CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming & diving teams continued postseason action Thursday in a pair of events.
A half dozen Viking swimmers competed as CSU hosted the opening day of the National Invitational Championship inside the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium while a duo of divers competed at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships at Purdue's Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center.
Sophomore Matt Akers qualified for the men's 1-meter final at the Zone Championships after advancing through the preliminary portion of the event. Akers finished 16th in the 1-meter prelims with 298.65 points, the most by any athlete that did not hail from a Power Five school.
Akers' score was over 50 points higher than his 1-meter prelims score from last year's NCAA Zones meet. His highest scoring dive was a reverse 2.5 somersault tuck that earned 58.50 points, one of three dives that tallied at least 54 points in his opening round.
Akers finished 18th in the 1-meter final at the Zones Championships, just seven spots away from earning an NCAA Championships berth. His final score, covering both prelims and finals, was 579.30 points. His highest scoring dive in the finals was a reverse 1.5 somersault, 2.5 twist free that netted 54.00 points.
Senior Curtis Roden, competing in a Zone Championship for the first time, finished 31st in the 1-meter prelims with 249.25 points. His highest scoring dive was a forward 2.5 somersault pike that tallied 50.70 points.
Kubacki scored in both the 50 backstroke and 200 IM. He placed 15th in the former in 23.30 seconds and was 16th in the 200 IM in 1:50.43. Both times were new career bests while the 200 IM time places him among the top 10 performers in program history.
Niedzialek finished 13th in the 50 backstroke in a career-best 23.07 seconds.
Kubacki, MacDonald, Lenart and Romstadt took 16th in the 400 medley relay in 3:25.00. Kubacki's lead leg of 49.74 seconds was a new career best.
Romstadt was CSU's top finisher in the 50 freestyle, finishing 28th in a career-best 21.16 seconds. Lenart was the top Viking in the 50 butterfly, taking 25th in 22.93 seconds.
Sophomore Alana Cartwright was the lone Viking female to compete Thursday. She finished the 50 breaststroke in 29.98 seconds and stopped the clock in the 50 fly in 25.63 seconds.
The CSU men are tied for 15th place in the NIC with 45 team points after the first of three days.
Akers and Roden will compete in the men's 3-meter event at the Zone Championships Friday afternoon. Four Vikings will compete in individual events at the NIC Friday along with the squad contesting the men's 200 medley relay.