Denver Dominant: Men Picked to Repeat as #SummitSD Champions in 2018

Denver Dominant: Men Picked to Repeat as #SummitSD Champions in 2018

ELMHURST, Ill. – After sweeping every swimming event at The 2017 Summit League Championships, the Denver Pioneer men's swimming and diving team was selected as the favorite to win the 2017-18 league title. The Denver men earned all five potential first-place votes for a total of 25 points.

The Pioneers earn the preseason honor for the fifth time in as many seasons as a member of The Summit League and are the league's four-time defending champion. Reigning Men's Swimmer of the Year Anton Loncar returns for his senior year after earning a Summit League title in the 200 back and placing second in the 100 back.

South Dakota State placed second in the men's poll, gathering 20 points along with one first-place vote. The Jackrabbits finished third at the Championships last year.

South Dakota (18) and Western Illinois (13) followed behind as third and fourth, respectively.

#SummitSD Preseason Notes

  • Denver returns a league-high seven all-league performers from last season, including four individual league champions. 
  • Two-time Summit League Swimmer of the Year Anton Loncar returns for his final season with the Pioneers after placing 10th and clocking a Summit League record time of 45.40 in the 100 back at the NCAA Championships. He then went on to break another record and finish seventh in the 200 back (1:39.29).
  • Reigning Newcomer of the Championships Sid Farber enters his sophomore season after finishing fourth in the 18U Final in the 50 Free at the 2017 World Championship Trials.
  • South Dakota State brings back its lone All-League selection from last year, Parker Brown.
  • The Coyotes retain all six of their All-League honorees from last year. Hunter Padgett, Josh Sorbe, Nathan Spencer and Steve Wascom comprised the 800 free relay that earned All-League honors. Isaac Morris currently holds the Coyote records on both the 1-meter and 3-meter dive.
  • Western Illinois brings back four All-Leaguers, headlined by Samir Almhiemid, who helped four relays finish third last year.
  • Valparaiso returns to The Summit League in men's swimming and diving this season after previously competing in the league from 1992 – 2007.

#SummitSD Schedule Notes

  • The 2017-18 season begins Oct. 1, with Valpo at the Butler Double Dual.
  • The first matchup between Summit League teams occurs Oct. 7 with Eastern Illinois traveling to Valparaiso.
  • For the first time, the 2018 Summit League Swimming and Diving Championships will be held at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. from Feb. 14 – 17.  

2017-18 Summit League Men's Swimming & Diving Preseason Coaches' Poll



Points (1st)

2016-17 Finish



25 (5)



South Dakota State

20 (1)



South Dakota




Western Illinois




Eastern Illinois







Athletes to Watch

Samir Almhiemid, Western Illinois – Fly/Back, Jr.

- All-Summit League in 2017

- Set three personal bests last season

- Helped 200 medley, 200 free, 400 medley and 400 free relays all finish third at The 2017 Summit League Championships


Parker Brown, South Dakota State – Diver, Sr.

- Two-time All Summit League (2016, 2017)

- Summit League Diver of the Week (Oct. 19, 2015 and Jan. 18, 2016)

- Ranks fourth in the 3-meter dive and sixth in the 1-meter dive on the SDSU Top Ten list


Turner Dobbs, Denver – Diving, Fr.

- Diver for Evanston Township and Glenbrook Aquatics

- All-Illinois honoree in 2015 and All-Conference selection in 2016

- Three-time AAU All-American


Ivan Escott, Eastern Illinois – Fr.

- Team captain for the Boyertown Navy Seals from 2016 – 2017

- First team All-Conference 100 fly, 200 free, 200 IM

- All-Berks County 100 fly in 2017


Dan Jacobson, South Dakota State – Freestyle/Sprinter, R-Sr.

- Red-shirted last year, placed in the top ten in all five events at The Summit League Championships in 2016

- Three-time All-Summit League (2014, 2015, 2016)

- Summit League Swimmer of the Week on Feb. 8, 2015

- Holds the school record in the 50 and 100 back, ranks second in the 50 and 100 free and second in the 200 back

- Holds records in the 200 free, 400 free relay and 400 medley relay on the SDSU Top 10 list


Phillip Kudela, Western Illinois – So.

- Transfer from North Dakota


Anton Loncar, Denver – Back, Sr.

- Earned First-Team All-America Honors in the 200 back (7th) and All-America Honors in the 100 back (10th)

- 2016 – 2017 Summit League Men's Swimmer of the Year

- All-Summit League in five events last year

- Finished 29th in the 100 back and 27th in the 200 back at the 2017 FINA World Championships


Isaac Morris, South Dakota – Diver, So.

- Earned All-Summit League honors after finishing second on the 3-meter dive (328.10) and third on the 1-meter (281.55)

- Two-time Summit League Diver of the Week

- Holds school records on the 1-meter (305.10) and 3-meter (333.75)


Hunter Padgett, South Dakota – Free/back, Jr.

- All-Summit League in 2017

- Placed sixth in the 1650 free (16:11.59), eighth in the 500 free (4:32.30) and ninth in the 200 free (1:39.44) at the Championships last year

- School record holder for the 200 free (1:38.99) and the 500 free (4:32.30)


Max Penn, Valparaiso – Breast/Back/Free, Sr.

- Broke two school records last season in the 100 and 200 back


Joey Weber, South Dakota State – Diver, Jr.

- Four-time Summit League Diver of the Week (Oct. 8, 2015; Nov. 1, 2016; Nov. 8, 2016; Jan. 31, 2017)

- Ranks third in the 1-meter and 3-meter dive on the SDSU Top Ten list

- Placed fifth in the 3-meter and tenth in the 1-meter dive at the Championships last year


Note: Athletes to Watch selected by league's head coaches

Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.