Men's Swimming & Diving wins eighth consecutive OAC Championships title
By: Tim Glon
AKRON — The No. 11-ranked Ohio Northern men's swimming and diving team won its eighth consecutive league title by winning the 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Championships Thursday-Saturday at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.
ONU won the title with 1,036 points. John Carroll was second with 693 points, Mount Union was third with 528, Baldwin-Wallace was fourth with 311, Wilmington was fifth with 277 and OAC newcomer Defiance was sixth with 51 points.
Northern won 15 of the 20 events and had 17 different men earn All-Conference accolades in the championships.
The Polar Bears won their eighth consecutive OAC Championships title under eighth-year head coach Peggy Ewald.
Northern also set eight OAC and ONU records and bettered the NCAA Qualifying standard in 11 events during the competition.
The top three finishers in the individual races and the top two relay teams earned All-OAC honors.
Ohio Northern senior Michael Schultz was named the OAC Men's Swimmer of the Year for the fourth time in his career, senior Nick Meyer was named the OAC Men's Diver of the Year and Ewald and assistant coach Tomas Kuzvard were named the OAC Men's Coaching Staff of the Year.
Schultz won his fourth OAC titles in the 200, 500 and 1650 free events.
In the 1650 free he lapped the field twice, leading ONU to a 1-2-3 finish, and touched in an NCAA "B" Cut time of 15:56.94. Earlier in the week, Schultz also won the 200 and 500 free events, setting NCAA "B" Cuts in both events
In the 200 free he set an OAC and ONU record in 1:40.40 and won the 500 free in 4:33.07.
Schultz won five events overall, as he was part of ONU's winning 400 medley relay and 800 free relay teams.
The 400 medley relay team of Schultz, freshman Brian Heilbronner, junior Drew Keriazes and sophomore Jordan Breitigam, set OAC and ONU records with a time of 3:27.62.
Schultz, senior Anders Samuelson, Keriazes and sophomore Christian Garlock won the 800 free relay in 6:54.82.
Meyer swept the diving events on the weekend, winning the 1-meter diving with a score of 454.75 and the 3-meter with a score of 455.35. Both scores surpassed the NCAA Cut.
Keriazes, the 2011 OAC Men's Swimmer of the Year, won three individual events with OAC and ONU records and NCAA "B" Cuts in each, won a team-best six events overall and was named All-Conference in seven events on the weekend.
He won the 100 breast in :57.40, the 200 breast in 2:06.05 and won the 200 I.M. in 1:53.51.
Keriazes was part of the 400 medley relay and 800 free relay teams and combined with senior Joey Bechtel, junior Marc Anderson and Garlock to win the 200 medley relay in an OAC and ONU record 1:34.17.
Keriazes, sophomore John Beaschler, Samuelson and Garlock earned All-OAC honors by finishing second in the 200 free relay in 1:24.76.
Breitigam won two individual events and three events overall and surpassed the NCAA "B" Cut three times. He also won an OAC title as part of ONU's 400 medley relay team.
He shattered a 32-year old OAC record in the 200 fly, winning the event in 1:50.43. He broke the previous mark of 1:54.31, set by Tim Glasser of Kenyon in 1980, by 3.88 seconds.
His time of 1:50.43 was an NCAA "B" Cut and just missed the "A" Cut by .04 of a second. He shattered the ONU record as well, surpassing that by 5.28 seconds.
Breitigam won the 100 fly in an OAC and ONU record and NCAA "B" Cut time of :50.15 and earned All-OAC honors in the 200 I.M. with a second finish in a NCAA "B" Cut time of 1:54.12.
Heilbronner won an OAC title in the 100 back in :53.19 and as part of the 400 medley relay team. He was also All-OAC in the 200 back, finishing second in 1:56.78.
Freshman Spencer Franzoi won an OAC title in the 400 I.M. in 4:11.28 and earned All-Conference accolades in the 200 breast with a second place finish in 2:06.05.
Garlock earned All-OAC honors with a third place finish in the 100 back in :53.78 to go with conference championships in the 800 free and 200 medley relays and an All-Conference honor as part of the 200 free relay unit.
Bechtel added an All-OAC honor to his OAC title in the 200 medley relay with a second place finish in the 100 back in :53.78.
The Polar Bears finished 1-2-3 in the 1650 free as Northern freshman Chris Hoffman was second in 16:53.53 and ONU junior Jeff Zeleznik was third in 17:03.75.
Hoffman also earned All-OAC kudos with a third place finish in the 500 free in 4:46.97 and Zelenik also was third in the 400 I.M. in 4:13.51 to earn All-Conference honors in a second event.
Junior Albert Schmidt was All-OAC with runner-up finishes in both the 1- and 3-meter diving events. His 1-meter diving score of 430.50 was an NCAA Cut effort and he scored 422.25 points in the 3-meter diving competition.
Sophomore Kyle Rex earned All-Conference kudos in the 3-meter diving with a score of 379.15.
Samuelson was a two-time All-OAC honoree in the 200 and 800 free relays and wrapped up his career as a 10-time OAC Champion and a 17-time All-Conference award winner.
Junior Max McClary and sophomore Erik Arent also earned All-OAC honors in the meet.
McClary was third in the 200 back in 1:59.27 and Arent was second in the 200 fly in 1:55.48.
The NCAA III Championships field will be announced on March 1 (swimmers only) and on March 6 (divers).
The Championships will be March 21-24 at the University of Indianapolis Natatorium.