CSU Breaks Three School Records on Opening Day

CSU Breaks Three School Records on Opening Day

CHICAGO, Ill. - The women's 200 medley relay and men's 800 freestyle relay broke school records as the Cleveland State swimming and diving teams opened the Horizon League Championships with a limited number of events Wednesday inside Flames Natatorium.

Senior Tori Taffner also began her final League Championships with a splash, posting a NCAA qualifying score while finishing second of 18 competitors in 3-meter diving.

Sophomore Cassandra Oltman, junior Tobie Zeller, sophomore Molly McNamara and junior Jamie VanDewerker finished the opening final of the League meet in 1:40.97 to finish fourth. The quartet surpassed the previous program record, which had stood since 2012, by more than .70 seconds.

The Vikings broke a school record in the final event of the day, the men's 800 freestyle relay. Seniors Philipp Sikatzki and Robert Tolson and freshmen Tyler Stevenson and DJ Arslanian finished second in 6:34.09. Sikatzki broke the school record in the 200 freestyle with his opening split of 1:35.87, the fastest split of any leg of any team in the relay. Tolson raced impressively as well, posting a split of 1:37.41.

The CSU men battled Oakland down to the wire in the men's 200 medley relay and took second in 1:26.85. Sikatzki, sophomore Tommi Wolst, Arslanian and senior Phillip Brittain comprised the opening event for CSU on the men's side. Sikatzki had the fastest lead split (21.23) while Arslanian tied for the fastest split of the event on the third leg (20.90).

After qualifying with the fifth-highest score in the afternoon preliminaries, Taffner found another gear in the finals. After posting 44.55 points on her first dive of the finals, Taffner surpassed 49 points on each of her next four dives. She scored 52.50 points with a forward 1.5 somersault 2 twist free on her second dive. On her fourth dive, she scored 53.20 points, her highest-scoring dive of the day, on a reverse 2.5 somersault tuck.

Taffner finished second with 282.45 points, her highest score in a collegiate competition in over four years. Her finals score was over 35 points higher than that in the prelims and is a mark that qualifies her for the NCAA Zone Championships.

Freshman Gabriella Marinelli, freshman Meghan Bobick, sophomore Claudia Zido and McNamara finished fifth in the women's 800 freestyle relay in 7:30.10.

After the opening day of action, the CSU men sit in second place with 68 points while the Viking women are in fifth with 75 points.

The Championships continue Thursday with three individual swimming events, men's 1-meter diving and the 200 freestyle relay. Preliminaries begin at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.