BLOOMINGTON, IN, January 8. THE No. 13 Indiana men's swimming squad improved to 8-2 on the season and 3-2 against ranked squads on Jan. 7 with a dominant 149.5-85.5 triumph over No. 11 Tennessee at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington, Ind, reported Hoosier sources.
Overall, the Hoosiers won 11 of the 13 events, while junior Sergiy Fesenko, freshman Todd Patrick and junior Kevin Swander paced IU with three titles each.
"It was a nice step in the right direction," Head Coach Ray Looze said. "We expected a close meet, but they did not bring up a key diver and swimmer. Regardless, we were ready for their best punch. It is a good step for us to becoming an elite program. We recruit against Tennessee, so this win is significant for recruiting. I am also proud of the way our seniors swam in their last home event. Each one of them contributed to the win."
In the opening event of the day, IU jumped out to a 13-4 lead when freshman Ben Hesen, Swander, senior Murph Halasz and sophomore Colin Russell raced to the 200-yard medley relay crown in 1:31.32. Tennessee senior Josh Fulton, junior Kiel Huston, sophomore Andrew Engle and senior Bradley Duryea picked up second in 1:32.44. The IU squad of senior Niles Madison, sophomore Hank Baldwin, sophomore Drew Ossakow and senior Brian Ellsworth finished in third in 1:37.34.
In the initial individual event of the meet, the Hoosiers increased their lead to 28-8 with a top-two sweep in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Fesenko blazed to the sixth-fastest time in school history for a first-place 9:16.59, while freshman Alex Brunfeldt swam to the 10th-fastest time in program annals with a second-place 9:19.98. Both times are career bests for Fesenko and Brunfeldt. Tennessee junior Jason Thomas came in third in 9:28.24. Also of note, senior Richard Bryant notched a personal-best time of 9:40.95 to take fifth place.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Russell out-touched UT junior Bryan Goldberg to win the event in 1:39.54. Goldberg clocked a time of 1:40.40 for second place. Senior David Winck placed third with a 1:40.53. IU stretched its lead to 42-13 with the performance.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Tennessee cut the gap to 49-25 in favor of the Hoosiers. Tennessee's Tyler Gustafson claimed the title in 20.85, while Houchin placed second in 21.16. Fulton finished in third for the Volunteers in 21.28.
Indiana countered in the 200-yard IM to pull away to a 65-28 lead as Patrick clocked a crown-winning 1:51.00. Junior Thomas Clavier, swimming against his former team, posted a personal-best time of 1:53.01 to take second, while Swander placed third in 1:55.15. Also of note, freshmen Alec Haley (1:55.86/6th) and Ronnie Hehn (1:57.01/8th) recorded career bests in the event.
In the initial diving break of the afternoon, Indiana broke out to an 81-31 margin after grabbing the top four spots in the one-meter event. Senior Marc Carlton cleared the NCAA zone diving standard with a first-place 302.85, while senior Alex Burns placed second with a 292.80 tally. Junior Brian Mariano finished in third with a 291.00 string of dives, while freshman Taylor Roberts took fourth with a 285.70.
In the 200-yard butterfly, IU snared the top two spots as Halasz claimed the crown in 1:50.88, and Bryant placed second in 1:53.72. Tennessee sophomore Travis Wright placed third in 1:53.94. At the completion of the event, the Cream and Crimson led UT, 96-35.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Indiana maintained a 105-45 lead even though UT's Gustafson won the event in 45.48. IU's Russell took second in 45.97, while Houchin placed third in 46.02. Also of note, senior Brian Ellsworth (47.34) and sophomore Ryan Millard (48.20) posted personal-best times in the event.
In the 200-yard backstroke, the Cream and Crimson vaulted out to a 120-49 margin with another top-two sweep. Patrick touched first in 1:50.27, while junior Mike Jones placed second in 1:51.04. Tennessee's Michael Wolfe took third in 1:51.83.
In the final individual event before the diving break, Fesenko doubled up with his second win of the day after clocking a 4:32.84 in the 500-yard freestyle. Freshman John Kevin Koehler placed second with a personal-best 4:33.03, while UT's Thomas took third in 4:33.90. At the end of the event, the Hoosiers were well ahead of the Volunteers, 135-53.
In the three-meter springboard event, IU swept the top-four again with Carlton in first place in a zone-qualifying 336.52 performance. Burns placed second in 291.15, while Roberts finished third in 284.77. Mariano rounded out the IU performance with a 270.87 tally.
"Our victory today is somewhat tempered by the fact that Tennessee did not bring their two best divers to the event," Head Diving Coach Dr. Jeff Huber said. "We were disappointed that we were not able to compete against that level of talent and came out flat because of it. We dove down a bit and really have to work on diving well no matter who we face."
IU began exhibitioning swimmers before the 200-yard breaststroke event and wound up in a 142.5-62.5 lead after the race. Swander claimed the crown in 2:01.80, while Baldwin finished in second in 2:04.57. Meanwhile, Haley concluded a top-three sweep with a third-place 2:07.66. Also of note, Clavier registered a personal-best 2:08.26 for fourth place.
The Hoosiers closed out their dominating performance in the 400-yard freestyle relay when Fesenko, Patrick, Houchin and Winck picked up the title in 3:02.35. Tennessee's Goldberg, Duryea, Fulton and Gustafson finished in second with a 3:04.67, while IU's Hesen, Koehler, Jones and Tanner placed third in 3:10.61.
At the completion of the meet, Indiana downed the Tennessee Volunteers, 149.5-85.5.
Prior to the meet, Indiana honored its group of eight graduating seniors. Richard Bryant, Alex Burns, Marc Carlton, Brian Ellsworth, Murph Halasz, Niles Madison, Brian Metzler and David Winck all performed in the friendly confines of Counsilman-Billingsley for the final time in their careers.
Additionally, the Hoosiers handed out their annual team recognition awards before the meet. Dr. Doug MacAskill and David Bere were given the Dr. Ronald "Doc" Lewis Memorial Award for 2004 and 2005, while Terry Clapacs garnered the Marge Counsilman Service Award.
Next up, the Hoosiers head to Columbus, Ohio, to battle the Ohio State Buckeyes tomorrow at 1 p.m.