In a heavily competitive field, College of Staten Island men’s swimming performers Vladislav Romanov, Nikolay Shevchenko, and Danila Novikov all landed within the Top 20 performers at this year’s ECAC Division III Championships this weekend in Long Island, while Joe Lee also shined when the team swam its relay events.  The four individuals who represented the Dolphins helped CSI to an 8th place overall finish and tops among CUNYAC schools at 352 points. 
Competing in nine events overall, CSI impressed in each and every category, taking hardware home in five events.  Junior Romanov finished 11th overall in the field with 88 solo points, the most of any CUNYAC swimmer and only 40 points behind overall winner John Hu of Stevens Institute of Technology.  Romanov was followed by freshman Danila Novikov, who debuted at the ECAC’s to the tune of a 15th place finish with 82 points, while senior Nikolay Shevchenko rounded out in 20th place with 78 points.
The relay team featuring all four swimmers started the meet with the 200-yard Medley Relay, and the foursome was awesome, coming less than two seconds off the top mark, coming in third overall with a mark of 1:35.33.  Later in the meet, the foursome regrouped for another solid effort in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay, coming in at 1:28.15, good for a 5th place finish.
Individually, CSI collected its initial first-place finish via Romanov’s sensational run in the 200-yard Backstroke.  In a virtual dead-heat with Stevens’ Daniel Pecorano, Romanov claimed a 1:50.09 split, just beating Pecorano’s 1:50.88 to collect ECAC gold.  Romanov wasn’t done there.  Later, in the 100-yard Backstroke, he claimed his second gold medal when when raced to a 51:26 finish, coming in almost two full seconds ahead of the field.
When the race continued into the weekend, CSI made more strides.  In the 200-yard Freestyle, Novikov’s rookie effort merited him a 5th place finish with a time of 1:45.36 in a field of 69 total swimmers, and after Joe Lee swam to a 40th-place finish in the 100-yard Breaststroke, Shevchenko took over with a 3rd place finish in the 100-yard Butterfly competition in a field of 62.  Novikov followed that up with a 21.88 finish in the 50-yard Freestyle competition, coming in 14th among 109 swimmers.
In a nice culmination to the weekend’s festivities, Romanov, Schevchenko and Novikov all got to swim in the 200-yard Individual Medley, making it a little competitive between CSI’s finest swimmers.  In the field of 60 swimmers overall, CSI shined.  Novikov won the race among the CSI competitors, finishing 1:53.73 for 2nd place overall.  Shevchenko finished 5th overall just a short pace behind at 1:56.65, while Romanov was right behind him for 6th place at 1:56.79.
Overall, it was a quality faring for CSI, and an opportunity to build for a series of competitive races ahead, including the CUNYAC Championship, Metropolitan Championship, and of course, the NCAA Division III Championship in early-March.