A Strong Turn Out for Men’s and Women’s
By Frank Costagliola
The College of Staten Island Men’s and Women’s swimming and diving teams got their first win of the season against Brooklyn College, at the CSI Sports and Recreation Center.
“It’s one of our division rivals,” said head coach Michael Ackalitis. “We lost to Queen’s College which is D2.”
With the win, CSI improved to 1-1 overall on the season and 1-0 in the CUNYAC. The win came after a tough loss in Flushing, Queens. The Knights beat the Dolphins by 29 points on November 2.
The Lady Dolphins came out strong in the first event, the 200 Medley Relay. The relay team of Hunter Dawkins, Dakota Dawkins, Ewa Wojciechowska, and Naomi Gaggi got there team on the board with 11 points.
The four swimmers looked sharp as they recorded a time of 2:10.46, which was 22 seconds quicker than the Bulldogs. This was not only a great start on the Women’s side but the beginning of a galvanizing victory for the whole team.
The girls continued their momentum into the third event, the 1000 Yard Freestyle. Led by Kelly Walsh’s time of 13:18.01, which was two minutes faster than any other competitor. Following Walsh was Olivia Brown. Brown finished with a time of 15:28.59 and got her team an additional four points on top Walsh’s nine.
Other notable performances on the Women’s side were by Dakota Dawkins in the 100 yard Butterfly and Caitlin McLoughlin in the 500 Yard Freestyle.
In the 100 yard Butterfly, Dawkins got her team nine points and posted a 1:13.45 time, while Brooklyn College’s Nora Schreiber was disqualified from the race. McLoughlin also got her team another nine points in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 7:07.04.
“Across the women’s side we swept a lot of the individual events, so that was definitely a plus,” said Coach Ackalitis during a post meet interview. “ We had some good swims with Ewa Wojciechowska and we also some good swims, just as a team as whole.”
On the Men’s side, Junior Tim Sweeney stole the show. Sweeney led his team to a 150-80 victory and broke CSI’s record in the 200 Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:69.02. The previous school record was also held by Sweeney with a time of 1:47.22.
“I knew it was a possibly cause I set that record last season,” said Tim Sweeney. “So in my head I was hoping that, and that was my goal coming into tonight. I felt pretty good in my race, so I was hoping when I looked at the scoreboard I’d be able to see the record broken.”
Other notable performances on the men’s side were Nicholas Defonte , Derek C. Villa, and Bandon Lei.
Defonte came in first place in the 1000 yard Freestyle and posted a time of 11:46.10 which was three minutes quicker than Brooklyn College’s second place finisher Fong Zeng.
Derek C. Villa had an impressive day and came in first place in three different races. He finished first in the 50 yard Freestyle, 500 yard Freestyle, and 200 yard backstroke.
Brandon Lei also had an impressive day. His notable performances included first place in the 200 yard Intermediate and second place in the 100 yard Backstroke.
“On the men’s side we did great all around,” said Coach Ackaliti. “ From diving, to the individuals, to the relay too.”
The Dolphins’ dominance was also displayed on the diving boards as well. The men took first place in both diving events. While Ayman El Haddad was the only CSI swimmer on his team to compete on the boards, he came up big. In the one meter dive, Haddad scored a 186.60 which was nearly 60 points higher than the runner up. Haddad also scored a 172.28 in the three meter dive which was 50 points higher than Brooklyn College’s Kevin T. Leung who scored a 122.93.
CSI will look to keep their momentum going as they continue their home stretch against their CUNYAC rivals, Baruch College, on November 20 here at CSI.
“Some of the fast time were very meaningful,” Coach Ackaliti told the Banner after the game. “They’re working so hard in practice, so if we can swim faster in the season when we are tired, it’s only going to mean we are going to able swim faster at the end of the year when we are rested.”