CHICAGO, Illinois, October 14. THE 2006-07 season started out strong for the UIC swimming and diving team on Saturday afternoon, as both the men's and women's squads turned in impressive dual meet victories over Eastern Illinois at the UIC Natatorium.
The UIC men's swimming and diving team downed the Panthers by a 142-93 tally, while the women's team downed Eastern Illinois by a 131-108 margin.
Saturday's meet got off to a great start for the Flames following wins in both the women's and men's 200-yard medley relay.
Senior sprint specialist Blake Booher extended his impressive streak to 19 consecutive 50-yard freestyle victories in dual meets with an amazing 20.63 in his season debut. Booher also swam 19.9 50 free splits in both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
Freshman Andy Peterson set a lifetime best in the 100 backstroke, winning the event in 53.20.
Sophomore Davor Trnovljakovic won both distance events on the men's side, taking the 500 free in 4:54.70 and the 1000 free in 10:11.91.
Mike Conroy (100 fly/53.51), Sean Dawson (200 free/1:46.85) and Dan Hare (200 IM/1:58.89) also turned in swimming victories.
The women's squad received a balanced performance. Andrea Giczewski led the sprint charge with a 50 free win in 24.78, edging out teammate Colleen Dougherty (24.99).
Emily Biancalana won the 200 free in 2:00.58, while fellow senior Jessica Darud won the 200 backstroke by edging out Giczewski with a time of 1:01.37.
Shaina Israel had a stellar collegiate debut, winning the 500 free in 5:21.23.
Mark Pappalardo paced the diving side with wins in both the one-meter and three-meter events, while Sarah Economides accomplished the same two victories on the women's side of the action.
The day wrapped up with a UIC sweep of the 200 free relay events.
"Overall I am very happy with the initial performance of the season," said UIC head coach Paul Moniak. "After five weeks of training, it was nice to compete.
Moniak had praise for many of the team's stars on Saturday.
"Blake swimming a 19.9 split twice and a 20.6 in the individual race was a special performance," said Moniak. "He's proving that he is one of the elite sprinters around. Emily Biancalana had a nice start to her senior season. Andy Peterson had a very nice first meet, and Cameron Seebeck joined our sprint corps in fine fashion, as did Brenden Dougherty. Shaina Israel had a solid 1000 and a great win in the 500 in her first college meet. I am very impressed with how she competed."