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Slesnick Captures Gold on Final Day of America East Championship
Men finish in third place for fifth straight year, Boston University takes title
February 26, 2012Tweet
Contact: Terrence Lollie (email@example.com)
BOSTON – The final day of competition at the 2012 America East Swimming and Diving Championship was highlighted by senior Nolan Slesnick’s gold in the 1650 free closing out a phenomenal career. The men claimed their fifth straight third-place finish with 604 points, while the women closed out the four-day meet in seventh with a score of 285. Each team crowned one champion.
Host Boston University celebrated a banner day, sweeping both the men’s and women’s championships. The Terrier’s two teams held off the pair of squads from UMBC, defeating the defending champions on both sides. Rounding out the rankings for the men was Stony Brook and Maine. On the women’s side New Hampshire took third, while Vermont and Stony Brook rounded out the top-five followed by Maine.
Slesnick won his fourth-ever gold medal at the Championships in the 1650 free, annihilating his old school-record time of 15:41.03 by almost seven seconds. The ten-time all-conference swimmer, who broke the mark he set when he won the mile swim at the 2009 conference meet, touched in a time of 15:34.41 defeating his next closest competitor by nearly 15 seconds. Slesnick missed the conference, meet and pool record by 2.42, set by Ryan Karrer of UMBC in 2006.
“We finished up in impressive fashion, as we always hope to do,” head coach Sean Clark said. “Nolan (Slesnick) roared through in the mile swim and just put forth a dominating effort. His 1000 split set the conference record, which was extremely exciting to witness and now he’s the fastest man in the America East to swim 40 laps.”
The four-year all-conference selection from Austin, Texas was named the 2012 Coaches’ Award winner, recognizing the graduating senior who accumulated the highest point total over their career. Slesnick has won four gold, four silver and four bronze medals during his remarkable four-year career at Binghamton and is the fourth BU swimmer to win the award, along with Robert Kaczynski (2005), Brian Koizim (2007) and Brenno Varanda (2009).
“He (Slesnick) is absolutely deserving of the award,” Clark noted. “He is an amazing leader and performer and we are tremendously proud of him.”
Also lighting up the water for the men was junior Tim Cabasino, who took silver in the 100 free becoming Binghamton’s sixth all-conference performer of the meet. Cabasino barely out touched his counterpart from UMBC finishing in a time of 45.48, .01 better than his competitor. BU placed three consolation finalists in the event with Devon Byrt (12th), Dan Feeley (15th) and Leo Wright (16th) all scored points for the Bearcats.
“He (Cabasino) really lit up the pool and impressed a lot of people out there,” Clark said. “Tim showed that he was one of the best swimmers in the conference.”
Other finalists for the men were juniors Andrew Ellman and Mark Cereste as well as freshman Alexi Corey. Ellman took sixth in the 200 breast (2:06.79), while Cereste place eighth in the 200 back (1:54.34) as the pair recorded their second finalist showings of the meet. Freshman Chris Doherty placed ninth in the 200 back to win the consolation final.
The trio of Josh Saccurato, John Pangal and Aaron Budner finished 5-6-7 in the 200 butterfly as each earned finalist honors. It was the third recognition of the meet for Saccurato and second for Budner. Pangal was also a finalist in the 200 fly at the 2011 Championship.
For the women, junior Olivia Baczek continued to open eyes collecting her second silver medal of the Championship, touching second in the 200 back. She also won silver in the 50 free on day one of the conference meet. Baczek finished in a time of 2:02.42, breaking the school record set by Hannah Clegg in 2003. Classmate Melissa Lindahl took 12th in the event for consolation finalist honors.
“Olivia (Baczek) really dug hard and blasted out a new school record and her second all-conference performance of meet,” Clark noted. “We’re really proud of her effort because she’s worked with incredible determination all year long.”
Other top performances of the day were turned in by freshman Corinne Zotter, who followed up her gold in the 100 breast with a finalist showing in the 200 breast. The Vestal graduate touched sixth in a new school-record time of 2:20.44, breaking her own program mark. Lauren Flower and Karissa Gorman each took home consolation finalist finishes, placing 11th and 12th, respectively.
Senior diver Jenna Easton ended her career as a Bearcat with a fifth-place finish on the meter board for her second finalist honor of the meet. Freshmen Imani Williams and Kimberly Robertson scored points for BU with a pair of consolation finalist finishes.
“Jenna’s (Easton) effort was fantastic and what a way to end a great career,” Clark mentioned. “She’s worked hard to keep her form and battled through some nagging injuries, so just an outstanding job by her.”
In the competition’s final event the foursome of Cabasino, Byrt, Feeley and Budner gave Binghamton its second relay silver of the meet taking second in the 400 free relay. The quartet finished in a time of 3:03.69 behind first-place UMBC. Binghamton placed second in the 800 free relay on day one.
“All night long I thought we proved how tough we are and really had some solid performances,” Clark ended “Everyone who was here gave everything they had and it really showed in our performance. We are confident we will swing for the fences next year and we feel good about the way our season ended up.”
Men’s Team Rankings
1. Boston U. - 896.5
2. UMBC - 842.5
3. Binghamton - 604
4. Stony Brook - 360
5. Maine - 316
Women’s Team Rankings
1. Boston U. - 741
2. UMBC - 704
3. New Hampshire - 649.5
4. Vermont - 366
5. Stony Brook - 331
6. Maine - 307.5
7. Binghamton - 285
DAY THREE RECAP
The Binghamton swimming and diving program closed day three of the America East Championship with its first gold medalist of the four-day event. Freshman and local Vestal graduate Corinne Zotter won the 100 breast in a time of 1:03.89, breaking her own school record in the process. The first-place finish for Zotter has capped a remarkable year where she broke the school record in the 100 and 200 breast.
