Indiana State’s Matt Leach Named MVC Coach Of The Year

by SwimSwam 0

February 17th, 2018 College, NCAA Division I Mid-Major

Press Release courtesy of Indiana State Athletics

Indiana State swimming and diving finishes in fourth place at the 2017-2018 Missouri Valley Conference Championship meet as head coach Matt Leach was named coach of the year.

Indiana State headed into the final day of competition ready to continue their dominating momentum as the Sycamores had set new school records in every event thus far.

The Sycamores started off the day with the preliminary events.

Kendall Hansen began the day on a high as the sophomore product from Wildwood, Mo. broke her former school record finishing in third place in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:00.11.

Marlene Pavlu Lewin followed closely behind Hansen as she finished in fourth place posting a season best of 2:00.36.

The following event was the 100 freestyle where Alex Malmborg gave the Sycamores strong representation. Malmborg set a new ISU school record as she finished in seventh place with a 51.62.

Blanca Saez-Illobre provided the next notable performance for ISU. Saez-Illobre swam a 2:15.02 in the 200 breaststroke while also posting a first place finish and new school record.

The final events of the morning were possibly the most outstanding for the Sycamores.

Martina Marks, Cierra Campbell and Jacquie Price finished in fifth, sixth and seventh place as Marks set a new school record with her time of 2:03.53.

Vivian Kritikou came out hot in the final event of the morning setting a new ISU school record by a total of 48 seconds in the 1650 freestyle as she posted a time of 17:02.92. Campbell followed closely behind finishing in eighth with a 17:14.16.

Following the preliminaries the Sycamores jumped in the ice baths yet again and headed to the hotel for a very short rest as the finals session was set to start at 6 p.m.

Pavlu Lewin and Hansen kicked off the final session for the Sycamores. Pavlu Lewin posted a 1:59.50 in the 200 butterfly finishing in second place with a new school record while Hansen finished in fourth.

Malmborg earned the next record for the Sycamores as she shattered her preliminary time swimming a 51.55 and coming in seventh place.

Indiana State continued to shatter records and make history throughout the remainder of the finals.

Saez-Illobre came in first place in the 200 breaststroke posting a time of 2:13.97. This first place finish has made her Indiana State’s first ever MVC individual champion.

Price finished in second in the 200 fly with a time of 2:00.63. Marks followed closely behind finishing in fifth place.

The Sycamores ended the 2017-2018 MVC Championships as the 400 free relay team of Pavlu Lewin, Joelle Borchers, Hansen and Malmborg finished in fifth place with a 3:28.54.

“The Sycamore program really flourished into a strong contender throughout the Championships. As a program we stress getting better as the meet progresses and we did just that! The backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly groups performed really well tonight, and I can tell the future of our program is bright,” said Leach.

Following this record setting performance Valley awards were announced and multiple Sycamores earned post season honors.

Campbell, Hansen, Kritikou, Malmborg, Marks and Schade all earned honorable mention honors.

Saez-Illobre, Pavlu Lewin and Price were named First Team All-MVC, becoming the first Sycamores in program history to earn first team honors.

The final award went to head coach Matt Leach as he was named coach of the year in only his second season at the helm for Indiana State.

Last season the Sycamores came in seventh place and scored a total of 148 points at the Valley Championships and this season ISU broke every school record, came in fourth place and posted a total of 477 points overall.

“Tonight we won the MVC Coaches award because of the efforts of the entire team. This award shows how hard this group has worked all year and I cannot thank our support staff, assistant coaches, athletes and Sycamore fans enough. Thank you for a record breaking season!”

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