Happy Friday!

Unprecedented year? Yes! Unprecedented outcomes? Absolutely! I want to thank each and every one of you: our alumni, parents, and friends of our program for your tremendous support and outreach throughout the last 13 months. Your phone calls, emails, notes of support, participation on team meetings and not to mention your continued philanthropic gifts, have been overwhelming. Your collective efforts have kept our spirits strong during this pandemic. We overcame every obstacle we faced, lifted each other up when we stumbled, rose above and outperformed what any of us thought was possible as #OneTeamOneFamily.
The performance of our program at the Horizon League Championships was remarkable considering we didn’t have access to our competition pool and boards for the majority of the season. Every swimming and diving program in our conference faced COVID-related challenges; however, not having our primary training facility was unique to only us. You’ll find a recap of the results at the conclusion of this newsletter. We are so incredibly proud our men’s and women’s teams for the manner in which they persevered!
If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the recaps of our Conference meet check them out:
-       Day One
-       Day Two
-       Day Three
-       Day Four
-       Day Five

Our men continue to close the gap on powerhouse Oakland. Our men’s team improved upon last year’s performance by 125 points and closed the gap to be within 100 points of Oakland. We believe ending their eight-year winning streak is truly within our grasp for the men!
Our small but mighty women’s team battled and never gave up.  We did not compete with a full roster and faced adversity even at the meet itself. Every woman on our team leaned into their inherent worth as people and their strengths truly shined. They are the most resilient, kindest, supportive, and hardest working women I have ever had the privilege to coach. Our women’s team identity is the strongest it’s ever been and we are adding 10 major impact women next year. We will be completely underestimated and look forward to a truly new era for the #LadyVikes.
New Meet Format: Because of COVID-19 the League changed the format of this year’s Championships. The three-day format created new challenges for all of the teams with diving competition being moved to Monday and Tuesday and the swimming portion being condensed from three-and-a-half to three days drastically affected individuals that race in the 800 freestyle relay and the order of events causes us to alter some of our individual entry strategies. 

Winning our Team Culture, AGAIN: We invited our head men’s basketball coach, Dennis Gates, and junior bench captain Ben Sternberg to speak to our team prior to the conference meet. Both gentlemen are great motivational speakers and shared their experiences at the HL Basketball Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. The team was engaged and asked amazing questions and their remarks had an amazing effect on the team’s mental preparation and reinforced that we needed to over-prepare for bringing the energy and overcompensate on the side of team culture.  
HOW DID WE DO IT?? It took the ENTIRE team! As a #OneTeamOneFamily we walked away from Horizon League Championship with three gold medals, 12 silver medals, 12 bronze medals, men’s team runner-up and Bob Fick won Freshman of the Year.
The diving competition was an all-day marathon. Our divers got up at 7 a.m. and didn’t return to the hotel until about 5 p.m. The facility was ridiculously quiet with having only divers. The upside? I was able to travel and spend quality time with our divers and with Rich. Not having fans afforded me the opportunity to cheer even louder, (the swimmers and Betsy Karban said they could hear me on the live stream!!!) Our divers are amazing humans! They are silly, goofy, kind, hard-working, resilient, tough, intelligent and true Vikings at heart. I told Rich that he won my Diving Coach of the Year Award. What he was able to do this season in leading, coaching, supporting, and guiding our divers through the pandemic, not having a facility, not having consistent or the preferred number of practices is truly amazing. How our divers were able to perform is a testament to their relationship with Rich, the mutual trust, respect, and communication, and the character of our divers individually and collectively.
The warmups were a-la-USA Club meet warmup: in waves. The first half of the day’s events would warmup at 7 a.m. and the second half at 8 a.m. The meet began at 9:15 a.m. At 9 a.m., the very first event folks could hop back in and warmup for their event for up to 15 minutes. It was like clockwork, you had access to warmup 15 minutes prior to your event in one pool, race in the competition pool, and had an assigned warm down time after your race. If you were not racing, warming up or warming down, you had to be in the stands. We were only allowed to have two coaches on deck, so Ben was in the stands with the team. As a staff we decided it was crucial to have the entire team at warmup at 7 a.m. so we could all see and experience the warmup format. The part of the team that wasn’t warmup up started getting loud and rowdy and cheering. It was wonderful. They brought the energy and continued to bring it through every single session.
We are grateful for the University’s decision to keep its commitment and incredible investment of nearly $1 million of renovations and enhancements to our facility. It created obstacles such as not being able to work on starts, get clean swimming and quality speed training in deep water and no access to training 3-meter. As a staff we pushed our creative limits and the results spoke volumes. We are eager to see what is possible with a full year of training in our full facility next year. However, our project isn’t complete…We can no longer rely on repairs to our starting blocks, as they need to be replaced. We’ve exhausted our inventory of dryland equipment as a result of the wear and tear over the years and especially during COVID training, while replacement parts for the video display board are no longer manufactured.
In the next month you will be receiving information on the last phase of this incredible renovation project. The Busbey Enhancement Campaign will “get us to the wall” and finish these amazing renovations. Our athletics department’s advancement team, led by our Director of Athletics, Scott Garrett, has already secured a $50K matching challenge commitment from one of our own alums. On behalf of our incredible student-athletes, and our coaching staff, I’m asking each of you to please be receptive to our outreach for your philanthropic support. I’m asking relay teams to combine your resources and name a starting block(s); championship teams “pool” your resources (pun absolutely intended J) and dedicate your collective efforts to enable us to provide the tools necessary to reach the top of the Horizon again for the men and for the first time EVER with the women. Multi-year pledges allow gifts to be made more affordable and manageable when dispersed over 3-5 years.
Thank you again for your support!
Go Vikes!
Head Swimming & Diving Coach
Cell: 216.386.8067
Email: h.burandt@csuohio.edu
Social Media: @hburandt

