After one day and 12 events, the College of Staten Island men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams are enjoying good positions at the annual CUNYAC Championship Meet hosted by Lehman College in the Bronx, NY.  The Dolphins men were extremely impressive, taking first place in each of the six men’s events, holding a 52-point edge over Lehman College.  The CSI women are sitting in third place, 96 points away from 1st-place Baruch College, and 48 points in front of Brooklyn College.

Although the competition is fierce, CSI’s perennial favorites on the men’s side are delivering the hardware.  The men took the initial 200-yard Free Relay, as the team of Yury Zimarev, Tim Sweeney, Derek Villa, and Danila Novikov raced in at a time of 1:29.24, just over a second faster than Lehman’s second place squad.  After also finishing fourth in the event, CSI followed with another 1st-place finish in the 500-yard Freestyle, won by freshman Sweeney with a time of 4:53.06, beating the rest of the field by a comfortable 24 seconds. Nick Giasemis and Matt Gallo also earned points in the event.

Next up was the 200-yard Individual Medley, strength for Novikov, and the junior sprinted to a 1:57.08 finish, winning the event by a clear 10 seconds.  CSI’s Sergio Miranda was fourth in the race as well.  In one of the most heavily-contested races, Zimarev then took a win in the 50-yard Freestyle, racing in at 21.65, just .34 better than Baruch’s James Chang.  Villa also gained valuable points with a fourth place finish.

The swimming portion ended tonight with the men’s 400-yard Medley Relay, and there, CSI proved capable, winning by a seven second gap with a time of 3:36.36.  

CSI came in to the swimming portion with a lead, thanks to a gold medal performance from John Pignatelli on the men’s one-meter diving board.  Pignatelli landed 183.30 points, winning by almost 40 points.  Matt Gallo also medaled, taking the bronze, while Nolan Reese placed fourth and Miranda fifth.

CSI scored 340 points after day one.  They were followed by Lehman (288), Baruch (187), Brooklyn (178) and York (104).

The women’s portion also started with diving, and no one was better on the boards than Stephanie Collyer.  The sophomore just narrowly defeated teammate April Bartlett on the three-meter platform with a score of 174.75, just 2.90 points better than Bartlett’s 171.85.  CSI’s Tina Chan came in fourth.

In the swim portion, CSI’s highest faring came in the 200-yard Individual Medley.  Sophomore Dakota Dawkins placed fourth in the field with a time of 2:31.51, less than a half second faster than teammate Samantha Escobedo, who placed fifth.

CSI’s Hunter Dawkins was the team leader in the 500-yard Freestyle, placing eighth with a time of 6:31.43, with Kelly Walsh and Caitlin McLaughlin trailing.  In the 50-yard Freestyle, Naomi Gaggi was 12th in the field.  

As a foursome, CSI placed eighth overall on the 200-yard Freestyle Relay, but followed up later with an impressive 4:43.38 faring in the 400-yard Medley Relay, good for fourth overall for swimmers Escobedo, Jessica Pifalo, Dakota Dawkins and Priscila Alvarez.

Baruch leads the women’s pack with 292 points, followed by Hunter’s 267, and CSI’s 196.  Brooklyn is in fourth place with 148 points, followed by John Jay (113), and York (87).

Day two of the CUNYAC Swimming & Diving Championships will pick up tomorrow at 1pm at Lehman College.  The Final continues and concludes on Saturday at 9am.