Following the completion of day three, the Binghamton men remained in third place, while the women fell to seventh despite Zotter’s efforts at the Boston University Aquatics Center. Both Boston University squads continued to hold onto the top spots, but only by a couple of points over the two UMBC teams.
“We had a few outstanding performances today,” head coach Sean Clark said. “The teams are about where we looked like on paper but we’ve been swimming quite well so we’re pretty excited about finishing up strong tomorrow.”
Zotter’s banner day included becoming the first BU female swimmer to win a breaststroke event at the America East Championship. During the season, Zotter won one of the two breaststroke events in five different dual meets, sweeping the two events three times.
“Her (Zotter) performance was the highlight of the day,” Clark continued. “It (100 breast) was a thrilling come-from-behind victory… we knew she was looking to swim a fast time after the prelims and she really proved she was ready to perform on this level.”
On the men’s side, Nolan Slesnick added a silver in the 400 IM to his bronze from Friday night (500 free). The defending champion and top preliminary qualifier was out touched by Boston University’s Nik Astashinsky by .21. Slesnick finished in a time of 3:56.78, while teammate Josh Saccurato claimed a fourth-place showing with a time of 3:59.91. Saccurato finished third in the 400 IM at last year’s conference meet. Sophomore Colin Figus placed 10th to wrap up the scoring in the event.
Freshman diver Devin Zdanowski added to Binghamton’s hardware, collecting a hard-earned bronze medal on the three-meter board after slipping on his first dive of the finals. The Rochester native, who qualified first in the prelims, used his final five dives to score a 256.10 and secure all-conference honors. Junior Justin Mattison earned his second finalist honors of the week with a sixth-place showing.
“After slipping on his first dive of the finals and remaining focus enough to still earn all-conference was remarkable,” Clark proclaimed. “I was really proud of him to stay in the moment with his last five dives and pull through a tough situation.”
Other top finishers on the day for the Bearcat men were junior Tim Cabasino and sophomore Mogan Lloyd. The duo each finished fifth with lifetime bests in the 100 breast and 100 fly, respectively. Cabasino touched in a time of 56.67, while Lloyd finished in 50.19 (49.65 in prelims). Junior Aaron Budner took eighth in the 100 fly (50.47) and classmate Andrew Ellman did the same in the 100 breast (59.08).
DAY TWO RECAP
After two days of competition and 11 events at the 2012 America East Swimming & Diving Championships, hosted by Boston University, the Binghamton men stand in third place while the women sit in sixth. Day two was highlighted by three Bearcats earning all-conference honors, as Nolan Slesnick, Josh Saccurato and Olivia Baczek all turned in top-three performances.
“It was an exciting start and we came to perform when the points were scored,” head coach Sean Clark said. “We had some pretty good swims and overall it was a good night for us. We showed we were ready to swim this weekend and we look forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”
Slesnick started the day off collecting his fourth straight all-conference selection after touching third in the 500 free. The senior standout became just the third Binghamton swimmer to earn all-conference honors all four years. Brian Koizim, 2004-07 and Brenno Varanda, 2006-09 were the other two. Slesnick’s time of 4:30.50 was just .05 off from his personal best time.
Classmate Dan Feeley won the consolation final in the 500 free, along with Emmett Jacobi (10th), Devon Byrt (11th) and Alexi Corey (16th) all securing points for the Bearcats by claiming consolation finalist finishes.
Junior Josh Saccurato was the second BU swimmer to lock up all-conference recognition by finishing third in the 200 IM. His lifetime best time of 1:50.61 secured 17 points for the Bearcats, while teammate Aaron Budner scored significant points (12) finishing seventh with a time of 1:53.70. Andrew Ellman (11th), Mark Cereste (12th) and Colin Figus (16th) all claimed consolation finalist showings.
Tim Cabasino just missed out on an all-conference bid, touching fourth in the 50 free finishing in a lifetime best time of 20.66. Freshman Leo Wright took ninth to win the consolation final, while Morgan Lloyd claimed 13th place.
On the women’s side, junior Olivia Baczek’s excellent swim in the 50 free earned her the silver touching in a time of 23.64, just .04 behind UMBC’s Abbey McKenney. Her outstanding effort broke the nine-year old Binghamton record set by Huijue Cai in 2003 by .01.
“Olivia’s (Baczek) swim may have been a surprise to some, but not us,” Clark noted. “The way she’s been working and preparing for this weekend, it really paid off tonight. The team was really excited for her.”
Other Binghamton swimmers to claim consolation finalist honors in the 50 were freshmen Caitlin Kelly (13th), Shannon Lampe (14th) and Corinne Zotter (15th).
Senior Jenna Easton began her final conference meet strong, finishing seventh on the three-meter board (231.00) to earn her fourth straight finalist honors.
The women concluded day two in record-setting fashion as the foursome of Kelly, Baczek, Lampe and Zotter broke the one-year old school record in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:35.50. The men also claimed third in the 200 free relay with Morgan Lloyd, Cabasino, Feeley and Wright touching in a time of 1:23.09.
DAY ONE RECAP
During day one of competition a pair of BU divers earned finalist honors for the Bearcat men. Freshman Devin Zdanowski claimed fourth and junior Justin Mattison finished eighth on the meter board. Mattison earned his second straight finalist honors on the meter board, placing fourth at last year’s conference meet.
Also scoring points for the men was the 800 free relay team of Nolan Slesnick, Aaron Budner, Devon Byrt and Dan Feeley. The foursome took second place in day one’s first swimming event with a time of 6:47.44. It is the second straight year a BU foursome claimed a top-three finish in the event.