Lions swimmers earn 18 All-American awards

The men’s swimming and diving team competed at the three-day 2004 NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships hosted by Principia College last week.

Defending NCAA Division III Champion, Kenyon College collected its 25th straight team title after accruing 678.5 points. The Lions finished in 14th place with 79 points.

The Lions earned 18 All-American honors.

In the 200-free relay, the Lions’ foursome of sophomore Jeff Glenn, freshman Kyle King, senior Steve Nepola and junior Nick Steffanci had a time of 1:24.42 to finish ninth in the event and earn All-America Honorable Mention honors.

Similarly, the Lions collected All-America Honorable Mention honors in the 200 medley relay. With a time of 1:34.49, the men finished in 12th place nationally.

Swimming the relay was sophomore Steve Swenson and juniors Davy Bisslik, Jack O’Donnell and Steffanci.

After receiving All-American status, the relay team collectively expressed their gratitude.

“It’s an honor to be called an All-American,” Bisslik said.

“I feel like a champion,” Swenson said.

In the 400-free relay, the Lions team finished 10th nationally with a time of 3:07.31. This earned the foursome of Glenn, King, Bisslik and Steffanci All-America Honorable Mention honors.

An even greater showing came in the 400 medley relay when the Lions posted a seventh place finish with a time of 3:26.01 to earn four swimmers All-America honors. The medley relay consisted of Bisslik, senior Wes Donnelly, King and Swenson.

In the 100-breast, Swenson finished in 12th place nationally to collect All-America Honorable Mention status after recording a time of 57.24 in the finals.

However, Swenson does not take all of the credit for his achievement. “I think a lot of it had to do with my new suit that I wore this year,” Swenson said. “It has good technology put into it.”

Swenson and his suit also finished 11th nationally in the 200-breast to collect All-America Honorable Mention honors.”I just swam with my heart in that race,” Swenson said.

He posted a time of 2:03.95 and just missed breaking the College’s record of 2:03.74.

Swenson anticipates even higher accomplishments in the future.”I’m expecting to break it next year,” Swenson said.

Overall, the team is looking to improve on this year’s placing.

“Some of us swam our best times but, in general, we didn’t have the best swims all around,” Bisslik said.

“However, I think we have a great team and next year it’s going to be an even better team,” he added.