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Sophomore Julian Milinkovskyi (Ukranie) placed first in the 200 Yard IM to win the first Lake Erie College Individual GLIAC Swimming Title in the program's second season, highlighting the Storm effort at the four-day 2012 GLIAC Championships which concluded Saturday (Feb. 11).
Milinkovskyi swam the 200 Yard IM in 1:48.79 which is an NCAA "A" Cut time. That means Milinkovskyi will be joining freshman Ivan Cizmar (Zagreb, Croatia/) at next month's NCAA Division II National Championship in Mansfield, Tx. Milinkovskyi also placed second in the 200 Yard breaststroke in 2:00.88 after qualifying with the top time of 2:01.80. He finished just .08 behind the champion and just .16 off the NCAA "A" cut time in the event. He also earned All-GLIAC in the 400 Yard IM, placing third with a personal-best time of 4:00.73.
Milinkovskyi's effort helped the Storm finished sixth of seven teams in the program's second season with 242 points. The women finished ninth of nine teams with 122 points.
"I am very pleased with the results of the meet," said Head Coach Nicole Rose. "Every swimmer swam improved times. We had some great jumps from our seed positions and an additional qualification to the National meet. We are really excited about the growth and improvement for this program over the last year and look forward to a stronger performance from both teams next year."
Cizmar had a successful championship as well. Cizmar earned All-GLIAC by placing third in the 200 Yard backstroke with a time of 1:48.76. Cizmar also made the A Finals in the 400 Yard IM and 100 Yard backstroke, finishing fifth and seventh respectively with times of 4:02.20 and 51.54.
Milinkovskyi and Cizmar were also part of two fourth place relay teams as they combined with freshmen David Thieshen (Bethal Park, Pa./Bethel Park) and Cole Leonberg (Freedom, Pa./Freedom) to swim the 200 Yard medley relay in 1:36.05 and the 400 Yard medley relay in 3:28.67.
Another big race for the Storm men came in the 1650 Yard freestyle where freshman Nicky Buckel (New Orleans, La./Holy Cross) broke the school record with a time of 18:43.07 to finish 15th.
The Lake Erie women's effort was led by sophomore Lauren Menicucci (Reno, Nev/Reno). Menicucci jumped five spots from her seed position to qualify for the A final in the 400 yard IM, breking her personal-best time by over three seconds to take the eighth and final qualifying spot by .35 seconds in 4:41.61. Menicucci then finished eighth in the finals in 4:44.20. She also scored points in the 200 Yard IM with a 13th place finish in 2:12.08 and the 200 Yard Breaststroke finishing 15th in 2:29.47.
Sophomore Casey Wendall (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) took a similar route to an eighth place finish in the 200 Yard butterfly in 2:12.65. Wendall shaved nearly five second off her previous best time in the event to qualify for the A final with a race of 2:10.52, which jumped her six spots from her pre-meet ranking.
See below for day-by-day highlights from all the Storm swimmers.
Day 4 Highlights (Saturday)
- Sophomore Julian Milinkovskyi (Ukraine) took the top seed in qualifying in the 200 Yard Breaststroke in a time of 2:01.80, cutting his previous-best time in the event by over two seconds. Milinkovskyi then placed second in the finals for his third All-GLIAC performance of the weekend with a time of 2:00.88. He finished just .08 behind the champion and just .16 off the NCAA "A" cut time in the event.
- Freshman Ivan Cizmar (Zagreb, Croatia/) qualified second in the 200 Yard Backstroke in a time of 1:48.97. He then earned All-GLIAC honors with a third place finish of 1:48.76
- Sophomore Casey Wendall (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) took a similar route to an eighth place finish in the 200 Yard butterfly in 2:12.65. Wendall shaved nearly five second off her previous best time in the event to qualify for the A final with a race of 2:10.52, which jumped her six spots from her pre-meet ranking.
- Sophomore Lauren Menicucci (Reno, Nev/Reno) made the "B" final in the 200 Yard Breaststroke in a time of 2:27.96. She finsihed 15th in the finals in 2:29.47.
- Freshmen David Thieshen (Bethal Park, Pa./Bethel Park) and Cole Leonberg (Freedom, Pa./Freedom) each qualified for the B final in Saturday night's 200-yard butterfly with personal-best times of 2:01.96 and 2:08.42. They placed 13th an 15th in the finals respectively with further personal-best times of 1:58.56 and 2:05.46.
Day 3 Highlights (Friday)
- Milinkovskyi finished third in the 400 Yard IM with a personal-best time of 4:00.73 and was followed by Cizmar who took fifth in 4:02.20. Milinkovskyi qualified third in with a time of 4:03.12 with Cizmar coming right behind him in fourth place at 4:03.31.
- Menicucci jumped five spots from her seed position to qualify for the A final in the 400 yard IM, breking her personal-best time by over three seconds to take the eighth and final qualifying spot by .35 seconds in 4:41.61. Menicucci also finished eighth in the finals in 4:44.20.
- Cizmar also qualified for the A final in the 100 Yard Backstroke in 51.45 and took seventh in the final in 51.54.
- Thieshen and Leonberg each swam personal-bests in the 100 Yard Butterfly to qualify for the B final in 13th and 15th position respectively with times of 52.61 and 53.53. Leonberg improved on that time in the finals finishing 14th in 53.29 while Thieshen came in 15th in 54.41.
- Senior Nick Brown (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and freshman Nicky Buckel (New Orleans, La./Holy Cross) also each broke their personal-best times in the 400 IM by over 10 seconds. Brown also qualified for the B final in the 100 Yard Breaststroke in 1:13.78 and finished 15th with a finals time of 1:11.73
Day 2 Highlights (Thursday)
- Julian Milinkovskyi won the GLIAC Championship in the 200 Yard IM, becoming the first Lake Erie College swimmer to win a GLIAC title. Milinkovskyi did so in a GLIAC Championship record breaking time of 1:48.79. He broke his own record in the final which he set earlier in the day with a NCAA "A" Cut qualifying time of 1:49.79. That time gave him the top seed for the finals and earned him a trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship in March.
- Lauren Menicucci finished 13th in the 200 Yard IM finals with a time of 2:12.43. Earlier in the day, Menicucci earned a spot in the final with a personal-best qualifying time of 2:12.08.
- The Lake Erie men's 400 Yard medley relay matched its fourth place finish in the 200 Yard medley relay a day earlier with a time of 3:28.67.
Day 1 Highlights (Wednesday)
- In the 1000 Yard freestyle sophomore Casey Wendall (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) bested her seed time by over 15 seconds, finishing 26th while senior Chelsea Giesen (Grand Pass, Ore./North Valley) finished 29th, besting her seed time by 22 seconds.
- Nicky Buckel set a personal-best in the 1000 Yard freestyle by 28 seconds, finishing 17th.
- Lake Erie's 200 Yard men's medley relay jumped one spot in seeding finishing fourth in the finals with a season-best time of 1:36.05, good for fourth place.