February 3, 2009

Late comeback carries Maroons past DePauw in regular-season finale

Men’s swimming and diving defeated DePauw University 151–137 in their final dual meet of the season Saturday.

“The men really stepped up,” head coach Jason Weber said.

The meet started off rocky for the squad, who had to travel over three hours to get to DePauw. In front of their home crowd, DePauw took a substantial lead with wins in the 200-yard medley, the 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breast stroke, and the 200-yard butterfly.

“The guys were down big before the last few events,” Weber said.

Yet the men were able to pull through the second half of the meet and win the events that mattered most. Third-year Brian Young took first place in both of his events, the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, with times of 54.88 and 1:59.27 respectively. First-year Paul Morimoto was also able to clinch gold in the 500-yard freestyle with an impressive time of 4:53.22.

Following the precedent set by Young and Morimoto, fourth-years Alex Stabell and Shane Carlson proved they had what it took to take first in their final dual meet as Maroons. Stabell won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.14 and Carlson won the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:59.11.

The men ended the meet strong, taking first in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which is made up of Stabell, first-years Marius Aleksa and Nick Santoro, and second-year James Schlabach.

In such a close meet, Weber also cited the team’s strength in the distance meets. Demonstrating this was second-year Jake Hanebutt, who was one of the few Maroons to take a top prize early on in the meet, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:08.98.

The swimmers will now have a week off before the big UAA Championships, which will be held at Ratner. With the regular season coming to its close, the Maroons are now reaching the meets on which they have focused their training all season.

“We’re going to be continuing on with our taper, coming down in yardage and intensity, and working on turns, kicks, and having explosive strength,” Weber said.

A four-day event, the conference meet takes place February 11 to 14.

“The guys should be well rested,” Weber said. “I just hope that they give it all they’ve got.”