ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The York College men's swimming squad finished out the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference Championships on Sunday as they captured second for the fifth consecutive season. The Spartans finished with 553.5 points, distancing themselves from third-place St. Mary's by 54.5.
A bevy of seniors put together strong performances for the Spartans in their final collegiate competition.
Senior swimming stalwart Matt Kempel had a quality close to his time with the York program as he finaled in a pair of difficult events, the 1,650 free and the 200 butterfly. Kempel, who had already qualified for the 200 fly evening finals with a with a season-best 2:05.86, opened the evening with a 17:49.59 in the grueling 1,650. In the timed final event, Kempel's efforts resulted in an eighth-place finish. He then came back later in the evening and posted a 2:08.90 in the 200 fly, snagging eighth-place points for the Green and White.
Fellow senior AJ Bean collected a fourth-place finish in the final race of his career, the 200 backstroke. Bean clocked in at 1:59.34 to register a season-best time in the event by just over two seconds.
Jack Gottschalk put together a strong 1,650 freestyle of his own. The junior, who notched fourth last year, recorded a fourth-place finish again this season as he came in with a 17:14.08.
Thomas DeCoursey, yet another Spartan senior, notched a tie for sixth in the 100 freestyle. DeCoursey's season best time of 48.79 netted him a tie with Salisbury's Joe Wisda. Junior Alex Diehl finished just behind the pair at 48.79 as he recorded a 49.59 to take eighth-place points. Notably, senior Benjamin Hilt posted a 49.58 time in the consolation finals as he registered tenth overall.
In the 200 breaststroke, sophomore Jamie Hicks collected fifth for the Spartans with a strong 2:16.25. Hicks' best time of the 2010-2011 campaign allowed him to secure fifth-place points for York. Fellow second-year Spartan Tyler Ziegler, who had a strong CAC Championships of his own, came in seventh in the event with a 2:17.69. Steven Mercer, yet another Spartan sophomore, successfully defended ninth-place in the consolation finals as he clocked a season-best time of 2:16.40.
Seniors Steven Tobin and Steve Yeager completed their respective careers in the consolation finals of the 200 breaststroke. Both posted season-best times as Tobin finished 11th with a 2:19.92 while Yeager posted a 2:20.72 to take 12th.
The Green and White officially closed out the 2011 CAC Championships with a fourth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Hilt, DeCoursey, Ziegler, and Diehl combined for a 3:16.60 to bring the 2011 season to a conclusion.
York now bids farewell to their seven senior student-athletes. Bean, DeCoursey, Yeager, Tobin, Kempel, Hilt, and Chris Schleicher were part of a tremendous four seasons for the Green and White. Over the previous four campaigns, the Spartans posted a terrific 37-9 record including a 19-5 CAC mark.
PHOTO: Matt Kempel snagged a pair of top-eight finishes in the final day of competition at the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference Swimming Championships.