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

CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
Sports Information Director

DATE: Tues., Feb. 6, 2007


Swimming & Diving

SUNYAC meet starts Wednesday

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The moment has arrived for all SUNYAC swimmers and divers.

Conference individual and team championships are on the line starting Thursday when the nine SUNYAC teams congregate for four days at the Burt Flickinger Aquatic Center on the Erie Community College City Campus in downtown Buffalo.

Diving preliminaries get the meet started Wednesday.

"The team is certainly excited," Fredonia State head coach Arthur Wang said. "We started all the way back in September. This is what we have been waiting and training for. Our goals are, as always, looking to improve our times and breaking our team records."

Based on their performances last fall and this winter, the Blue Devil men appear to have a good chance to move up from eighth place in the team standings. On the other hand, the women may be hard pressed to move beyond fifth place, where they finished in 2006.

The Oswego women and Geneseo men are the defending champs.

"We have many potential individual winners for this championship," Wang said. "However, I am more concerned with how well we do as a team. The swimmers and divers know that they need to show some of their best performances in the preliminary sessions, so as to secure their locked in status at night."

Among the Blue Devils who could vie for titles are divers Kelly Sponholz (Alden/Alden) and Scott Horsington (Rochester/Churchville-Chili). Sponholz, a sophomore, won both 1-meter and 3-meter titles in 2006 and was chosen SUNYAC women's diver of the year. Horsington, a senior, won both SUNYAC titles also as a freshman. He returned to competitive diving this season as sitting out to concentrate on academics his sophomore and junior years.

Other Blue Devil women with individual title aspirations are senior Cassie Austin (Cuba/Cuba-Rushford) in the freestyle sprints, sophomore backstroker Emily Dizer (Tonawanda/Sweet Home), freshman backstroker Taylor Kelly (Wading River/Shoreham-Wading River), and junior diver Terera MacInnes (Tonawanda/Kenmore East).

On the men's side, freshmen Noor El-Tahawy (Port Washington/Schreiber) in the butterflies, Michael Seay (Grand Island/Grand Island) in the breast strokes, and Al Palmquist (Olean/Olean) in the backstrokes should be in the mix, while senior Chris Oaks (Macedon/Palmyra-Macedon) holds promise in the distance freeystyle. Seay also is a possibility in the individual medley, while freshman Christian Torres (Dunkirk/Dunkirk) could be a point-earner in the diving events.

"It will be very interesting," Wang said, "to see how theses freshmen will perform in their first championship meet. Conversely, it will be the last meet for seven seniors. We hope to come home from Buffalo with lots of smiles on our faces."

Real-time results will be available on the SUNYAC website. In addition, the SUNYAC site also has a order of events for all four days of the championship.

Single-session tickets and all-session passes will be on sale at the Aquatic Center.

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