Men’s Horizon League Championship Results April 5 – 10, 2021
Diving Results:
Matt Akers (36 points): WON 1-meter after being runner up for the past 3 years! 3rd on 3-meter
Trevor Mahoney (18 points): 11th 1 Meter & 7th 3-Meter
Michael Slaughter (10 points): 12th 1-meter & 12th 3-meter

Swim Results in alphabetical order:
Jacob Cole (4 points): Made his conference debut and first meet in 1.5 years. (J-Cole transferred to CSU in Jan. 2020 but was not eligible to compete with us until this fall); finished with all lifetime bests, 13th in the 400 IM.

Nate Eberhardt (28 points): Made his debut in the 50 free, breaking :21 for the first time just missing consolations but did it again at night by leading off the 200 freestyle relay; placed 4th in the 200 free (1:38.24); 6th in the 200 back (1:47.16); and helped the men get 2nd in the 800 free relay by anchoring in a 1:38.31; and led off the 400 free relay (44.75).

Bob Fick (48 points): Won Freshman of the Year! 7th in the 200 IM (1:50.33); 3rd in the 100 fly (48.10), and won the 200 fly (1:36.36 in prelims and 1:36.39 in finals).

Danny Frederick (9 points): Transferred from UW-Green Bay. Had a disappointing prelims swim, 4:33.21 for 10th but turned it around at night and lit up the consoles winning in 4:27.57. Unfortunately, Danny’s conference meet came to an abrupt end after suffering a concussion in the stairwell.

Blake Fry (12 points): 20th in the 200 IM (1:52.94); 11th 100 breast (55.68); and 11th 200 breast (2:03.68)

Reno James (6 points): 14th 200 IM (1:51.90); 14th 400 IM (4:01.44); and 21st 100 free (46.54)

Jack Krusinski (42.5 points): 5th 200 IM (1:49.88); 6th 100 breast (55.05); and 3rd 200 IM (1:58.46)
Timmy Kubacki (52 points): 3rd 500 Free with a PROGRAM-RECORD time of 4:24.35 (this takes down our OLDEST record set by Bjorn Schanztz in 2006)!!! Won the 400 IM 3:49.80 resetting his own PROGRAM-RECORD, swam the fastest split inside the 800 freestyle relay (1:37.61); and finished 3rd 200 back (1:43.84)

Bob Lenart (25 points): Made his debut on the 200-freestyle relay (20.46); 15th in the 50 free (20.78); 8th 100 fly (48.63); 7th 200 Fly (1:50.28)

Thomas Lundin (7 points): 30th in 50 free (21.29), 13th 100 fly (49.84), 14th 200 fly (1:51.33)
Griffin Manning (38 points): 12th 200 IM (1:51.15); swam 53.05 on the inside of the 400-medley relay and 24.08 inside the 200-medley relay, 3rd 100 bre­ast (53.70); and 2nd 200 breast (1:58.39). He now holds the second fastest 100 Breast & 200 Breast in program history and is knocking on the door to breaking one of our oldest program records (Jakub Dobies 52.94 set in ‘09 and Nathan Grant 1:58.25 set in ‘14).
Colin Martin (38 points): Broke :20 for the first time anchoring the 200 freestyle relay with a :19.94!!; 13th 50 free (20.58); 48.03 fly on the 400 medley relay; 21.10 fly on the 200 medley relay; 2nd 100 fly (47.72); 2nd 100 free (44.04) for the 3rd fastest swim in program history; and 44.34 on the 400 free relay.

