Centenary Swimming Aims for High Mid-Con Finish
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

2004-05 Ladies and Gents Swim Team

SHREVEPORT- Momentum continues to build as the Gents and Ladies gear up for the 2004-05 Mid-Continent Conference Swimming Championships in Rochester, Michigan, this week. By doubling the numbers of student athletes, the 2005 season will mark the first time under the direction of head coach Butch Jordan that Centenary will be able to compete as a team rather than individually. Jordan has molded a squad of 23, which has the potential to make history for the Maroon and White by bringing home top Mid-Con accolades.


Centenary swimming is on a record setting pace, surpassing the overall team win record and demolishing 14 school records. So far, the season has been highlighted with Mid-Con athlete of the week honors, record-breaking times, surpassing personal bests, and stand out victories. 


“Our training regimen has been intense for the last couple of weeks,” said Jordan. “It is unfortunate that our last week of training falls over Thanksgiving break, but the team is dedicated to our goal and will continue to train until we regroup on Monday.”


The Gents will have a tough road ahead as last season’s Mid-Con men’s championship saw Oakland win 17 of the 20 events. Leading the charge is returning sophomore Robert Trempski.  He recorded Centenary’s highest finish at the Mid-Con meet last season with a runner-up effort in the 100 yard backstroke (53.72) and also qualified for the finals of the 100 yard freestyle (50.40) in which he placed 14th. This season, the Gents have depended on the 6’6 swimmer’s consistency to score points. He leads the team with five first- place finishes, just ahead of junior Jacob Stevens and freshman sprinter Roddie Haley, each with four.


As 2004-05 team captain, Stevens continues to dominate in non-conference competition, placing in the Mid-Con top ten in the 200 free, 1000 free, 100 back, and 500 free. At last year’s conference meet, Stevens picked up a fourth-place finish in the 200 IM and seventh and 11th place in the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle respectively. His talent headlines the Gents medley events as he looks to improve on last year’s conference outcome, swimming in the 200 free and 200 IM.


Rounding out the returning class is junior Matija Fojs, holder of four school records, and sophomore Devin Rourke. Fojs is a versatile swimmer looking to surpass last year’s third-place finish in the 200 freestyle by focusing his ability in the distance events, while Rourke aims to break more school records swimming in the 400 IM, along with 100 and 200 breast in Rochester.


Oakland’s Golden Grizzles, scoring over 1000 points en route to their fifth consecutive Mid-Con title, also dominated the women’s Mid-Con championship. Rookies Sara Hansen and Lori Von Pingel have led the Ladies, placing in the top five in every event they have competed in this year. Combined, this talented duo has broken five school records.  Hansen leads the Ladies with four first places finishes and will showcase her talent in the 200 and 100 fly, and 200 IM.  Von Pingel will compete in four events including the 200 free, 50 free, 200 breast, and 100 free.


Ladies 1000 free record holder, Kayli LeBlanc collected a 100 fly tenth-place spot in last year's conference meet. In addition to her valuable individual performances, she also has been a key member on the record breaking relay teams. She will compete in the 1650 free, 100 fly, 200 IM.


Centenary welcomed 16 newcomers to the roster this season. Jordan’s cast of freshman standouts jump started the season, posting eight-second place finishes in their collegiate debuts.  Traci Wimberley (backstroke), Ross Gilbert (distance freestyle), Melanie Zimmerman (freestyle), Robert Hendricks (distance freestyle), and Dustin Myers (freestyle) have all proven themselves as noteworthy newcomers.


With a lineup led by experienced veterans and chalked full of determined freshman, Centenary will put up a valiant effort to break Oakland’s five-year streak as conference champs, beginning on Thursday at 6 p.m.  The Mid-Con meet runs through Saturday, with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. each day. The meet is hosted by Oakland and will be held at the OU Aquatic Center.