The College of Staten Island women’s swimming and diving team wrapped up a sensational weekend at Lehman College, as the team net a third-place finish at the annual CUNYAC Swimming & Diving Championships. Perhaps more important than the overall place was the impressive run through the events that featured a host of broken school and CUNYAC meet records. There was more of that today at Day Three of the three-day championship, one that culminated in 482 points, good for third overall behind Hunter College (678), and Baruch College (550).
The third day started with the 1,650-yard Freestyle, and the Dolphins set a course right from the start as freshman Ewa Wojciechowska decimated the previous CUNYAC record of 19:59.13 with a time of 18:46.18, easily winning the event by almost two full minutes. Kelly Walsh placed fifth in the event with a time of 21:41.70.
Samantha Escobedo followed up with a fourth place finish in the 200-yard Backstroke, and was joined by Walsh, who took 9th in the field. Next up, in the 100-yard Freestyle, Victoria Crea powered to a 57.65 time, winning the race by almost two full seconds. Naomi Gaggi placed seventh in the race as well.
Dakota Dawkins continued her incredible pace, and in her signature event of the Breaststroke, she took the 200-yard event with a first-place time of 2:28.60, a new CUNYAC record, by two and a half full seconds.
After Tina Chen placed in the 200-yard Butterfly, CSI finished things off with a bronze-medal in the 400-yard Freestyle Relay, with Gaggi, Walsh, Crea, and Wojciechowska doing the honors.
For her incredible event that featured a total of three gold medals in individual events with three broken CUNYAC records to boot, Wojciechowska was the runaway winner for Performer of the Meet. “This was the best year of my swimming career,” Wojciechowska told the CUNYAC. “This is the first year that I genuinely loved swimming.”
Despite CSI’s third-place finish overall, the team boasted more first-place finishes than any other CUNYAC side, and the most since Head Coach Michael Ackalitis took over the program. Those advanced steps spoke volumes in the pool this weekend.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to do so well,” Ackalitis noted. “A lot of this new to our women’s team like breaking conference records and qualifying for ECAC’s, so it’s really a testament to the hard work they are putting in. I couldn’t be prouder of our performance; we surprised a lot of people this weekend.”
Up next for CSI will be a stop at the Metropolitan Swimming & Diving Championships at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. As mentioned by Ackalitis, ECAC Championships will also be in the cards, as junior Dakota Dawkins qualified with A-cut time in the 100-yard Breaststroke, the first time ever a CSI swimmer has advanced with an A-cut ECAC qualifying time.