Men's Swimming and Diving Preview: Purple Raiders Aim to Climb OAC Standings

Men's Swimming and Diving Preview: Purple Raiders Aim to Climb OAC Standings

The 2011-12 edition of Mount Union's men's swimming and diving team will be very young, setting a solid foundation for the future. The Purple Raiders have just one senior on the roster, but return two All- Ohio Athletic Conference swimmers that will look to push their young teammates to reach their potential.

Head coach Eric Mojock enters his fifth season at the helm of Mount Union's swimming and diving programs. Twelve of 17 swimmers are freshmen and sophomores, making this Mojock's youngest since his first season as a Purple Raider. That team finished third at the 2008 OAC Championships, while the team has finished fourth each of the past three seasons.

A pair of All-OAC performers in juniors Rob Brocious (Mentor/Mentor) and Mike Greisl (South Euclid/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) headline the returners for the Purple Raiders. 

Brocious had a strong performance at last year's OAC Championships, earning three All-OAC honors. He was the only individual on the men's team to win an event, taking the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:39.93 to go along with a pair of third-place finishes in the 100-yard backstroke and 1650-yard freestyle. He was also a member of last year's school-record-setting 200-yard medley relay team (1:37.38) that placed third at the OACs.

Also returning from that relay team are Greisl and sophomore Mike Zappa (Shelby/Shelby). Greisl and Zappa were joined by Dominique Melvin (Woodmere/Orange) as members the 200-yard freestyle relay team that set a school record with a time of 1:26.33, also good for third place.

Greisl was an All-OAC performer as a freshman, placing among the top five in three events, including a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle. Last year, he finished fourth in both the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle.

Melvin is the team's lone senior and will captain the team along with Brocious. He is sort of the "big brother" on the team, not only figuratively but also literally. His younger brother, Zach, is a sophomore on the team.

Other returners for the Purple Raiders include juniors Ben Davies (Willoughby/Willoughby South) and Ian Perry (Perry/Perry) and sophomores Tom Bricmont (Bay Village/Bay) and Austin Moreland (Dover/New Philadelphia).

The team welcomes an eight freshman—Nick Bester (Chagrin Falls/Kenston), Hayden Birnbrich (Pataskala/Columbus St. Charles Prep), Aaron DeAngelis (Euclid/Euclid), Harrison Falconer (Canton/Central Catholic), Adam Figliuzzi (Bay Village/Bay), Ryan Kmet (North Royalton/North Royalton), Brian Ruhe (Versailles/Versailles), and Thomas Spichiger (Granville/Granville)—for the second straight year.

The Purple Raiders open the season Saturday at home against Hiram. Dual matches with Ohio Wesleyan, St. Vincent (Pa.), Wooster, Penn State-Behrend, and Westminster, a tri-meet at Florida Tech, and the Wooster Invitational round out their non-conference schedule. The OAC Championships are scheduled for Freburay 16-18 at the University of Akron.

2011-12 Schedule
29     HIRAM                              1 pm
4        at John Carroll *                6 pm
5        at Ohio Wesleyan               1 pm
19      BALDWIN-WALLACE *     4 pm
1-3     at Wooster Invitational       TBA
9 ST. VINCENT (PA.)                 5 pm
4         at Florida Tech                 3 pm
14       at Ohio Northern*             1 pm
20       at Wooster                       5:30 pm
21       WILMINGTON *              1 pm
28       at Penn State-Behrend      1 pm
4        WESTMINSTER (PA.)       1 pm
16-18 OAC Championships #        TBA

* OAC contest
# at University of Akron