Vikings Combine for Five More Wins Saturday

Vikings Combine for Five More Wins Saturday

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming & diving teams combined for a 5-1 dual record against their Horizon League foes Saturday, including a perfect 3-0 mark by the men, as the Vikings celebrated Senior Day Saturday afternoon inside the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.

The CSU men posted victories over IUPUI (169-130) and UIC (192-107) for the second day in a row while also adding a win over Wright State (181-112). The CSU women took care of IUPUI (191-108) and Wright State (223-59). The Viking women lost by a mere three points to the Flames (151-148) after having beaten UIC Friday evening.

Junior Jason van der Touw posted first and second-place finishes in individual events and also helped CSU relay squads to one first-place and one second-place spot.

Van der Touw won his first individual event of the day, the 100 backstroke, in 51.22 seconds. Freshman Timothy Kubacki was fourth of 14 swimmers in that event in 52.07 seconds. Van der Touw was not far off the pace in the 100 freestyle, finishing second by less than a quarter of a second. He finished in 46.06 seconds while junior Sean Mulvin was sixth (46.52).

Van der Touw and Mulvin formed the back half of CSU's winning 400 freestyle relay squad. Sophomores DJ Arslanian and Tyler Stevenson led off the race and helped CSU place first in 3:03.03. Van der Touw, Arslanian and Mulvin were joined by junior Jared Stergar, who swam the second leg, in the 200 medley relay, as CSU placed second in 1:33.11.

Freshman Matt Akers saved his best for last on the diving board Saturday. After a slow start to the 1-meter event, the final one of the weekend, he rallied to claim victory. Despite trailing after the second, third, fourth and fifth rounds, Akers pulled ahead on the final dive of the event. He scored 49.5 points on his 1.5 somersault 2.5 twist free to push from second into first. Akers scored at least 49 points on each of his final four dives of the event.

Junior Curtis Roden was second in 3-meter diving for CSU (310.65), less than 10 points from the NCAA Zones standard, and was third in the 1-meter event (262.40).

Kubacki joined Akers as CSU rookies to win events Saturday. He was first in the 400 IM in 4:08.61, over a second ahead of the runner-up finisher. Junior MacJilton Lewis was fifth in the field of 16 in 4:12.73. Kubacki was also CSU's top finisher in the 200 backstroke, taking third in 1:53.41, while sophomore Ryan Johnston was fifth in 1:56.40.

Arslanian posted a pair of runner-up individual finishes to go along with his relay performances. He was second in the 50 freestyle (21.13) while sophomore Jack MacDonald was fifth (21.73). Arslanian was also second in the 100 butterfly (50.07) while senior Grant Wethington was fifth (51.52).

Freshman Dominik Niedzialek was the runner-up in both distance events contested Saturday. He was barely out-touched in the 1000 free (9:33.85), finishing .03 seconds out of first, but still took over 10 seconds off his time from when he contested the event last month. He also was second in the 500 free in 4:40.65.

Stergar took third in the 100 breaststroke (58.18) while junior Addison Kaufmann was fifth (58.34). That duo also represented CSU's top two finishers in the 200 as well.

Junior Erwan Mahoudo was fourth in the 200 free (1:44.03) and was followed immediately by Mulvin (1:44.04) and Stevenson (1:44.56).

On the women's side, senior Jamie VanDewerker had a strong performance in her last home regular-season meet as a Viking.

VanDewerker won the 50 freestyle in 24.43 seconds while junior Claudia Zido was fourth in the same event (24.86). VanDewerker then led a CSU contingent to places two, three and four in the 100 freestyle. She was the runner-up in 53.18 seconds while freshman Irena Weclawiak was third (53.94) and sophomore Meghan Bobick was fourth (54.33).

VanDewerker ended her day by anchoring CSU's winning 400 free relay squad. Weclawiak led off and was followed by sophomore Gabriella Marinelli and Bobick, as the quartet finished in 3:31.81.

Marinelli, Weclawiak and Bobick took spots two, four and five in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.69, 1:57.58 and 1:57.68, respectively. Marinelli was also the runner-up in the 500 freestyle in 5:10.74 while Zido was sixth in 5:17.00.

Despite swimming in back-to-back events, junior Molly McNamara still managed to pull out a pair of individual victories. She began by winning the 100 butterfly by over 1.5 seconds, touching the wall in 57.21 seconds. McNamara then swam the 400 IM for the first time this season and was more than four seconds clear of the field, winning in 4:32.36. Freshman Lexie Kostelnik was fifth in the same event (4:42.35).

Freshman Alana Cartwright and sophomore Chuchu Yang combined to sweep the backstroke events for CSU Saturday.

Cartwright smashed her personal best in winning the 100 in 57.90 seconds. Junior Ashleigh Bennett was third (58.64) while Yang was fourth (58.72). Yang came back to win the 200 in 2:06.67 while junior Michaela Bargardi was fifth (2:10.62). Cartwright also added a runner-up spot in the 100 fly behind McNamara (58.80).

CSU took two of the top three spots in both women's breaststroke events. In the 100, senior Tobie Zeller was second (1:06.72) and freshman Libby Smith was third (1:07.16). In the 200, freshman Gracyn McQueary was the runner-up in 2:24.49 while Smith was third in 2:26.60.

Yang, Zeller, Cartwright and Zido combined for a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay in 1:48.43.

Two other rookies added top-three finishes Saturday. Kostelnik took third in the 1000 freestyle (10:35.98) while freshman Erica Henrichsen was second in 3-meter diving with a season-best 257.55 points.

CSU will take next weekend off from competition before heading to Oakland for dual action Saturday, Jan. 27.