The College of Staten Island men’s swimming unit made the biggest splash among the CUNYAC contingent at this weekend’s Metropolitan Swimming & Diving Championships at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, placing 6th overall an tops among CUNYAC schools among the 18 competing schools.  Play started on Friday morning with preliminary round spanning 40 events, culminating on Sunday evening.

Of the eight total relay and individual events on Friday, CSI advanced to the evening finals on Friday in seven categories, earning a single bronze medal in the evening competition.  Before that, the relay unit of Yury Zimarev, Timur Rakhimov, Andrey Tarasov, and Danila Novikov came in eighth place in the 200 Free Relay competition, and Rakhimov individually placed 18th in the 500 Freestyle with a time of 4:55.40, six seconds faster than his morning time, which seeded him 24th.  That led to the exhilarating 200 Individual Medley, where three Dolphins squared off in heated competition.  In the morning preliminary, CSI swimmers Novikov, Tarasov, and Vladislav Romanov, were all separated by just 0.54 second, coming in fifth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.  In the evening final heat, Novikov put some separation between them, coming in at a time of 1:52.92, good for third overall and giving CSI their first medal.  Romanov was next for fifth place at 1:54.84, followed by Tarasov’s seventh-place finish, at 1:56.54.

CSI finalized Friday with a 19th-place finish by Zimarev in the 50 Freestyle (21.90), and then a very strong fourth place dash by Romanov, Rakhimov, Zimarev, and Novikov in the 400 Medley Relay, just narrowly missing out on a medal.

ON Saturday, CSI kept on their roll, landing four top five finishes and another two medals.  After a disappointing disqualification in the 200 Medley Relay, Novikov followed up with another medal, this time a silver, in the 400 Individual Medley, racing in at 4:05.40, almost seven full seconds faster than his seed time.  After a ninth-place finish by Zimarev in the 100 Butterfly (51.27) and a 16th-place finish by Tarasov in the 200 Freestyle (1:46.64), Rakhimov followed with CSI’s third overall medal, a bronze in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 57.96.  One event later, Romanov, just missed a medal, placing fourth in the 100 Backstroke, coming in 50.74, a second faster than his fifth-place preliminary time in the morning.  In the final event on Saturday, the team of Novikov, Rakhimov, Tarasov and Romanov impressed in the 800 Free Relay, improving a full five seconds on their prelim time with a 7:05.09 showing.

CSI moved up one place in the final standings thanks to Sunday’s events, which featured another three medals, all bronze, for the Dolphins.  Romanov did the honors first this time, gaining third place in the 200 Backstroke with a time of 1:50.53.  Rakhimov earned a bronze of his own in the 200 Breaststroke, coming in at 2:05.63, while in the same competition, Tarasov was just a few beats behind at 2:10.75, good for fifth overall.  One event later, CSI saw another bronze performance, this time by Novikov again in the 200 Butterfly, topping out at 1:54.01.  He was followed by Zimarev finishing sixth in the field at 1:56.79.  To conclude the swimming, the CSI foursome of Romanov, Tarasov, Zimarev, and Novikov came n 10th overall in the 400 Freestyle Relay, with a time of 3:11.22, a full four seconds faster than their preliminary time.

The College of New Jersey won the event overall with 1,297 points.  CSI finished 6th overall with 509 points.  Other CUNYAC schools to compete were Baruch College, finishing in 14th place (198 pts.) and Lehman College (15th, 133 pts.)