Dom Niedzialek: 4th 500 Free (4:27.15); 48.03 back on the 400 medley relay; 22.35 back on the 200 medley relay; 2nd 100 back (47.81); 1:39.64 inside the 800 free relay; 2nd 200 back (1:43.79). Dom was very close to re-breaking his own program records, which is amazing considering how many days he had to quarantine traveling to and from Poland
Nikita Pisarenko (19 points): 18th 200 IM (1:52.83); 10th 100 breast (55.68); 7th 200 breast (2:00.79)

Jake Taulbee (39 points): 8th 500 Free (4:31.13); 1:45.87 200 Back (prelims); Dropped 20 seconds to swim into 3rd place - mile (15:30.36); and 15 minutes later raced the 200 back finishing 7th in the absolute hardest double possible! His swim in finals was a 1:48.03, second best time only to his morning swim!!

Kenny Thomas (30 points): 20.53 on the inside of the 200 free relay; 9th 50 free (20.36); Anchored the 400 Medley (45.38); Anchored the 200 medley relay his first ever split under :20 with a :19.77!!; 5th 100 Back (48.96); 10th 100 free (44.73); 44.11 on the inside of the 400 free.

Spencer Tussing (44 points): 5th in the 500 free (4:27.54); 6th in the 200 free (1:38.96); 1:39.74 on the inside of the 800 freestyle relay; 2nd Mile (15:25.19); and anchored the 400-freestyle relay (45.46).
Women’s Horizon League Championship Results April 5 – 10, 2021
Diving Results:
Erica Henrichsen (21 points): 4th on 3-meter and 11th on 1-meter
Maggie Micko (8 points): 13th 3-meter & 13th 1- meter
Swimming Results in Alphabetical Order
Agnes Bahr (5 points): 26th in the 200 IM, 12th in the 100 back, 19th in the 200 back
Rachel Contich (44 points): 3rd in the 500 free (4:55.58), swam on the 200 free relay that placed 3rd (23.77), anchored the 200 medley relay (23.83) , 3rd in the 200 freestyle (1:51.62 prelims/1:51.53 finals), anchored the 2nd place 800 freestyle relay (1:51.55), 7th in the 100 freestyle (52.19)2, anchored the 400 freestyle relay which placed 3rd (51.56)
Sophia Davis (1 point): Making her Conference debut after transferring into the program last year and not making the conference squad! 31st in the 200 IM, swam on the 400 Medley Relay, swam on the 200-medley relay, 16th in the 100 breast (1:06.11), 19th in the 200 breast
Emily Deitz (15 points): Led off the 200 freestyle relay (23.47) which is the 3rd fastest swim in program history, 4th in the 50 free (23.58), 10th in the 100 back in prelims (57.68) but had to scratch finals due to her POTS flaring up, we scratched her out of her individual 100 free and she led off the 400 free relay with a 51.97 which helped the relay get bronze!
Caroline Hughes (28 points): 10th in 200 IM (2:04.76), Led off the 400 medley relay (57.18), Led off the 200 medley relay (26.54), 5th in the 100 back (56.64), 10th in the 200 back (2:04.17)
Kat Jerry: Made her Conference Squad Debut with 29th in the 50 free, 22nd in the 200 free, and 26th in the 200 free
Lexie Kostelnik (45 points): 4th in the 500 free (5:46.15), 6th in the 400 IM (4:30.40), swam a best time inside the 800 free relay,  2nd in the mile (17:04.02)
Kellsie Krisch (13 points): 22nd in the 200 IM, 18th in the 100 breast, 6th in the 200 breast (2:19.80)
Abbie Ramey: 24th in the 200 IM, 20th in the 200 breaststroke
Hayley Rupp (4 points): 23rd in the 200 IM, 14th in the 100 fly (58.61), 16th in the 200 fly (2:09.81),
Ana Sofia Sousa: 22nd in the 500 Free, 200 freestyle relay, 800 freestyle relay & 400 freestyle relay
Jordan Stump: 34th in the 50 free, 24th in the 100 fly, 27th in the 100 free
Sule Van Der Merwe (32 points): 13th in the 200 IM (2:07.22), 800 freestyle relay, 7th 400 IM (4:31.06), 3rd 200 back (2:00.22)
Irena Weclawiak (18 points): 10th in the 50 free (24.00), anchored the 400 Medley Relay (52.42), 15th in the 200 free, 800 freestyle relay, 9th 100 free (52.19), 400 freestyle relay (52.08)

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