Fredonia State Athletics, where success is a tradition

Sports Information Department 112 Dods Hall
Phone (716) 673-3100 / Fax (716) 673-3136

CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
Sports Information Director

DATE: Tues., Feb. 13, 2007


Swimming & Diving

Progress measured in All SUNYACS, team records, and more

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five All SUNYAC performers. Fourteen new team records. Competitors in nearly every final event. Fifth place for the men, and same for the women.

Each accomplishment is additional proof of the upward curve the Fredonia State swimming and diving teams continue to ascend in their fifth season back as a varsity program.

The bulk of the 2006-07 competition ended Saturday on the final day of the SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships. The Blue Devil men made the most progress by moving up three spots in the conference standings with 329 points, just 5.5 points back of fourth-place New Paltz. The women accumulated 343 points over the three days of competition.

In addition, freshman Noor El-Tahawy (Port Washington/Schreiber) became the first Fredonia State male to become a SUNYAC champion in 17 years. El-Tahawy won the 200-yard butterfly in record-setting time.

"Fredonia," head coach Arthur Wang said, "should be very proud of the way the team performed."

El-Tahawy was one of five Blue Devils chosen to the all-conference team. He and female diver Kelly Sponholz (Alden/Alden), who successfully defended her women's 1-meter and 3-meter springboard titles, earned First Team status. Scott Horsington (Rochester/Churchville-Chili), Mike Seay (Grand Island/Grand Island), and Teresa MacInnes (Tonawanda/Kenmore East) made the Second Team.

In addition, Sponholz was again named Female Diver of the Meet. A sophomore, she is in line to compete in the NCAA championship meet for the second straight season. This year, however, she might have company. Horsington and MacInnes, like Sponholz, have posted NCAA provisional scores. They are waiting to hear if they will be invited to compete March 8-10 at Houston, Texas.

"The divers again stood out and accounted for a huge amount of points," Wang said. "The five women divers accounted for over 120 points ... Horsington and Christian Torres (Dunkirk/Dunkirk) contributed over 50 points."

The swimmers also did their part. Of the 14 new team records, 12 were set in the SUNYAC pool -- and 10 were by women. Senior freestyle specialist Cassie Austin (Cuba/Cuba-Rushford) accounted for three new marks, one on each day of the meet -- the 50 free Thursday, the 200 free Friday, and the 100 free Saturday. Nearly as prolific were sophomore Emily Dizer (Tonawanda/Sweet Home) and freshman Monica Dunlevy (Batavia/Batavia). Each set two individual team records -- Dizer the 100 and 200 backstrokes, Dunlevy the 500 and 1,000 freestyles. Dizer, freshman Taylor Kelly (Wading River/Shoreham-Wading River), freshman Lindsay Aromola (Hamburg/Frontier), and Dunlevy also combined for a school record in the 400-yard medley relay record. In addition, Kelly was responsible for a new 100 breast stroke mark, while Sponholz broke her own 3-meter mark.

On the men's side, there was El-Tahawy's 200 butterfly record, a new 200-yard individual medley record by Seay, and a 200-yard medley record by the quartet of sophomore Dustin Sprague (Olean/Olean), senior Brian Ruffles (Angola/Lake Shore), El-Tahawy, and Seay. Like Sponholz, Horsington broke his own 3-meter record.

But the Blue Devils' progress at SUNYACs, Wang said, should be measured in more than wins and records. Of special note, he said, were the times turned in by Dunlevy, freshman Mandy Nelson (Frewsburg/Frewsburg), and sophomore Tazio Dragani (Restof/York) in the 500 freestyle preliminaries on the first day of the meet.

"(They) set the tone for the team on the weekend," Wang said, "by all having significant drops in their preliminary swims. In a championship meet of this magnitude, momentum created by big swims in the morning spread among team members very quickly."

Wang feels the momentum started by those swimmers, and by the performance of the team as a whole at the SUNYAC meet, bodes well for the future of the program.

"This team is extremely young," he said. "We have so much to look forward to in the years to come. (The underclassmen) will be the backbone who will set the tone for our future successess. They will be following in the footsteps of my first full class of seniors under Coach (John) Crawford's and my guidance.

"The team is indebted to (seniors) Chris Oaks (Macedon/Palmyra-Macedon), Nathan Peterson (Frewsburg/Frewsburg), Scott Horsington, Laura Walther (Livonia/Livonia), Kelly Maloney (Corning/Corning-Painted Post West), Katie Langschwager (Churchville/Churchville-Chili), and Cassie Austin for their persistance and desire to leave FSU swimming and diving in a better situation than when they came."

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