Feb. 23, 2010
Youthful Group Gets Set For Horizon League Meet in Chicago
A youthful Youngstown State swimming and diving team gets set to compete at the Horizon League Championships this Wednesday through Saturday at the Flames Natatorium on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago in Chicago, Ill.
The Horizon League Network (HorizonLeagueNetwork.tv) will air live final event coverage, featuring an interactive blog, which will provide fans with an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. Events begin at 11:30 each day with various preliminary events. All finals will be held at 7 p.m. except for Friday evening when they begin at 6:30.
YSU has one senior on its 2010 roster entering the league meet in distance freestyle swimmer Hillary Barrett. Barrett will compete the first day in the 1,000 free and on the final evening in the 1,650.
The remainder of the active roster features three juniors, four sophomores and 10 freshmen.
Juniors who will bring experience are Caitlin Cook, Alana Kane and Amanda Carpin. Cook has been strong in the butterfly events while Kane has had a productive season in freestyle. Cook, who did not swim at the HL meet as freshman because of injury, placed sixth last year in the 200-yard butterfly while Kane's best finish at the league meet was 18th as a freshman in the 200 free. Carpin was ninth in the one-meter and 11th in the three-meter last year.
The sophomore class could make a strong push in their second league meet appearance. Nishani Cicilson, who was 12th in the 50 freestyle last season, has the third-best time in the league entering the championships this year that event. Kirstin Walker has been one of the most consistent performers this year in the freestyle events. Last year, Walker was 15th in the 100-yard freestyle in her first appearance at the league meet.
Audria Grubbs has been strong in the freestyle throughout the season and placed 20th in the 200 free last season. Katie Wolf swam three personal-best times at last year's meet, and placed in the top 20 in the 1,650 and 400 IM.
Although they are participating in their first league meet, the freshmen will be counted on to make a huge impact. Looking to make a splash in the pool is Sam Roberts while freshman Casey Hill could challenge for the titles in both diving events.
Roberts, who has the team's top times in four events this year, has already established a new school mark this season in the 200-yard breaststroke. She also ranks second in the 100 breast in school history. Hill has steady improved throughout the season and had her best performances - 293.25 in the three meter and 284.45 in the one meter - at the YSU Diving Invitational earlier this month.
Other freshmen who could have breakthrough performances at the meet include: Amanda Ritzenthaler in the backstroke, Rachel Tano in the breaststroke, Megan Palmer in the butterfly as well as Liseli Baich and Rachel Harbarger in the multi-events.
The Penguins last diving champion was Kalyn Leveto in 2005 while the last swimmer to win an individual event was Erin Carter in the 400 IM in 2004. Leveto won two one-meter titles (2003 and 2005) in her career while taking the top spot in the three-meter in 2002 and 2003. Brandit Goettsch won the three-meter competition in 2002.
Green Bay enters the meet having won seven women's titles in the past 12 seasons and looks to pick up number eight in 2010. The Phoenix will once again rely on their relays to score major points as Green Bay swept all five events last year. Last year's runner-up Milwaukee will display many talented individuals, including Kelsey George, Kerry Rossow and Danielle Wenger while Wright State and Cleveland State will look to Molley Pipkorn and Joanna Olsson, respectively, to guide their squads.