The Assumption College women and the Southern Connecticut State men opened up conference championship season over the weekend by winning the Division II Northeastern Conference championships.
The Southern Connecticut State men were led by sophomore Raymond Cswerko, who was named the meet’s most valuable swimmer.
From the meet’s very first event, the SoConn St. men were on fire. They opened up with a 1:31.08, which crushed their school and conference records from the 2012 edition of the meet by over two seconds. That included a 24.84 split on the breaststroke leg from Cswerko.
Showing the impressive year-over-year dominance of SoConn St. in this meet, none of the four swimmers on this relay were on the relay when they set the old record in 2012; and yet none of them are seniors either.
Cswerko crushed lifetime bests in all three of his individual swims at the meet, though he sat out the 200 IM where he’s the conference record holder.
First, in the 400 IM, he swam a 3:53.65 to knock six seconds off of the old conference championship record and improving three seconds from his personal best was set in prelims en route to an 8th-place record at last year’s NCAA Championships.
He followed that with a win, a pool, and another Conference Championship Record of 54.81 in the 100 breast. Finally, he swam a 1:59.15 in the 200 breaststroke to run away with the win by 5 seconds, having improved his best by just over three seconds.
He also combined with the same three swimmers, Christian Berg, Dan Elliott, and Brendan Murphy for a 3:20.61 in the 400 medley relay, which again crushed their own Conference Championship Record by 4 seconds.
The men from SoConn St. weren’t the only record breakers at this meet. The College of Saint Rose men went a 6:52.01 in the 800 free relay, which broke SoConn St.’s old meet record of 6:53.19.
Cswerko’s teammate Dan Elliot was a record-breaker as well, taking the 100 fly in 50.58, by a full second. Freshman Christian Berg had a huge weekend as well, starting with a 50.14 second win in the 100 back (by almost two seconds) to break the Meet Record; and he followed that with a 1:47.48, which actually led three finishers (Eric Howard from Saint Rose and Dogus Akay from Pace) under the old Meet Record.
The distance races saw more impressive performances from freshmen as well. SCSU’s Dylan Swanepoel won the men’s 500 in 4:38.16, and Timothy Buff from Lemoyne winning the 1650 in 16:21.69.
The women’s meet went to Assumption College, which is quite noteworthy in this corner of the country. It’s the first year after the graduation of Southern Connecticut State’s NCAA Champion Amanda Thomas, and Assumption College, in just their 7th year of existence, ended SCSU’s 10-year winning streak at the meet.
Not only did Assumption end the streak, but they ended it by 124 points thanks in part by winning 3 out of the meet’s 5 relays.
That includes Katherine Medeiros, who had a difference-making split on the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay and won the 100 yard freestyle in 53.89.
Meanwhile Pace University, despite only placing 5th, took home some hardware when senior Kaitlyn Lynch, who by college time is actually already a graduate student, was named the Swimmer of the Meet.
Lynch won the 50 free (24.17), the 100 fly (56.82), and the 100 backstroke (57.06) at this meet.
For some of the teams in this meet, this meet was the end of their season other than the NCAA Championships. For other teams, like Southern Connecticut State, will travel to Rutgers for the Metropolitan Champs next weekend.