Sikatzki, Wolst Help Vikings to Four Titles on Friday

Sikatzki, Wolst Help Vikings to Four Titles on Friday

CHICAGO, Ill. - Senior Philipp Sikatzki won two individual titles for the third consecutive year, sophomore Tommi Wolst won the first of his career and the duo helped the team to a relay victory, as the Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming and diving teams continued action in the Horizon League Championships Friday inside Flames Natatorium.

The closest title-winning race was the final one of the night, the 400 medley relay. Sikatzki led off with a 46.70 split and was followed by Wolst, who split 54.18. Freshman DJ Arslanian then split 47.54 in the butterfly leg. Senior Robert Tolson was challenged by a late Oakland charge, but the veteran would not be beat as he split 44.32 to bring home the win in 3:12.74.

It was the fourth win in the last six years for the Viking men in that event and their 10th overall, the most in Horizon League history.

The relay was the third title swim of the evening for Sikatzki and the second for Wolst.

Sikatzki won both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke for the third consecutive year. He won both events in pool-record times and NCAA 'B' cut times. He claimed the fly in 45.97 seconds, a mark only .12 seconds shy of the 'A' qualifying standard. Sikatzki won the backstroke in 46.63 seconds, a mark more than 1.75 seconds clear of the 'B' standard.

After earning a trio of top-three individual finishes as a rookie, Wolst claimed his first individual League title with a win in the 100 breaststroke. He stopped the clock in 54.41 seconds, nearly one full second under the 'B' standard.

Three other Vikings claimed runner-up finishes Friday.

Arslanian took second to his teammate in the 100 butterfly in 48.52 seconds. Junior Grant Wethington was seventh in the same event in a new personal best of 49.56 seconds.

Sophomore Jared Stergar was the runner-up in the 400 IM in 3:56.59. He bettered his personal best entering the day by over three seconds. Three other Vikings scored in the event as senior Patrick Walsh was 10th (4:00.87), sophomore Addison Kaufmann was 11th (4:03.35) and freshman Ryan Johnston was 13th (4:06.52). Both Walsh and Kaufmann bettered previous PR's by over six seconds.

Sophomore Molly McNamara earned runner-up honors in the women's 100 butterfly by stopping the clock in 54.50 seconds. Her time was only .01 seconds off a NCAA 'B' cut. Classmate Cassandra Oltman was 11th in the event in 56.72 seconds.

Junior Tobie Zeller took fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.98. She had posted a new personal best of 1:02.79 in the prelims. Senior Madisen Tretter was 10th (1:04.29) while sophomore Morgan Massie was 14th in a new personal best (1:05.56).

Junior Jamie VanDewerker was fifth in the 100 backstroke for the Vikings in 56.04 seconds. Oltman was 11th in 56.50 while senior Anna Evans tied for 15th in 57.70.

Freshman Gabriella Marinelli was sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:51.65) and was followed closely by classmate Meghan Bobick (1:52.48), who took seventh. The duo were the only two freshmen in the final while Bobick entered preliminaries seeded 15th and dropped almost three seconds off her seed time. Sophomore Claudia Zido was 14th in a new personal best of 1:53.40.

The women's 400 medley relay team finished fourth in 3:45.77. The group consisted of VanDewerker, Zeller, McNamara and Marinelli.

Senior Tori Taffner finished sixth in 1-meter diving with 234.40 points. The veteran posted the top score in the prelims (260.40) and previously qualified for NCAA Zones with her 3-meter performance.

Wolst was far from the only Viking to score in the 100 breaststroke. Senior Phillip Brittain took the bronze in 55.41 seconds, a mark over three seconds faster than his seed time. Junior Patrick Tippen was eighth in 56.48 while senior Declan McLaughlin was 13th in 57.52.

Before anchoring the winning relay, Tolson had finished third in the 200 freestyle in 1:38.93, over one second better than his personal best. Sophomore Sean Mulvin took 11th (1:40.66), freshman Tyler Stevenson was 13th (1:40.93), senior Aidan Burton was 14th (1:42.23), and Arslanian was 16th (1:43.72).

Following Sikatzki in the 100 backstroke were junior Jonathan LaValle, who took sixth in 49.98 and Burton, who took 13th in 51.33.

A Viking has now won the men's 100 fly in each of the past five years. That is the longest such streak for one team in that event in League history.

Both programs moved up the standings Friday as the men now sit second with 431 points while the women edged up into fifth with 281 points.

Cleveland State closes action in the Championships Saturday with the final five individual swimming events, men's 3-meter diving and the 400 freestyle relay.