CSU Men Win Magnus as van der Merwe Breaks Record

CSU Men Win Magnus as van der Merwe Breaks Record

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State University men's swimming & diving team won their sixth consecutive Magnus Cup while junior Sule van der Merwe of the women's squad broke a second school record for the CSU women in as many days as both programs concluded action in the eighth annual event Sunday inside Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.

The CSU men won their home invitational for the sixth year running, finishing with 1,509 points. The Viking men easily outdistanced second-place Xavier, finishing 427 points ahead of the Musketeers.

The Viking women took third place with 989.5 points. It marks the highest finish for the CSU women at the event since 2013 while they also achieved their highest point total in six years.

"This weekend we had breakout swims, breakthrough swims, season bests, lifetime bests and set school records," head coach Hannah Burandt said. "Most importantly, we had fun, competed for one another and unleashed our truest potential in our last competition of 2019. 2020 will bring the newest and greatest era of Viking swimming and diving."

The CSU men put their finishing touches on another successful Magnus Cup by winning five of the six events contested Sunday.

Senior DJ Arslanian won an individual event and also swam on a winning relay.

Arslanian won the 100 freestyle in a new personal best of 45.14 seconds. Senior Jack MacDonald took third (45.39) and junior Ryan Sedlak was fourth (46.43) with the former tallying a new personal best in prelims. Sophomore Bob Lenart also scored in the 100 free (47.20) after posting a new personal best in prelims.

Sophomore Jack Krusinski and senior Matthew Martin both won events in new personal-best times.

Krusinski won the 200 breaststroke in 2:00.52, more than two seconds better than his personal best entering the day. Senior Tyler Stevenson was the runner-up (2:03.26) while junior Josh Hodges was fifth (2:07.25). Krusinski became one of the top-five performers at CSU in the event while Hodges notched a career best in prelims.

Martin won the 200 butterfly in a personal-best 1:48.40 while Arslanian was the runner-up in 1:50.84. Lenart took fourth (1:52.23) while senior Sam Sawyer (1:59.32) and sophomore Austin Harper (1:56.81) also scored, the latter in a personal best.

Just as in the 200 breast and 200 fly, the Viking men took the top two spots in the 200 backstroke. Juniors Dominik Niedzialek and Timothy Kubacki finished 1-2 in 1:45.25 and 1:46.38 as the former snagged the meet record and the latter tallied a personal best.

Freshman Nathen Eberhardt (1:51.58), senior Ryan Johnston (1:54.06), Sawyer (1:55.51) and senior Austin Spruill (1:57.65) also scored in the 200 back with Eberhardt posting a personal best in prelims.

Junior Alec Bowie was the lone scorer for the CSU men in the 1650 freestyle as he finished in 16:02.28.

Arslanian, Sedlak, Lenart and MacDonald won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:02.27. In one of the more exciting races of the day, MacDonald helped CSU come from behind, splitting 44.75 in the final leg, to claim the win.

One day after freshman Emma Kerro broke a CSU record on the boards, a fellow new female Viking broke a school record with a swim. Van der Merwe finished the 200 backstroke in 2:00.62, topping the prior CSU standard by nearly a full second. Her personal-best time put her in second place, one of three Vikings among the top 10.

Sophomore Agnes Bahr finished in sixth (2:03.59) while senior Chuchu Yang (2:04.74) was eighth. Freshman Caroline Hughes (2:05.40), who posted a new personal best by nearly one second, and senior Madi Jaszcz (2:08.18) also both scored in the 200 back.

Junior Lexie Kostelnik and freshman Rachel Contich finished 1-2 in the 1650 freestyle in 17:08.00 and 17:17.64, respectively. Freshman Hannah Cooper took eighth in 17:35.68 while both Contich and Cooper moved into CSU's all-time top-10 in the event.

Junior Libby Smith added another top-three showing for the Vikings as she took bronze in the 200 breaststroke in 2:20.73. Classmate Gracyn McQueary also scored for CSU, finishing in 2:23.87.

Senior Gabriella Marinelli led four Vikings that scored in the 100 freestyle as she took seventh in 52.22 seconds. Juniors Irena Weclawiak (52.50), Alana Cartwright (52.98) and Shaw Barney (53.28) all scored as both Cartwright and Barney posted new personal bests in prelims.

Sophomore Stephanie Sipple moved into CSU's all-time top-10 list in the 200 fly as she took eighth in the event in 2:07.29. Contich (2:09.56) and Cooper (2:09.74) also scored in the event with the latter resetting her personal best.

Marinelli, Weclawiak, Cartwright and Barney finished fourth in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:31.00.

With their big fall invitational concluded, the Viking men and women will return to competition in the first days of 2020.