"Can you believe that?!" exclaimed Head Coach Bob Kent, watching sophomore distance standout Scott Whitbeck (Northville, MI) shave over 6 seconds off the varsity record in the 1650 freestyle. The swim, whose negative splits by 500 were cause alone for celebration, was indicative of things to come for a Kalamazoo team poised to make their mark on this young season.
The meet began Friday afternoon with the 3 meter diving competition. Kalamazoo's formidable springboard corps proved again why Kalamazoo looks to diving as one of its best overall events. Freshman Tony Holt (Detroit, MI, Cranbrook-Kingswood School) finished 2nd overall with a score of 408.80 followed closely by Junior Tim Ullrey (Kalamazoo, MI, Central High School). Finishing 10th overall was freshman Kyle Oberhill (Plainwell, MI, Plainwell High School).
Friday night's session saw Kalamazoo sitting in third place, behind Eastern Michigan University and Denison University, and featured several outstanding swims. Andrew Kurtz, another freshman, (Bloomfield Hills, MI, Lahser High School) moved into second place all-time on the Kalamazoo top-10 list in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:06.31 performance (NCAA-B); netting 3rd place honors in the event in the process. Minutes later, senior captain Nicholas Duda (Birmingham, MI, Brother Rice H.S.) posted another NCAA-B time with a 1:53.51 in the 200 butterly (4th overall). The best, however, was saved for the final performance of the evening when the Hornets' 400 Freestyle Relay broke a varsity record, touched out league rivals Calvin College, and finished 3rd overall with a 3:06.34 (NCAA-B). The relay of Steve Domin (Livonia, MI, Stevenson H.S.), Victor Stover (Ann Arbor, MI, Pioneer H.S.), Ryan Crowley (Port Angeles, WA), and Judsen Schneider (Brentwood, TN) shaved a second off their performance at the NCAA Championships in March of this year.
Other personal bests of Friday evening for Hornet swimmers included Victor Stover's 100 freestyle (47.33, 12th), Anthony Duda's 200 breaststroke (2:14.31, 17th) and Scott Whitbeck's relay split (47.69, B-relay, 9th).
Saturday morning begain in much the way friday left off with a diving event featuring by Kalamazoo's 3 divers. Holt finished 2nd (268.35), Ullrey was 4th (265.65) and Oberhill moved up the 7th (239.40) giving Kalamazoo the points it needed to hold onto third place through the second session.
Saturday morning's session featured Schneider's NCAA-A cut in the 200 freestyle (1:41.28, 2nd), a NCAA-B cut in the 200 freestyle by Victor Stover (1:43.32, 5th), Nicholas Duda's 400 IM swim of 4:05.17 (NCAA-B, 5th). Kurtz again rose to 2nd all time on the Hornet top-10 lists with a 57.57 in the 100 breaststroke. For the 2nd straight session, a relay concluded the session with a strong NCAA-B cut and a varsity record. The team of Scott Whitbeck, Victor Stover, Nicholas Duda and Judsen Schneider teamed for a performance of 6:51.97 (2nd overall) lowering last year's varsity record by half a second.
The third session of the meet concluded with several outstanding swims. Anthony Duda and Andrew Kurtz both turned in outstanding swims in the 50 freestyle (22.11, 21.89). Both freshmen sprinters look to factor into plans for the Hornet 200 freestyle relay by season's end.
The Hornets depart for Longboat Key, FL and 10 days of intensive, long-course training on December 8th.