CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State University men's and women's swimming & diving teams combined to break three school records in the four races contested as both programs hosted the opening day of the Horizon League Championships Wednesday inside the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.
The CSU men capped off the night with a thrilling win in the 800 freestyle relay, stopping the clock in a new school record 6:32.96. The Viking men were seeded fourth entering the event, but the quartet of junior Jason van der Touw, junior Erwan Mahoudo, freshman Dominik Niedzialek and junior Sean Mulvin made sure that was no matter when the race ended.
The Vikings were in fourth place after the first leg and had moved up to second at the halfway mark. Cleveland State still trailed favorite Oakland by a half second heading into the final leg, but Mulvin split 1:37.33 to bring home the win in front of his crazed teammates. His final leg was more than one second faster than any other anchor leg swim in the relay.
Both Cleveland State women's relays broke school records Wednesday.
The 200 medley squad—junior Cassandra Oltman, freshman Gracyn McQueary, junior Molly McNamara and senior Jamie VanDewerker—finished second in 1:40.51. The Vikings were fourth at the halfway mark and still in third entering the final leg but edged up another position to take runner-up honors. Oltman's lead split was a new career best, McQueary and VanDewerker both posted the second-fastest leg in the relay while McNamara had the fastest third leg.
CSU's 800 free relay squad was seeded sixth entering the event but bettered that by three places to finish on the podium. Freshman Irena Weclawiak, sophomore Meghan Bobick, junior Claudia Zido and sophomore Gabriella Marinelli finished in 7:24.12. The Vikings were in sixth 400 yards through but finished strong, using splits of 1:50.00 by Zido and 1:50.73 by Marinelli, to top the prior program standard.
Back on the men's side, Cleveland State took runner-up honors in the 200 medley relay in 1:28.24. Senior Jonathan LaValle, junior Jared Stergar, sophomore DJ Arslanian and sophomore Tyler Stevenson comprised the group. Arslanian had the fastest third leg in the relay while Stergar was second fastest on the second leg.
Freshman Erica Henrichsen made the podium in her debut Horizon League Championships event as she took eighth place in 3-meter diving. She scored 244.15 points in the prelims before posting a score of 181.55 in the finals.
Van der Touw's lead split in the 800 free relay of 1:38.26 made him the second fastest performer in school history in the 200 freestyle. Weclawiak's lead split of 1:51.41 made her the third fastest performer in program history in the 200 free as well.
The CSU men are tied for first with 74 points while the women are in sixth place with 77 points.
The Championships continue Thursday with three individual swimming events, men's 1-meter diving and the 200 freestyle relay.