The handful of College of Staten Island swimmers participating in the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis continued to shine tonight, advancing into the final heat of two out three events tonight, securing a fifth and sixth place finish on the Championship’s third of four competitive days.
Individuals were the highlight of the day as CSI featured sophomore Danila Novikov in the 200-yard Butterfly, along with senior Vladislav Romanov in the 100-yard Backstroke and sophomore Andrey Tarasov in the 100-yard Breaststroke. The events happened back to back, making for an exciting evening for the bunch.
In order to participate in the medal round in the evening, CSI needed to place in the top 16 in the morning preliminary heat. Romanov and Tarasov were able to complete that feat after the morning round. Novikov was the first Dolphin of the three up, already having won CSI’s only medal on Wednesday in the 200-yard Individual Medley. Novikov was successful at beating his own previous best time of 1:53.64 by racing to a 1:52.30 mark in the morning. Still, Novikov placed 21st in the field, preventing him from moving further into competition.
That wasn’t true, however, of Romanov, who came into the 10-yard Backstroke competition seeded seventh overall, just a few hairs off projected medaling times. Romanov, like Novikov was successful at beating his own previous best, posting a 49.12 mark in preliminaries, good enough to bounce up one slot into sixth place, insuring a trip in the evening heat. Once there, Romanov stayed true, coming in at 49.18 to again finish sixth. It was a close race overall as only two seconds separated first from eighth place in the heat, and Romanov was in seconds place after the group’s first turn. Denison’s Robert Barry won the competition with a time of 47.77, a new NCAA DIII record.
It was be hard to top the intensity of the Backstroke, but Tarasov in the Breaststroke provided plenty of excitement as well. The sophomore came into the event seeded 15th, right on the cusp of qualifying for the evening medal heat. That made Tarasov’s time of 56.56 quite impressive, as it was a hair over half of a second faster than his seed time, and bounced the sophomore into seventh place overall and just under two seconds off the leader.
Feeling that he could improve in the evening, Tarasov reached back and gave another incredible performance in the evening final, just narrowly missing a medal by finishing in 5th place with a time of 55.16, another half of a second faster than his previous best. In a race where exactly one second separated second from fifth place, Whitewater senior Rory Buck won the event with a time of 54.71.
The great faring on Day Three for CSI catapulted them up two places in the team standings to 10th overall, their highest position ever after three days of competition. CSI will participate in the 200-yard Backstroke and Breaststroke events and the 400-yard Freestyle Relay as well.