Patrick, Roberts Highlight First Day of IU Open Invitational
Nov. 17, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - No. 13 Indiana picked up a pair of wins in the finals of the first day of the IU Open Invitational at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on Nov. 17.
Todd Patrick won the 200-yard individual medley in an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:49.01, and Taylor Roberts took the three-meter springboard with a score of 350.25 for the Hoosiers' lone wins on the day.
Roberts improved his showing in each round, posting a fourth-place finish in the preliminary round before turning in a third-place showing with his next six dives in the semifinal round. He was joined in the finals by teammates David Legler and Justin Montrie, and former Indiana diver Jesse Rappaport. Legler finished fifth with 296.60 points in the final, while Montrie was eighth with 281.10. Rappaport was fourth with 304.30 points.
"I was pleased," head diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber said. "I thought we really showed all the way across the board a lot of improvement, and normally we don't see quite that much, so I was pleased. We did a lot of dives today. They did prelims, semis and finals all within about a four-hour period, and I thought our consistency was very good. That's a big part of it. We want to see improvement on our top dives, but we also want to see improvement in our average score. They're tired. We practiced every day this week. We haven't done anything to rest them. I hope they're dead tired and ready for a break over Thanksgiving."
IU placed eight swimmers in a total of nine finals after their performances in the preliminaries. In addition to Patrick's win, Indiana got top-five finishes from Alex Brunfeldt and John Kevin Koehler and a second-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay.
Brunfeldt, who won his preliminary heat, finished third in the 500-yard freestyle final, turning in a time of 4:33.18. Koehler, who won his heat and had the fastest overall time in the morning session, finished fourth in 4:34.50. Steffan Troxel also swam in the championship final, touching eighth in 4:48.07. Sophomore Michael Son won the bonus final for the Hoosiers, turning in a solid swim of 4:41.96.
Former Hoosier All-American Sergiy Fesenko won the championship final in 4:20.69.
Patrick, Ben Hesen, Lee Houchin and Nick Walkotten got the evening session started with a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The quartet turned in a time of 1:23.48, finishing a close second to Louisville's squad, which finished in 1:23.21.
Patrick had familiar company in the finals of the 200 IM, as Hesen, A.J. Miller, Steven Murry and former Hoosier All-American Kevin Swander all earned spots in the championship heat. Swander finished third (1:52.06), while Murry was fourth (1:53.84), Miller was sixth (1:55.06) and Hesen finished eighth (1:56.53). Freshman Frazier Miller won the bonus final of the event in 1:56.44.
With a win in his heat and the third-best overall time in the 50-yard freestyle in the morning session, Patrick earned a spot in the finals of that event, as well. He finished seventh in the championship heat, turning in a time of 21.56, and was followed by Lee Houchin in eighth (22.02). Indiana sophomore Matt Lenton, swimming unattached, was touched out in the event, finishing second in 20.51.
IU closed the evening session with a second-place effort in the 400-yard medley relay. Hesen, Ronald Hehn, Patrick and Houchin combined to post a time of 3:24.29 in the event.
"We had some guys swimming some off events that they don't normally do," head coach Ray Looze said. "I thought the team spirit and energy was not where it needed to be this morning. It was better tonight, but we've got to do a better job of that comprehensively. Right now we're not a championship team. We don't have all pistons firing like they need to. Hopefully this team will find its character and its unifying theme. Every team, every season, has to find what's going to motivate them as a whole, where every guy can relate to that passion and that goal. We can't just say we want to win Big Tens, we've got to have something that's driving us to that, or it's just empty words. So the next two days of this meet are a chance to find that intangible motivator for the group as a whole."
The IU Open Invitational continues on Saturday, Nov. 18, with prelims set for 9 a.m. and finals slated for 6 p.m.
Check back soon