CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming & diving teams open their 2018-19 campaigns by hosting the inaugural Viking Relay Challenge this Friday, Sept. 28.
The meet, which will begin at 6:00 p.m., consists entirely of relays, many of the untraditional variety. A full schedule of events is located at the bottom of this article. No team scores will be kept. Live results will be available through the Meet Mobile app.
Four Ohio schools will be coming to the meet: Ashland, Baldwin Wallace, Findlay and Ursuline (women only).
Cleveland State will be led on the women's side by the reigning Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year Molly McNamara. McNamara, who also earned HL Female Scholar-Athlete of the Season honors last year, swept the butterfly titles at the 2018 League Championships, both in NCAA qualifying times. She broke school records in all three of her individual events and surpassed the League record in the 200 fly.
Senior Cassandra Oltman and sophomore Lexie Kostelnik own school records in the 200 backstroke and 1650 freestyle entering the season after breaking the old marks during the HL meet. CSU also returns three of the four swimmers that set schools records on both its 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay.
The Vikings women took third place at the League meet last year with 586 points, finishing just seven points out of second place. It was a two-spot bump from the season prior and a four-spot improvement in two years.
Six Viking men surpassed NCAA qualifying standards at the Horizon League Championships, and all of them return for the 2018-19 season. Sophomore Dominik Niedzialek broke the school record in the 200 backstroke and also swam on the record-breaking 800 freestyle relay. Senior Jared Stergar posted a trio of second-place individual finishes at the League meet, registering NCAA cuts in all three events. Senior Jason van der Touw, who also swam on the 800 free relay team that broke the school record, and juniors DJ Arslanian and Tyler Stevenson all posted NCAA cuts with their efforts at the League meet.
Senior Sean Mulvin and junior Erwan Mahoudo both return after swimming on the aforementioned 800 free relay team while sophomore Matt Akers had a standout rookie season on the diving board. Akers competed at the NCAA Zone Championships last season and was the top freshman finisher in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the League meet.
The Viking men were second at the League meet last year with 665.5 points, finishing just 66 points behind the top spot.
The last time the Vikings opened their season at home, in an official competition, came during the 2010-11 season.
CSU's second meet will be the Akron Zips Classic on the second weekend of October.
Order of Events
300 Butterfly Relay (3x100)
300 Backstroke Relay (3x100)
300 Breaststroke Relay (3x100)
500 Freestyle Relay (50, 100, 150, 200)
400 Medley Relay
200 Free Relay (coed)
1500 Free Relay (3x500)
200 Medley Relay (coed)
400 IM Relay (4x100)
400 Freestyle Relay