Lions Close NCAA Championships in Style; Finish 13th in Nation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Saint Leo five men's swimming representatives capped off the 2013 NCAA Championships in stunning fashion as the Lions posted ninth place finishes in the 200 Back and the 400 Free Relay, while finishing 19th in the 1650 Free.  Despite taking just five representatives to the Championships, the Lions still managed to earn 108 points, finishing 13th in the nation.

"We finished on a high note and that is important," Head Coach Paul Mangen said.  "We set another school record with Pawel's 200 Back, and the men won the consolation heat in the 400 Free, and in the process we jumped to 13th and overtook Tampa."

The first swim Mangen references is Pawel Trenda's 200 Back where he finished in ninth with a time of 1:46.18, just outside of the championship swim but good enough for a school record performance.  He also makes reference to the 400 Free Relay with Milton Alberto-Requejo, Gabe Keown, Trenda and Matheus Assis that finished ninth with a time of 2:58.68.

With the added points from both events, the Lions bumped their team total points up to 108 and managed to jump fellow SSC school Tampa who finished with just 92.

In the Lions' other swim, senior Michael Cozzi closed out his collegiate career with a 19th place result in the tournament's longest event, the 1650 Free,  He touched with a time of 16:39.37.

"We all learned a lot at this meet and to have 80 percent of the group coming back we have a lot to build on," Mangen said.  "The bar will get set even higher and we will have to answer the NCAA bell when the time comes, but for now we shift focus to academics and planning for next season."

With the NCAA Championships now concluded, the Lions will return to Saint Leo and begin preparations for the 2013-14 swim season, which gets underway in October.

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