Press Release courtesy of Cleveland State Athletics
A pair of student-athletes on the Cleveland State University men’s swimming & diving team garnered weekly honors in a pair of announcements Tuesday.
Freshman Matt Akers was named Horizon League Men’s Diver of the Week by the League office while junior Jason van der Touw was selected Horizon League Men’s Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.
Both Vikings played key roles in leading CSU to a come-from-behind win over League foe Green Bay in Cleveland State’s home opener.
It is the first weekly recognition of any type for Akers. It is the second time that van der Touw has been honored as a Viking, with this being the first time CollegeSwimming has honored him.
Akers swept the diving events in a dual with Green Bay this past weekend, just his second collegiate meet. After topping the field in the 3-meter preliminaries, he proceeded to win the 3-meter event with 302.45 points. He edged out teammate Curtis Roden and was more than 22 points clear of the top Phoenix diver. He had four dives top 50 points, including a forward 3.5 somersault tuck that earned him 58.80 points.
After finishing third in the 1-meter preliminaries, Akers rebounded in a big way in the finals. He won the 1-meter event with 299.75 points, more than 10 points clear of second place. His 1-meter score was a quarter-point off the NCAA Zones qualifying standard and also represented a season high. All of his dives topped 47 points, and he ended the meet in style by scoring 54 points with his reverse 1.5 somersault 2.5 twist free.
Van der Touw was a part of four Viking victories over the two days of action against Green Bay as he helped CSU win three relays and placed first in an individual event. He began the meet by swimming the lead leg on CSU’s winning 200 medley squad that finished in 1:32.32. In his first individual swim of the weekend, he won the 200 freestyle in a season-best 1:40.56, more than two seconds clear of the runner-up.
On the second day of the meet, van der Touw began by swimming the lead leg of CSU’s winning 400 medley relay, as his lead split of 51.08 was the fastest in the race. He posted a pair of runner-up individual finishes Saturday in the 100 freestyle (46.65) and the 500 freestyle (4:42.49), posting a season-best time in the former.
The Vikings needed to win the final event—the 400 freestyle relay—to have any chance of coming back and taking the dual against the Phoenix. Van der Touw swam the anchor leg of the relay. When he began his leg, the Vikings trailed, but he notched a split of 45.14 seconds to pull out the event win, helping CSU win the dual in the process.
Cleveland State will resume action Nov. 17-19 when it hosts the sixth annual Magnus Cup.