Vastly outnumbered by Grand Valley State University, Ball State University finished second at the Doug Coers Invitational Saturday with 675 points. Despite being undermanned, the Cardinals showed progress from their last tournament and exhibited several impressive individual efforts, with four event victories.
After his team finished second for the second consecutive year, coach Bob Thomas said he was very pleased with his team's efforts.
"What I was looking for here was improvement from the last meet and we showed that today," Thomas said, "The goal is to continue to improve each and every time out."
Day two saved the best for last, as Ball State won the 400-yard freestyle relay, the final event of the day. It was the Cardinals lone victory of the day. Ben Battjes, Casey Schroeder, Austin Laska and Devon Hill combined to post a 3:10.82.
The men's 200-yard medley team (Tyler Dixon, Gavin McNeely, Chris Krupa and Austin Laska) placed second with a time of 1:38.36. The 800-yard freestyle relay team (Ben Karwoski, Adam Dale, Nicholas Stevens and Andrew Hostetler) also placed second with a time of 7:18.89. Third place finishes included: Mark Golden (1:48.91) in the 200-yard freestyle, Hostetler (4:22.92) in the 400-yard individual medley and Krupa (52.78) in the 100-yard butterfly.
Last year's Doug Coers Invitational was a breakout event for Krupa and was the first event where many saw him show his true form. Thomas has been very impressed with the strides Krupa has taken in the last year.
"Chris Krupa's improvement over the last year is the type of improvement most swimmers have from their freshman to senior years," Thomas said. "He improved so much in one year, and he should continue to do so."
Ball State's next meet is at home on Dec. 4, when it hosts Eastern Illinois University.