CSU Men Selected Second, Women Third in Preseason Poll

CSU Men Selected Second, Women Third in Preseason Poll

CLEVELAND, Ohio – According to polls of Horizon League head coaches, the Cleveland State University men's swimming & diving team was selected to finish second in the league in 2019-20 while the CSU women's squad was projected to tie for third place.

Oakland was tabbed as the preseason favorite in both genders. On the men's side, IUPUI, UIC, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Youngstown State occupied spots three through seven, respectively. On the women's side, IUPUI took the runner-up spot while CSU and Milwaukee finished in a tie for third. UIC, Green Bay and Youngstown State rounded out the poll.

Both the men's and women's Viking squads picked up one first-place vote in the polls.

The Cleveland State men finished second at the league championships in 2018-19, surpassing the 600-point threshold for the third straight season.

The CSU men return four of their top five, and six of their top nine, individual point scorers from last year's league meet. Junior Dominik Niedzialek returns after being the Vikings' top point-scorer as he netted a trio of top-three individual finishes, including runner-up showings in the 500 free and 200 back. Classmate Timothy Kubacki finished among the top three in both the 400 IM and the 200 back while senior Dominic Poletta, a 2018 HL champion, had top-five showings in the 50 free and 100 fly.

Senior Matthew Martin won the 100 butterfly at the league meet last year in his first season as a Viking and was also among the top five in the 200 fly. Junior Matt Akers is a two-time runner-up in the 1-meter event at the HL meet and also reached the 1-meter final at NCAA Zone Championships last year.

The Viking women took fourth place at the league meet last season, finishing 20.5 points out of third place.

The CSU women return eight of their top 10 individual point scorers from last year's league meet, while six of those eight were either freshmen or sophomores last season. Sophomore Agnes Bahr totaled the most points at the league meet among CSU's returnees as she contributed a trio of top-eight individual finishes in her rookie season, including a third-place effort in the 400 IM. Junior Lexie Kostelnik finished in third place in the mile at the HL meet, after breaking the school record earlier in the season, and also was among the top eight in the 500 free. Classmate Alana Cartwright notched three top-eight individual finishes at the league meet.

Junior Libby Smith notched a pair of top-six finishes at last year's league meet and reset personal best times in all three events she swam. Junior Erica Henrichsen qualified for both the 1-meter and 3-meter finals at the HL meet after posting a season-best score in the 3-meter prelims.

Oakland is hosting the 2020 Horizon League Championships Feb. 19-22.

Cleveland State, which will be under the direction of first-year head coach Hannah Burandt this season, will open the season Oct. 18-19 at the Akron Zips Classic.

2019-20 Horizon League Men's Swimming & Diving Preseason Poll
School – Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Oakland – 42 (6)
2. Cleveland State – 39 (1)
3. IUPUI – 34
4. UIC – 31
5. Milwaukee – 20
6. Green Bay – 17
7. Youngstown State – 7

2019-20 Horizon League Women's Swimming & Diving Preseason Poll
School – Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Oakland – 42 (6)
2. IUPUI – 37
3. Cleveland State – 31 (1)
3. Milwaukee – 31
5. UIC – 25
6. Green Bay – 14
7. Youngstown State – 9