Three School Records, Two First-Time Winners on Final Day

Three School Records, Two First-Time Winners on Final Day

CHICAGO, Ill. - The Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming and diving team combined for three school records and two first-time individual champions as both programs wrapped up the Horizon League Championships Saturday inside Flames Natatorium.

The CSU men finished in second place with 663 points, the fourth time in the past five years the Vikings have placed in the top two. The CSU women finished in fifth with 382 points.

Senior Philipp Sikatzki was named both Men's Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Year and Men's Swimmer of the Meet for the second consecutive season. He is the first athlete in League history to win either award on a solo basis in consecutive years. He won three individual titles for the second straight year, finished his career with eight overall and also swam on two winning relays this year.

The Viking men ended the Championships with a bang as they shattered the school record in the 400 freestyle relay. Seniors Robert Tolson and Phillip Brittain, sophomore Tommi Wolst and senior Philipp Sikatzki finished in 2:56.33, breaking the previous program record by over two seconds and resetting the pool record as well. Tolson led off with a 45.05 split, Brittain followed with a 44.53, Wolst posted a 44.22 split and Sikatzki anchored in 42.53 to finish the come-from-behind win.

The women's 400 freestyle relay team earned a spot of the podium with their third-place effort. Freshman Gabriella Marinelli, junior Jamie VanDewerker, freshman Meghan Bobick and senior Anna Evans stopped the clock in 3:25.12. Evans posted a 50.06 split in her final collegiate swim, the third-fastest split of any competitor in that relay.

Sikatzki had began his evening by blowing away the field in the 100 freestyle, resetting his own school and League Championship record and surpassing the pool record as well. He finished in 42.94 seconds, won the event by over two full seconds and was more than one second under the NCAA 'B' cut time.

Tolson took seventh in the same event (45.36) after posting a personal best in the prelims. Brittain was 11th (45.75), sophomore Sean Mulvin was 13th (45.79) and senior Aidan Burton was 16th (46.39).

A pair of sophomore both won their first League title within a matter of minutes.

Sophomore Jared Stergar had entered the 200 breaststroke as the sixth seed, but he made sure that didn't matter at all. He won in 2:00.79, bettering his prior personal best by close to two seconds. Stergar trailed at the 150-yard mark by .60 seconds but furiously rallied over the final 50 to become the champion.

Freshman Tyler Stevenson was third in the same event in 2:01.63, over three seconds faster than his seed time, while sophomore Addison Kaufmann was 10th in 2:05.24, bettering his seed by over three seconds.

While Stergar came from behind, Cleveland State's other first-time champion led from start to finish. Molly McNamara ran away from the field in the 200 butterfly, breaking the school record by close to one second and surpassing League Championship record. She won the event by well over two seconds and was easily under the B standard. Senior Meghan Miller was 15th in the same event in 2:07.78.

Evans and Marinelli finished seventh and eighth in the 100 freestyle in 51.42 seconds and 51.55 seconds, respectively. Evans' time was more than a half-second better than her prior personal best. VanDewerker was 13th (52.14) and Bobick was 16th (52.82).

Junior Tobie Zeller had a fantastic swim in the 200 breaststroke consolation final. She won in 2:17.40, surpassing her previous personal best by over three seconds. Sophomore Morgan Massie was 13th in 2:21.14, easily surpassing her PR, while senior Madisen Tretter was 15th in 2:23.21.

Sophomore Cassandra Oltman was 14th in the 200 backstroke in 2:04.83, dropping nearly two seconds from her preliminary swim. Senior Ally McConnell was 16th in the 1650 freestyle, winning her heat in 18:25.35.

Wolst took third in his final individual swim, the 200 backstroke, in 1:46.70. Junior Jonathan LaValle was eighth (1:50.68) while freshman Ryan Johnston was 12th (1:50.70).

Freshman DJ Arslanian was in a tight battle in the 200 butterfly final and was out-touched at the wall. Nonetheless, the rookie posted an impressive runner-up finish in 1:49.07, almost two seconds faster than his prelim time. Junior Grant Wethington was sixth in 1:51.37, topping his previous PR by over a second Saturday.

Senior Patrick Walsh took 10th in the 200 fly in 1:52.06, posting a new PR by over a second despite swimming the 1650 in the afternoon. Walsh took 14th in the 1650 in 16:36.37 while sophomore MacJilton Lewis was ninth in 16:15.05.

Sophomore Curtis Roden had a fine ending to his first League Championship. He posted 290.95 points in 3-meter diving to take third. Two of his dives scored more than 58 points, including his final one, a 3.5 somersault tuck that earned 58.80 points. Freshman Antony Styrt was 10th (262.80) while sophomore Anthony Haywood was 15th (205.55).

A limited number of Viking men will continue the season on the first weekend of March at a Last Chance Meet hosted by Ohio State.