Swimming & thriving: first half of season yields big things for LEC

Ilia Platonov (Photo by Bill Wendall)

PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Lake Erie has reached the midpoint of its 2013-14 season, and both the men's and women's squads have fared well in the season's first half.

[USA Swimming Top Times | GLIAC Top Times]

LEC heads into December with multiple swimmers among the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's top times of the season. And both the men (5-0-1) and women (4-3) are ranked in the top-40 in the most recent Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com Performance Rankings (Nov. 26). The Storm men have reached No. 20 in those rankings; the LEC women are currently ranked 40th.

"This mid-season point is a great time for us as a program to reflect on the things we have achieved, such as a number of program records,' said Lake Erie Head Coach Nicole Rose. "But we also want to continue to raise the bar for ourselves." 

The Lake Erie men currently hold no less than 10 top-five individual times on 2013-14 GLIAC rolls. Chief among those marks are three No. 1 times, two of which (200-yard breaststroke, 200 individual medley) are held by senior Julian Milinkovskyi. The other – the league's top mark in the 200 backstroke – is held by junior Ivan Cizmar. Those three times are all NCAA-II provisional marks, and the Storm men have posted eight provisional times overall.

Milinkovskyi has been sensational in the early going. The Ukraine native owns the nation's best time (1:48.53) in the 200 IM. He also owns Division II's third-best time this season in the 200 breast, the fourth-best time in the 100 butterfly and the sixth-best in the 400 IM.

Freshman Meri Cizmar owns two GLIAC top-10s this season to pace an improving LEC women's squad.

Up next for LEC is December training, and that's followed by the squad's Florida training trip, which is slated for Dec. 31-Jan. 7.

"Both teams have set goals for themselves this year," said Rose, "and that remains our main focus as we head into a critical training segment."

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