Vikings Celebrate Seniors in Setbacks to Buffalo

Vikings Celebrate Seniors in Setbacks to Buffalo

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming and diving teams dropped their final dual meets of the season to the University at Buffalo Saturday afternoon inside The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.

The CSU men fell, 149-94, while the Viking women dropped a 160-83 decision.

Saturday also represented the final home competition for the Vikings this season. The programs celebrated the five women's seniors and seven men's seniors in a pre-meet ceremony that featured the seniors walking through a tunnel of their remaining teammates down the pool deck.

Sophomore Curtis Roden tried to steal the spotlight from the seniors right away, as he began the meet by posting a career high 347.75 points in 3-meter diving. He easily surpassed the NCAA qualifying standard of 320 points, marking the second consecutive meet he topped the qualifying mark in that event. Roden posted 275.65 points in 1-meter diving.

Senior Philipp Sikatzki, a reigning first team All-American, swam at the Busbey Natatorium for the final time Saturday. He won his signature event, the 100 butterfly, in a NCAA 'B' cut time of 47.46 seconds. He also swam the lead leg of the 200 medley relay that Cleveland State won in 1:29.84.

Following Sikatzki on the winning 200 medley relay were senior Phillip Brittain, freshman DJ Arslanian and senior Declan McLaughlin.

McLaughlin added an individual victory in the 50 freestyle in 21.37 seconds. Classmate Aidan Burton was the runner-up in the same event in 21.57 seconds.

Arslanian was second in the 100 freestyle (46.88) and took third in the 100 butterfly (50.13) while Brittain took third in the 50 breaststroke (26.07).

Junior Grant Wethington collected an individual event for CSU, claiming the 50 butterfly in 23.33 seconds.

Senior Robert Tolson and junior Jonathan LaValle each posted runner-up finishes for the Vikings. Tolson was second in the 200 freestyle (1:42.69) while LaValle was second in the 50 backstroke (23.68).

Sophomore Sean Mulvin took third in the 200 free behind Tolson in 1:44.81 while freshman Tyler Stevenson was third in the 400 IM in 4:14.74.

On the women's side, junior Tobie Zeller won a pair of individual events and also swam on a winning relay. Zeller swept the breaststroke events, claiming the 50 in 30.16 seconds and topping the field in the 100 in 1:06.43.

Zeller also swam the second leg on the CSU's winning 200 medley relay that stopped the clock in 1:45.93.

Sophomore Cassandra Oltman led off the relay while sophomore Molly McNamara and junior Jamie VanDewerker followed Zeller.

The trio that joined Zeller on the winning relay each notched runner-up finishes on the afternoon.

McNamara was second in both butterfly events, finishing the 50 in 26.27 seconds and ending the 100 in 56.75 seconds. VanDewerker was the runner-up in the 50 backstroke (27.70) while Oltman was the runner-up in the 100 back (58.91). VanDewerker finished third in the same event in 59.92 seconds.

Freshman Gabriella Marinelli contributed a trio of top-three finishes, all in freestyle events. She took second in the 200 (1:53.93) and was third in both the 50 (24.50) and the 100 (52.79).

Senior Tori Taffner posted a season-high 276.95 points in 3-meter diving while competing for the final time in home waters.

Cleveland State will continue action next weekend when it sends a select group of student-athletes to the Ohio State Winer Invitational for a two-day meet.