PHILADELPHIA – The La Salle men's swimming and diving squad earned a decisive victory over the Drexel Dragons at the season-opener with a score of 152-140. The Explorers started off the day with a win in the 200 medley relay when the team of Daniel Fitzgerald, Blase Szyszko, Greg Fischer, and Brian Batson clocked a time of 1:34.52.
“Today was a great example of what we the coaches have been seeing daily from our teams,” noted head coach Matt Nunnally. “We got in the pool and competed every race. It is great to come out on top in both meets, but it is a long season and this is only our starting point. We also had a great showing by our alumni in the stands and of course family and friends.”
But the story of the day goes to freshman sensation Johan Roth who inarguably put together the performance of the meet. Swimming the 100 yard breaststroke in his first individual collegiate swim, Roth took first in a time of 58.78 to upset reigning Atlantic 10 champion Blase Szyszko. Szyszko, who finished second by four one-hundredths of a second, took an early lead but couldn't maintain it as Roth passed him in the final yards of the race.
Roth was victorious again in the 200 yard breaststroke with a blistering time of 2:06.09 – a time fast enough to qualify for the final heat of the 200 yard breaststroke at last year's Atlantic 10 Championship. Szyszko, with an impressive 2:11.00, finished in second place and nearly five seconds out of first. Roth closed out his meet with a victory in the 200 yard individual medley in a time of 1:57.48, his third individual win in three attempts.
Junior Cameron Cabrera put together a fantastic meet as well, taking first in the 200 yard freestyle (1:42.91) and the 100 yard freestyle (47.87). Cabrera split a 46.74 in the anchor position of the 400 freestyle relay which tied the Dragons for first in a time of 3:10.21.
The La Salle freshman did not disappoint as they collectively earned five first place finishes. In addition to Roth's three wins, Justin Hughes picked up a victory in the 200 yard backstroke in a time of 1:54.82 while Jonathan Cabral notched his first win in the 50 yard freestyle in 21.91.
The Explorers picked up a win in the 1000 yard freestyle from sophomore Stefan Sharpe in a time of 9:56.97 for a comfortable five second victory. Junior Sean McCall took first in the 200 yard butterfly (1:59.91) and senior Zach Anderson earned a win in the 500 yard freestyle in 4:49.17.
On the diving boards, junior Robert Freeling picked up a second place finish on 1 meter with a score of 253.50. Freshman CJ Gimpel finished second on the 3 meter board with a score of 252.00
The La Salle men's swimming and diving squad is back in action on Wednesday October 24, 2012 when they travel to Villanova to take on the Wild Cats.