After the opening day of competition at the 2018 CUNYAC Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships taking place at Lehman College, the College of Staten Island has claimed third place on both the men’s and women’s sides, boasting plenty of highlights on a day when only five events were completed.

On the men’s side, CSI, the defending champs, boast 46 points, trailing Brooklyn College (61) and Baruch College (70), while in front of Lehman College (42).  For the CSI women, they earned 42 points on opening day, and trail Baruch (89), and Hunter College (55), while placing ahead of Lehman (31), Brooklyn (14), and John Jay (10).

To kick off the annual championship, two relay events and three individual events took place, and CSI was right in the mix and had plenty to cheer about.

CSI’s foursome of Gabriella Bartley, Alicia Defonte, Victoria Crea, and Ewa Wojciechowska, set a great tone in the opening 200-yard Freestyle Relay.  Seeded fifth in the heat, CSI mustered up a time of 1:48.61, getting in less than a second ahead of the Lehman foursome to gain the silver medal.   In the men’s heat, CSI’s team of Christopher Sorensen, Leo Litovsky, Jonathan Gorinshteyn and Nicholas Defonte managed a fourth-place finish, missing a medal finish by less than half a second in a very tight race overall.

Before the day would end with another relay, it was time for three individual races, beginning with the 500-yard Freestyle.  There, Wojciechowska had the race of the meet so far.  Wojciechowska set the CUNYAC record in this event as a freshman with a time of 5:25.78, and the senior obliterated it, racing in at 5:20.65 for a new school, meet, and CUNYAC record, winning the event by nearly 15 full seconds.

Joining Wojciechowska with a gold-medal finish was Nicholas Defonte, who took the top prize in the men’s version of the race with a time of 5:06.66, beating his personal best this season by 16 seconds, and winning the race by over 23 seconds.  Litovsky also earned points in the race, faring sixth with a time of 5:43.65, shaving almost eight seconds off of his seed time.

Up next was the 200-yard Individual Medley, and CSI took another gold medal when Jonathan Gorinshteyn turned on the jets and came from behind in the final leg to just beat out Baruch’s Erik Kantar by just .04 seconds in what was easily the tightest race of the day, coming in at 2:05.86.  Christopher Sorensen also earned points with an eighth-place finish and a time of 2:29.90.

The final individual race was the 50-yard Freestyle, and Victoria Crea saved the final 50-yard race of her career as her best, as she came in with a time of 25.66 to win the biggest race of the meet so far, with 37 entrants.  Crea beat out Baruch’s Amanda Lee by just one-third of a second.

The 400-yard Medley Relay followed after a short rest as the final event of the evening, and here, the CSI women took fourth place while the CSI men of Defonte, Brandon Lei, Christopher Sorensen and Gorinshteyn earned a silver medal with a 3:51.76 finish, just a little under three seconds behind Brooklyn’s foursome.

The CUNYAC Championship will continue tomorrow with 22 events, 11 on each side.  Both diving competitions will take place with two relays each and five individual strokes comprising the day’s activities.  The Championship Meet will finalize on Sunday.