Jacks’ men’s swim and dive team to take on Summit

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

The SDSU men’s swimming and diving team is young but versatile enough to improve on last season’s sixth-place finish in the Summit League.

Head coach Brad Erickson is looking toward three upperclassmen to lead the Jacks during the 2008-09 season.

Senior Cade Roberts has shown great improvements in practice over last season’s performance in the breaststroke when he won the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke in the season-opening meet against the University of South Dakota (USD).

“Cade swam all summer and came in very good shape and looks ready to go,” said Erickson. “He did what it takes to come in and do things well.”

Chris Holzwarth, a senior from Paradise, Calif., has been a great asset to the Jacks’ relay teams in the past, as he has been a part of the school record 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams and the 200 and 400 medley relay teams.

Holzwarth also holds the school record in the 500 freestyle.

Senior Ryan Willett, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, was a part of the 800 freestyle relay that broke the school record at the conference championships. Willett will continue swimming in freestyle events.

The Jacks have 13 newcomers this year, including 11 freshmen. Two of the most versatile freshmen are Nick Carter and Kyle Catani.

Carter, from Pekin, Ill., is expected to contribute by swimming backstroke and butterfly events. Erickson says Carter can swim nearly any event and produce a good finish.

Catani, from Ballwin, Mo., will compete in multiple events as well, swimming the butterfly and distance freestyle.

“Regardless of what the other schools have recruited, we don’t expect to be down on the bottom of the conference this year,” said Erickson.

James Motley is a junior transfer from Allan Hancock College and will swim butterfly events for the Jacks.

Jon Wendel is the other transfer coming from Juneau, Alaska.

“It comes down more to strategy to where we can place our new guys,” said Erickson. “We have some young men that we (could) score very well for us in conference.”

Senior Kyle Milleman got better as the season went on last year and swam a season best in the 200 and 500 freestyle events at the Summit League Championships.

Matt Josephson will compete in the backstroke as a junior.

Last season, Josephson swam to a seventh-place finish in the finals of the 100 backstroke at the Summit League Championships.

The Jacks have four sophomores returning: John Bisson, Jason Garder, Andrew Martin and Mark Sandager. Garder and Martin will alternate between freestyle and butterfly events.

The Jackrabbit men start the season off at the Wyoming Quadrangular in Gillett, Wyo., on Oct. 24-25. They then head to Ames, Iowa, to face host Iowa State and Summit League member Western Illinois on Nov. 1.

The Jacks will host two home meets this season when Wisconsin-Green Bay comes to Brookings on Nov. 7th, followed by St. Louis on Jan. 10 to 11.

USD will host the Jacks this season in Vermillion after SDSU started last season at home by defeating the Coyotes. SDSU will also make a return trip to Minneapolis for the Minnesota Challenge.

The season concludes at Rochester, Mich., at the Summit League Championships on Feb. 19 to 21.

#1.882303:1397313188.jpg:swimming_courtesy.jpg:SDSU’s Cade Roberts, a senior from Richland, Wash., swims the breaststroke at the intra-squad meet held at the HPER Center Pool Oct. 17.:Courtesy Photo