HAMILTON, N.Y. - A trio of newcomers on the Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming & diving teams combined to win four individual events as the Vikings closed their opening weekend of competition at the Justin Jennings Memorial Invitational Saturday inside Colgate's Lineberry Natatorium.
The CSU men placed third with 742 points, just 20 points out of second place. The Viking women came in fourth with 531.5 points.
Junior Jason van der Touw won a pair of individual events Saturday and helped CSU to a relay win as well. Freshman Matt Akers won an event for the second straight day while classmate Dana Bender became the first Viking female to win an event in 2017-18.
van der Touw had some of the most impressive performances for Cleveland State Saturday. He began his day by winning the 200 freestyle in 1:41.51, two seconds faster than the second-place finisher and more than four seconds clear of third place. He then led off CSU's winning 400 free relay, as sophomores Tyler Stevenson, Jack MacDonald and junior MacJilton Lewis followed to stop the clock in 3:11.09, more than one second better than the next team.
van der Touw finished his day as an individual by winning the 100 freestyle in 47.01 seconds. He helped CSU claim three of the top four spots in the event and six of the top 15. Sophomore DJ Arslanian took third (47.56) while MacDonald was fourth (48.45). Freshman Lee Moffett added a top-10 finish in the 200 free behind van der Touw in 1:48.51.
Freshman Matt Akers swept the diving events at the meet when he won the 1-meter competition with 287.25 points. Junior Curtis Roden was third (267.55), sophomore Antony Styrt was fifth (241.15) and freshman Trevor Mahoney was seventh (218.70).
Back on the blocks, the CSU men posted three runner-up individual finishes, with freshman Dominik Niedzialek placing second in both backstroke events. He finished the 100 in 51.95, only .05 seconds out of first, and stopped the clock in the 200 in 1:54.43, less than a quarter second behind. Classmate Timothy Kubacki was among the top 10 in both backstroke events while junior Erwan Mahoudo was sixth in the 100.
Arslanian was second in the 100 butterfly in 51.44 seconds, less than .10 seconds behind the winner. Senior Grant Wethington was ninth in the same event (53.26).
Freshman Alec Bowie and Stevenson both had third-place finishes. Bowie took bronze in the 1650 in 16:51.45 while Stevenson was third in the 100 breaststroke (59.60), as junior Addison Kaufmann and freshman Josh Hodges were both in the top 10.
Hodges also took fifth in the 200 fly (1:58.00) while classmate Liam Halpin also had a top-10 finish in that event. Moffett led a trio of Vikings to top-10 finishes in the 400 IM. He was fourth (4:18.08) while Kubacki and Lewis were among the top 10.
Mahoudo led off CSU's 200 medley relay that took second and finished in 1:35.46. Junior Jared Stergar, Wethington and Stevenson followed the junior.
Leading the way on the women's side, Bender won the 200 backstroke in 2:07.11 and was one of only two individuals to break 2:10.00 in the event. Sophomore Chuchu Yang was third in the 200 back in 2:10.19.
Bender also added two more top-10 individual finishes on the day. She was seventh in both the 100 backstroke (1:00.52) and 100 IM (1:01.72).
The 100 back saw five Vikings among the top 10 with junior Molly McNamara leading the way in third (59.76). Yang was fourth (1:00.04), senior Jamie VanDewerker was eighth (1:00.67) and junior Ashleigh Bennett was 10th (1:01.18).
Four Vikings were in the top 10 in the 100 IM, and seven were among the top 18 finishers. McNamara was the runner-up in 59.96, freshman Alana Cartwright was third in 1:00.94 and junior Claudia Zido was 10th in 1:02.60.
VanDewerker led off CSU's runner-up 200 medley relay that also featured junior Morgan Massie, McNamara and sophomore Gabriella Marinelli. The quartet finished in 1:49.91.
Freshman Gracyn McQueary was third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.07 while classmate Libby Smith was seventh in 1:09.09. The duo flipped spots in the 200, as Smith was sixth (2:31.50) while McQueary was 12th (2:34.23).
Sophomore Meghan Bobick had a solid swim in the 100 free as three Vikings finished in the top eight. Bobick was sixth (54.51), Marinelli was seventh (54.42) and freshman Irena Weclawiak was eighth (54.69).
Weclawiak was CSU's top finisher in the 200 free, placing 10th in 1:58.95. Classmate Lexie Kostelnik was 12th (2:00.05) in the 200 free and was ninth in the 200 butterfly (2:17.49).
Weclawiak led off CSU's top placing 400 free relay team and was followed by Marinelli, Bender and junior Kimberly Jimenez. The group finished in 3:44.44.
Cartwright added a sixth place finish in the 100 butterfly in 59.61 seconds.
Freshman Erica Henrichsen placed fourth in a diving event for the second straight day, as she scored 247.15 points in the 3-meter event.
Cleveland State will next open dual action with meets at Xavier and Cincinnati Oct. 19-20.