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Swimming and diving on move to top

Jonathon Zenk, Sports Writer
December 12, 2012
Filed under Sports, Top Stories

Last year, the Green Bay women’s swimming and diving team finished third in the Horizon League Championship, ending a run of seven consecutive conference championships. The team is off to a fast start in an effort to regain the conference title.

“The seniors are really standing out so far,” said Jim Merner, head coach. “Heather Bodin and Megan Burley are both swimming really well on the women’s side and they both had great wins in Indianapolis. On the men’s side, Jonathan Lesniak is doing wonderful. He is having some real good early season swims. Another senior, Tyler Evans is doing extremely well and Mitchell Spaeth is doing a great job diving as a senior this year.”

After dropping two straight meets, the Green Bay women, have won six consecutive meets.

The men are enjoying similar success, finishing in the top two in meets, winning a dual meet in five of the past six meets after they dropped its first two meets of the season as well as at Wisconsin, and at home against Cleveland State.

Senior Heather Bodin is having an impressive start to the season. In the Phoenix 1-2-3 Meet Nov. 16 and 17, Bodin won five total events, including two individual wins in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. She won those same two events in a win against South Dakota as well. Bodin also picked up a 200 butterfly victory in a dual victory against South Dakota. This past meet in Valparaiso, she added two more wins to her name, the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.

“I think we have done well so far,” Bodin said. “We have been working really hard and the results have been showing in our meets. We’re getting better each meet and our confidence is growing.”

Another swimmer on the women’s side who is off to a fast start to the is junior Kendra Rottier. She had a huge day in the Phoenix 1-2-3 Meet as she won four individual events, including the 500 and 1650 freestyle and 200 butterfly. Rottier won individual events at South Dakota in the 200 and 400 freestyle as well as three first place finishes in a victory against Wright State Oct. 27.

Member of the women’s swimming and diving team, Parker Wolf has had a strong start for Green Bay. She had an impressive six victories in the two-day Phoenix 1-2-3 meet. In those two days, she won a pair of individual races, while being a part of four winning relay teams. She also has a number of second place finishes, and a victory in the 200 freestyle in Valparaiso.

On the men’s side, senior Jonathan Lesniak started off the season strongly for the Phoenix. In the meet against Wright State, he helped the Phoenix win the 200 medley relay. He also came in second in the 100 breaststroke, just behind sophomore Ryan Korslin. Lesniak was also runner-up in the 100 breaststroke in the season-opener at Wisconsin.

“The House of Champions Invitational will give us a lot of momentum going forward,” Lesniak said. “We had a lot of fast swims and it gets us excited for the big meets and it shows what we can improve on. We just want to build off of it.”

Senior diver Mitchell Spaeth is having a solid senior campaign so far. In the loss to Cleveland State at the start of the year, Spaeth placed first in the 3-meter diving event with a score of 321.30. That score qualified him for his second consecutive trip to the NCAA Zone Diving Regionals, which is held at the end of the season.

He placed first in an event, this time the 1-meter diving event, with a score of 301.50, in the men’s victory against Wright State. He then capped off a strong start to the season with a first in the 3-meter event in the Phoenix 1-2-3 meet with a score of 317.90.

Senior Tyler Evans has also swam well in the season. In the men’s loss to South Dakota State, he won the 200 freestyle, while junior Robert Miner claimed first place in the 200 butterfly.

Next for the swimmers is a three week break before a Florida training trip in Venice, Fla. Dec. 31 until Jan. 9 before getting back into Horizon League play to take on UIC Jan. 12.