The 2016-2017 CUNYAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships ended on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at the APEX at Lehman College. After three days of competition, it was the College of Staten Island who were crowned the champions in dramatic fashion, for the fourth consecutive season and ninth time overall, by just 2.5 points with a score of 597.50, just slipping by the Baruch Bearcats, who earned the second place spot with 595 points. In third place were the Lightning from Lehman with 367.5. Rounding out the field was the Brooklyn Bulldogs with 259 points, and York College finishing with 23 points.
“They never give up and they fight, and just take it day-by-day, everything during the year really made a difference, all the morning practices, all the doubles, so we came through,” said CSI Head Coach Mike Ackalitis.
Day 3 kicked off with the longest event of the meet, the Men’s 1650 Yard Freestyle. Derek Villa of CSI took home the gold in the event, clocking in at 17:45.65. Matthew Greenfield of Baruch placed second with a time of 19:36.54, as Ryan Sanchez of Lehman earned third place with a time of 19:50.78
In the Men’s 100 Yard Backstroke, it was the Baruch Bearcats who dominated the event, as they earned first and second place. Joseph Vasile was able to out-touch his teammate with a time of 2:09.39 to win the gold, as his teammate Eddy Min clocked in at 2:09.63, placing second. Coming in third was Christopher Pinto of CSI, with a time of 2:12.25.
Then, it was a fight for the finish for the top three spots in the Men’s 100 Yard Freestyle, as Nicholas Defonte of CSI captured first place by just .05 seconds, with a time of 50.26. Lehman’s Chris Fischer came in second place with a time of 50.39, and Andrew Lubrino of Baruch earned third place clocking in at 50.59.
Jonathan Gorinshteyn of CSI was able to fight off two Baruch Bearcats as he earned the gold in the Men’s 200 Yard Breaststroke, clocking in at 2:17.23. The Bearcats were able to earn themselves silver and bronze thanks to Jonathan Hla with a time of 2:22.92, and teammate Erik Kantar, coming in at 2:25.52.
Another record was set by CSI’s own, Tim Sweeney once again in the Men’s 200 Yard Butterfly with a time of 1:51.93, for his sixth CUNY Championship Record.
“It was a very exciting meet, this was definitely the way I wanted to go out, I had a very good meet and I was very happy with everything,” said Sweeney.
Coming in second place in the 200 Yard Butterfly was Sam Fassler of Baruch, with a time of 2:16.96. Third place went to Adam Acevedo of Lehman, clocking in at 2:18.11.
With the CSI Dolphins only 5.5 points ahead of the Baruch Bearcats heading into the 400 Freestyle Relay, it was going to come down to the wire.
Baruch was able to win the gold in the 400 Freestyle Relay with the team of Dennis Chu, Kantar, Thomas Le, and Lubrino, clocking in at 3:30.31, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Dolphins of Staten Island, earning CSI another Championship by just 2.5 points. Coming in third in the relay, was Brooklyn College with the lineup of Umut Tanrianir, Brian Jensen, Vincent Xue, and Kevin Leung, with a time of 3:37.78.
“At the end, I guess you could say we hit a little speed bump,” said CSI Head Coach Ackalitis. “We weren’t sure what the outcome was going to be, but you never know what could happen in a three-day meet, it’s a long weekend, so everyone had to do their job and it turned out the way we hoped.”
Closing out his senior year, CSI’s Tim Sweeney adds another accolade to his list as he was named the Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship MVP for the third consecutive year, scoring 48 points, and setting two new individual records, in the 100 Yard Butterfly and the 200 Yard Butterfly.
“[Sweeney’s] really been the rock and the heart and soul of this team, along with some of the other seniors,” said Coach Ackalitis. “He still has a couple meets left so hopefully he can break a few more records, we’ll take it from there, but he leads by example and that’s why we had such great success.”
News courtesy of Michael Ackalitis.