INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The goal coming in to the 2012 NCAA Championships was to place in the top 5-9, but head coach Steve Kuster said his team could even finish 10th. The Ephs entered the final night of the four-night competition in 8th place and with contributions across the board they held on to 8th at the end of the championship.
The Eph duo of Paul Dyrkacz and Greg McElroy earned nighttime swims in the 200 breaststroke with top 16 times. Dyrkacz's 2:02.04 put him 4th overall and into the championship finals. McElroy whose season best time was 2:06.34 shaved 1.76 off of that and was clocked in 2:04.56, earning him a spot in the consolation finals.
Dyrkacz recorded a time of 1:59.95 in the championship finals, which was good for second place. McElroy's time of 2:04.56 placed him sixth in the consolation finals
David Taylor popped a 1:50.19 in the 200 backstroke prelim and earned himself a nighttime swim in the consolation finals. Taylor's prelim time was almost two seconds faster than his seedtime of 1:51.94. Taylor finished the nighttime race in 1:50.07 and captured sixth in the consolation finals.
The Eph quartet of Tom Vieth, Stuart Horgan, Alexander Nanda, and Paul Dyrkacz earned a nighttime swim in the consolation finals of the 400 freestyle relay when they finished in 3:04.09. Their time at night was 3:03.5 and earned them a fourth place finish.
Comments from head coach Steve Kuster:
"Finishing 8th with this group of guys considering what we lost to graduation, some folks choosing not to continue to swim and an injury to a sure point score was an indication that these guys swam particularly well.
I told both teams that finishing 8th and 2nd is nice, but most important to me is how they came here and competed and carried themselves outside of the pool. They came together as teams and I think they will all have enjoyed experience here as a team that they will remember for the rest for a long time.
I also told the two teams that while we were not perfect over the four days there was far more good than not. Some folks were disappointed with their swims and some were very happy, but overall it was a very good four days.
Paul Dyrkacz had a nice championship with a first and two seconds. In the 200 breast he was out a little slow, but he closed very fast. Greg McElroy scoring in the consolation finals in his last collegiate swim was great to see. Both Paul and Greg had huge improvements on their best in the morning prelim and did well at night.
DJ Taylor had a huge drop in his morning prelim time, which enabled him to score for us in the consolation finals with a solid race and that was important to him and the team.
Christian Gronbeck scoring in the consolation finals of the 1650 free was yet another example of one of our first timers at the NCAA meet delivering. Overall I thought our first timers came not just to experience the meet as a learning experience, but perform and they did.
I love to see our guys get out of the pool with a smile on their faces and when Stuart Horgan had a half second improvement on his split in the 400 freestyle relay and got out of the pool with a huge smile it just made it all seem worth al of the effort."