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October 29, 2011

2011-12 Season - Solid foundation figures to pay off for Vikings

Sophomore Daniel Hinck is coming off a tremendous freshman season where he ended up on the Vikings' top 10 career list in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle events.

As he enters his fourth year as the head coach of the Augustana men’s swimming & diving program, Scott Johannsen is understandably optimistic about his team’s chances heading into 2011-12. Eight letter winners return from a team that went 2-2 in dual meets and finished fifth in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin with 246.5 points.

“I think we are laying the foundation for a solid program,” said Johannsen who has an 8-7 career record in dual meets and has increased the Vikings’ point total in the conference meet each season. “The incoming recruiting class is very good and our returners have done a good job of making themselves better.”

Johannsen had praise for his two captains, senior Denny Wind (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) and junior Chris Greaves (Morris HS, Morris, Ill.). Wind competes in the sprint freestyles and will be a four year letterwinner when his career ends.  “Denny is one of those kids you love to have on your team,” said Johannsen. “He is a great leader and a tremendous example to our younger swimmers about what hard work and dedication can do for somebody.”

Greaves competes in multiple events and was on a school record breaking 800 freestyle relay team last year. In the words of his coach, “Chris is just the kind of guy who can do anything we need him to do and do it well. He is a real asset. His versatility makes him a very valuable member of our squad.”

Johannsen is happy with the progress his team has made since he took over prior to 2008-09. He is also the head coach for the Augustana women’s team.

“Our roster has changed dramatically over the past four years,” said Johannsen. “We have athletes in our program who have the ability to make the difference in what we want to achieve.”

EVENT BREAKDOWN

FREESTYLE – The sprint freestyle events will have a solid one-two punch with sophomore Daniel Hinck (Harlem HS, Loves Park, Ill.) and freshman Michael Duy (Marmion Military Academy, Aurora, Ill.). Hinck had a tremendous freshman season in 2010-11 when he turned in the sixth fastest time in school history in the 100 freestyle (:48.35) and the third best in the 200 freestyle (1:45.30).  Duy comes into his first collegiate season with an impressive resume and he figures to make a solid impact this year. Wind, a team co-captain, will supply quality depth as a veteran sprinter.

Hinck will help spearhead the distance crew along with sophomore Austin Zarbuck (Urbana HS, Urbana, Ill.). Hinck owns the second fastest time in school history in the 500 freestyle at 4:49.92 while Zarbuck is the seventh fastest in the same event at 4:53.24. Zarbuck turned in the third best time ever at Augustana in the 1650 freestyle when he clocked 17:09.91 as a freshman.

BREASTSTROKE – Sophomores Ryan Chaney (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) and Jasen Hengst (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) are the top breaststrokers. Hengst had the best time on the team in the 100 at 1:06.09 while Chaney turned in the fastest clocking in the 200 with a 2:27.00. Freshman Kyle Miller (Riverside-Brookfield HS, Riverside, Ill.) will also be in the breaststroke events.

BACKSTROKE – Freshman Aaron Holt (Mount Vernon HS, Mount Vernon, Ill.) and Greaves lead the way in the backstroke. Greaves turned in the fifth fastest time in Augustana history at 2:02.57 and his time of :58.64 in the 100 backstroke was the best time on the team. Greaves, co-captain along with Wind, will be used in a multitude of events.

BUTTERFLY – Holt and Greaves also lead the way in the butterfly with Holt handling the shorter distance and Greaves taking care of the longer event.

INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – Holt will threaten the Augustana school record in both the 200 and 400 individual medley events. Greaves had the best time on the team last year in the 400 individual medley with a clocking of 4:39.80. Hengst and Chaney will be effective here as well.

DIVING – Freshman Joshua Wielenga (School Environmental Study HS, Apple Valley, Minn.) figures to be a successful competitor in both diving events.