Akron’s Ashley Drazkowski kicked off the final session of the Zippy Invitational with a win in the 1650, nearly breaking 17 minutes in the process. She finished in 17:00.65, followed by Marshall’s Kaley Gregory in 17:02.24 and Bloomsburg’s Caroline Hodgins in 17:05.74.
Brandon Hopkins of IUP surged to a victory in the men’s event, breaking the meet record with a time of 15:48.59, the only swimmer under 16 minutes. Following in 2nd and 3rd were Brandon Sherbo of Bloomsburg (16:02.75) and Shawn Warner of Niagara (16:04.63).
Ludwika Syznal blew out the field on the women’s side, swimming to a new meet record time of 1:55.04. The Akron sophomore finished ahead of her teammate Ashley Niznik (2:00.35) and Marshall’s Madison Pulfer (2:01.13).
The meet records continued to fall, as Niagara senior Shane Baxter dropped seven seconds from prelims for a winning time of 1:47.17. Rudy Da Costa of IUP (1:49.75) and Aaron Cancro of Bloomsburg (1:51.73) rounded out the top three.
Illinois State’s Marissa Yontz nearly broke 50 seconds in this event, winning with a time of 50.16. She finished ahead of Marshall’s Danica Ross (50.83) and Akron’s Hannah Raspopovich (51.57).
Yuri Fernandes of IUP took the men’s event in 45.90, holding off Bloomsburg freshman Josh Grzech who was just behind in 45.94. Finishing third was Andrew Richey of IUP (46.51).
Winning a very tight battle between the top three was Marshall freshman Nele Albers, who touched at 2:19.17. Finishing second was Akron’s Kristen Vargas, another freshman, in 2:19.71. Bloomsburg’s Nikki Young was third (2:19.97).
The men’s race wasn’t quite as close, as Zach Fountain of IUP took the event in 2:02.97. Finishing in 2nd and 3rd were Bloomsburg’s Paul Rocchi (2:05.01) and his teammate Tyler Gross (2:05.91).
Junior Erin Seiler of Akron won the 200 fly with a time of 2:01.19. IUP’s Aniella Janosky was 2nd in 2:02.94, followed by Bloomsburg’s Rachel Brooker (2:03.99).
James Robichaud of Clarion was victorious in the men’s event, going 1:52.38 to best the field. Finishing 2nd was Bloomsburg freshman Frank Dello Buono (1:53.93) and 3rd went to IUP’s Benjamin Adams (1:54.36).
400 free relay
The women’s race came down to the wire. The Illinois State team of Yontz, Laura Paskoff, Kristin Verkler, and Katherine Nelson came out on top, finishing in 3:25.36. Yontz led off in 50.54, the fastest time with a flat start or relay start. Akron’s Niznik and Raspopovich both split sub-51 on the back half of their relay, but the lead that Yontz helped build was insurmountable. Akron clocked in at 3:25.90. Finishing third in 3:28.58 was Marshall.
The men closed out the meet with an equally close race. IUP trailed Bloomsburg by .37 going into the final leg, but IUP sprint star Fernandes popped a 44.90 split to take down Bloomsburg. IUP touched at 3:04.00, followed by Bloomsburg A in 3:04.54, then Bloomsburg B in 3:05.58.
FINAL TEAM SCORES
Illinois State 1615
Franklin & Marshall 694
Full meet results here