The College of Staten Island men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams represented this weekend at the annual Metropolitan Swimming & Diving Championships at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ, and saw its share of highlights. The championships, which features the area’s top performers from every NCAA Division, saw the CSI men finish with 253 points, good for 11th overall among 16 teams, including tops in CUNY. The women did not score as a team.
The Dolphins participated in 18 of the 42 events offered at the championship, with preliminary rounds taking place in the morning heats, followed by finals heats in the evening. CSI made finals appearances in eight events, scoring points and turning heads along the way.
The CSI foursome of Derek Villa, Jonathan Gorinshteyn, Nicholas Defonte and Tim Sweeney comprised the relay event teams for CSI, and they appeared in four final appearances throughout the weekend. On Friday, they raced to a 12th place finish in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:30.72, cutting almost six seconds off of their seed time. Later on Friday evening, they scored a 10th place showing, climbing up four spots from their morning swim, with a 3:40.06 showing in the 400-yard Medley Relay event. In the 200-yard installment of the same race on Saturday, they struck again with a 13th place finish with a time of 1:41.55. Finally, this evening CSI scored a 9th place finish in the final event of the Meet, the 400-yard Freestyle Relay, topping out at 3:15.88, six seconds better than their seed time.
When it came to individual performances, CSI captain and CUNYAC Performer of the Year Tim Sweeney took center stage. Sweeney started his point-earning with a 15th-place showing on Friday evening in the 50-yard Freestyle sprint, topping out at 21.61. On Saturday night, Sweeney secured a seventh place finish in his signature 100-yard Butterfly event with a time of 50.07, setting a new CSI record in the process. Today, Sweeney set a personal best time and an NCAA B-Cut time in the 200-yard Butterfly with a time of 1:53.01 in the preliminary swim in the morning, good for fifth overall. Then in the final heat this evening, Sweeney swam a 1:53.27 time, good for fifth place. Sweeney also set a new school record in the 100-yard Freestyle as part of CSI’s 400-yard relay in the final event of the showcase tonight.
Also this evening, Jonathan Gorinshteyn placed 21st in the finals of the 200-yard Breaststroke event, securing a time of 2:21.09, almost identically matching his morning swim of 2:21.10.
Although they did not perform in final heats in the evening, CSI duo Derek Villa and CUNYAC Rookie of the Year Nicholas Defonte both excelled in the 200-yard Freestyle competition, posting personal best times. Villa scored a 1:48.10 time, while Defonte raced in at 1:51.56.
On the diving boards, brothers Adil El Haddad and Ayman El Haddad finished in the middle of the pack on both the one-meter and three-meter boards. In 1M competition, Ayman took 11th overall with 305.50 points while Adil finished in 14th with 276.05. In 3M competition, Adil topped out in 9th place at 233.88 points, while Ayman finished in 11th 219.40 points.
On the women’s side of the ledger, only junior Naomi Gaggi participated in total of three events. Gaggi improved on her seed time by over seven seconds in the 500-yard Freestyle, finishing in 6:00.10, and also raced in the 200-yard Freestyle and 100-yard Freestyle events.