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AU’s men’s swimming and diving team dominates Empire 8 all-star team
3/02/09

ALFRED, NY — The Empire 8 announced its all-conference selections for men’s swimming and diving on Sunday, and Alfred University, which won the state and Empire 8 championship meet over the weekend, was well represented.

Of the 20 individual and relay events for which all-conference First Team honors were awarded, 13 were won by AU athletes. Saxon junior Kameron Chambliss (Alfred Station, NY/Alfred-Almond) was named Empire 8 Diver of the Meet and AU head coach Brian Striker was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

Alfred won its third straight Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association (UNYSCSA) and Empire 8 titles. The UNYSCSA championship meet —held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Nottingham High School in Syracuse — also serves as the Empire 8 championships.

Chambliss won both the 1-meter and 3-meter Empire 8 diving titles to claim First Team all-conference and Diver of the Meet honors. He placed second in each event among all competitors at the state championships. For Striker, it was the third straight year he has earned Coach of the Year honors from the state and Empire 8. AU has now won four UNYSCSA and five Empire 8 titles in Striker’s seven years as head coach.

Four other Saxons earned First Team Empire 8 honors in individual events:

Senior Brian Agro (Gray, ME/Cheverus) earned First Team honors in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley. His times of 56.86 seconds in the 100-yard breast and 2:06.96 in the 200-yard breast are new Empire 8 championship records. Agro met NCAA “B” provisional cut standards in each of the three events. Agro won UNYSCSA titles in the 100-yard breast and 200-yard IM (1:53.58, new AU record) and was runner-up in the 200-yard breast.

Senior Matt Baker (Weedsport, NY/Weedsport) was Empire 8 champion in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke (in Empire 8 championship record times of 50.79 seconds and 1:52.34, respectively) and was a Second Team Empire 8 all-star in the 200-yard IM. He won a state title in the 100-yard back, an event for which he has already automatically qualified to compete in the NCAA Division III championships. He also turned in NCAA “B” cuts in the 200-yard back and 200-yard IM (1:53.63, earned in the preliminaries at the UNYSCSA meet).

Junior Andrew Brisson (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich) was First Team all-Empire 8 in the 200-yard freestyle and earned Second Team honors in the 100-yard free. Brisson was runner-up in the 200-yard free at the UNYSCSA meet and met NCAA “B” cut standards in the 100-yard free (46.15 seconds) and 200-yard free (1:42.21).

Sophomore Zach Mix (Mt. Morris, NY/Mt Morris) was First Team Empire 8 in the 200-yard butterfly (1:54.81) and Second Team in the 100-yard fly (51.77 seconds). He was second in the 200-yard fly among UNYSCSA competitors.

Senior Mark Baker (Weedsport, NY/Weedsport) was Second Team Empire 8 in the 50-yard freestyle (21.31 seconds).

Alfred took First Team all-conference honors in four of five relays and was Second Team in a fifth.

The team of Matt Baker, Agro, Mix and sophomore Tyler Olsen (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga) were First Team in the 400-yard medley relay (Empire 8 and AU record and NCAA “B” cut time of 3:23.51); Matt Baker, Agro, Mix and Mark Baker were First Team in the 200-yard medley relay (Empire 8 and AU record and NCAA “B” cut time of 1:32.34); Matt Baker, Mark Baker, Olsen and Brisson were First Team in the 800-yard freestyle relay (6:59.58); and Matt Baker, Mark Baker, Olsen and Brisson were First Team in the 400-yard freestyle (AU record and “B” cut time of 3:05.22).

The AU team of Mark Baker, Mix, Olsen and Brisson earned Second Team honors in the 200-yard free relay (1:24.78).

The Saxons who earned provisional cuts in individual and relays will learn later this week if they’ve qualified to compete at the NCAA Division III championships, March 18-21 in Minneapolis, MN. Sarah Blair (Auburn, NY/Auburn), a sophomore on the AU women’s team, earned an NCAA “B” cut in the 50-yard free at the women’s state meet Feb. 19-21. The women’s NCAA championships are also scheduled for March 18-21 in Minneapolis.