Crusader roster when they arrived as international students at Valpo. Both have competed for the Brown and Gold the past two seasons, dropping their times immensely last season. Ganzorigt competes mainly in the breaststroke along with some sprint free events while Shang is just a sprint freestyler.
Austin Hunter also joined the all-time list in Crusader swimming history as a rookie, swimming the fourth fastest 100 butterfly mark ever. The multifaceted swimmer also moved onto the charts in both the 100 and 200 backstroke, and contributed to the school records in all five relays as a freshman.
Nathan Brewer also got his first taste of college swimming in 2008-2009, competing mainly in backstroke and butterfly events for the Brown and Gold. He, like many of the other Crusaders, peaked at the end of the season last year, posting three of his season’s best marks at the Horizon League Championships.
Valpo’s fourth sophomore, Thomas Patrick, also provided depth in the sprint freestyle and butterfly events. Like Brewer, he had a solid conference championship, posting three of his best times of the season at the meet.
Andrew Hipskind will also compete in some backstroke events for the Brown and Gold during his rookie season in addition to freestyle. He helped set a pair of school records in relay events at New Palestine High School in Indiana and was a conference champion in the 400 freestyle relay.
Valpo’s final freshman, Ryan Burling, is a freestyle and breaststroke swimmer. He swam the breast leg of the 200 medley relay for Morris Community High School in Illinois, helping the Redskins set a new school mark for the event.
Valpo will also compete at both the Calvin and Ball State Invitationals in addition to several other dual meets throughout the season, and host Western Illinois on February 6 in the final regular season meet of the year prior to the Horizon League Championships in Chicago, Ill. on February 24-27.
Even though the squad size is small for the upcoming season, head coach Howard Hunte has a great deal of talent on the roster. When the season comes to a close, look for several more records to be rewritten in addition to numerous additions to the top-10 list.