Niedzialek Sweeps Backstroke Events at Zips Classic

Niedzialek Sweeps Backstroke Events at Zips Classic

AKRON, Ohio - Junior Dominik Niedzialek posted a pair of first-place finishes to lead the Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming & diving teams on the second and final day of the Akron Zips Classic Saturday inside Ocasek Natatorium.

The CSU men finished fourth with 590.5 points while the Viking women took fifth with 253 points.

"Our first meet of the 2019-20 season will forever be special and memorable," head coach Hannah Burandt said. "As a TEAM, we truly shined. Individually, we took advantage of each and every racing opportunity, collectively we cheered and were completely engaged and supportive. We have a lot to be hopeful for next week when we head up to Wisconsin for our first conference dual meet. I truly could not be more proud."

Niedzialek began his day by winning the 100 backstroke Saturday morning in 49.90 seconds. He then proceeded to earn the sweep of the event by easily touching the wall first in the 200 back. His winning time of 1:48.47 was more than 1.5 seconds clear of the runner-up.

Classmate Timothy Kubacki took fourth in the 200 back in 1:52.22.

Niedzialek also led off both of CSU's top-finishing relays Saturday evening, each of which garnered a third-place showing.

On the 200 medley relay, he was followed by sophomore Jack Krusinski and seniors Dominic Poletta and DJ Arslanian as the quartet finished in 1:32.72. In the 400 freestyle relay, Poletta, junior Ryan Sedlak and senior Jack MacDonald swam second through fourth as CSU stopped the clock in 3:06.50.

Prior to the 200 back effort, Kubacki also had a top-five showing in the 400 IM Saturday morning. He and Krusinski took fifth and sixth in 4:06.08 and 4:06.41.

Krusinski took third place in the 200 breaststroke in the evening as his time of 2:03.49 was over a second faster than in the same meet last year. Senior Tyler Stevenson was ninth in the 200 breast (2:10.94) after he had been CSU's top finisher in the 100 breast in the morning (58.02).

Senior Matthew Martin was the Vikings' top finisher in both butterfly events. He was fourth in the 100 in the morning (50.54) and 10th in the 200 in the evening (1:55.85).

Poletta was the top Viking in the 100 free, tying for fifth in 46.79, while MacDonald was right behind in seventh (46.83). Freshman Nathen Eberhardt was CSU's top performer in the 200 free, touching the wall in 1:45.01.

MacDonald, Sedlak, Arslanian and Poletta took third in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:24.50.

Competing against strong programs in the host Zips and Miami (Ohio), a pair of Viking women posted top-10 individual finishes Saturday.

Junior Lexie Kostelnik put forth a fifth-place effort in the 1650 freestyle. Her time of 17:34.89 was more than 23 seconds faster than when she swam the same event at last year's meet.

Sophomore Agnes Bahr joined Kostelnik as both significantly improved their times in the 400 IM. Bahr took ninth in 4:37.74, nearly three seconds quicker than last year. Junior transfer Sule van der Merwe was 14th (4:41.52) while Kostelnik was two spots behind her (4:42.27) and more than five seconds quicker than last season.

Van der Merwe was the Vikings' top finisher in the 200 backstroke, placing 12th in 2:07.21

Senior Madi Jaszcz was CSU's top finisher in two events Saturday morning. She stopped the clock in the 100 fly in 59.01 seconds and touched the wall in the 100 back in 59.33 seconds. Her time in the backstroke was over two seconds faster than in last year's Zips Classic.

Senior Gabriella Marinelli and junior Irena Weclawiak were close to one another in both the 100 and 200 freestyle. Weclawiak was one spot ahead in the 100 (54.03) while Marinelli finished two places ahead in the 200 (1:57.59).

Junior Alana Cartwright was the Vikings' top finisher in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.90) while classmate Gracyn McQueary was CSU's highest placer in the 200 breast (2:29.32). Cartwright's 100 time was more than 2.5 seconds faster than her performance in that event last season.

Freshman Rachel Contich was the top Viking in the 200 butterfly, finishing in 2:10.74. Sophomore Stephanie Sipple was right behind the rookie as her time of 2:11.55 was more than three seconds quicker than in the same meet last season.

In the 200 free relay, Weclawiak, senior Lauren Frank, Marinelli and Jaszcz finished in 1:40.19.

In the 200 medley relay, Jaszcz, Cartwright, junior Shaw Barney and Marinelli combined to stop the clock in 1:48.41.

In the 400 freestyle relay, Weclawiak, Jaszcz, freshman Katherine Jerry and Marinelli finished in 3:38.85.

Cleveland State will open dual action next weekend as it heads to Horizon League foes Milwaukee and Green Bay Oct. 25-26.