Leibold And Rongitsch Help Panthers To Day One Lead
Feb. 20, 2008
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Junior Robby Leibold and sophomore PJ Rongitsch led the way as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's swimming & diving team finished Wednesday in first place at the Horizon League Championships. The Panthers are off to a strong start, leading the meet after day one with 145 points.
Defending champ Wright State is close behind with 143 points, Cleveland State third with 121, UIC fourth at 111, Green Bay fifth with 106 and Valparaiso rounds out the field with 58 points.
Leibold set a school record in the 1,000 freestyle, leading the way as UWM jumped into the team lead after the event by taking four of the top seven spots. His time of 9:29.29 clocked in just ahead of the school record time of 9:29.53 that Leibold set in December of this season and was good for third place in the event.
Freshman Dan Heraly was right behind Leibold, taking fourth in a season-best 9:33.25 - taking almost 11 seconds off his previous best of 9:44.06. Freshman Bill McCarty took sixth in a season-best time of 9:38.29 and junior David Adams was seventh in a career-best effort of 9:39.41.
"When you put four guys in the top seven it shows our distance program is pretty good," UWM head coach Dave Griffore said. "You have to give a lot of credit to those guys for doing that and I was very pleased with those results and overall. We were off in some areas, but you always will be. They did a great job coming together and we are swimming well."
Rongitsch recorded an NCAA Zone-qualifying point total of 321.70, taking second in the three-meter diving event. He earned second team all-league honors, falling by just over four points in a back and forth battle with Cleveland State senior Dan Baiko, who won the event at 325.95. Freshman teammates Nick DeWitt (ninth with a season-best 276.05 points) and Josh Lindquist (10th with 218.85) finished in the top two spots in the consolation finals.
"I thought PJ dove awesome in finals tonight and in prelims," UWM diving coach Todd Hill said. "He was greatly improved over last year and just a couple points short of a victory."
The two relay teams both finished in fifth place and posted season-best times in the process. The 200 freestyle relay team of McCarty, sophomore Ed Lichinsky, junior Andrew Belton and freshman Jake Kalinowski started out the night in 1:23.47. Seniors Tyler Jefferson, Jeremy Seibel and Chase Gravengood and Kalinowksi closed the evening with a time of 1:33.57 in the 200 medley relay.
The championship meet continues tomorrow, with preliminaries beginning at 10:30 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.