By Samantha Meyer
The Cleveland State University swimming and diving programs hosted the 8th annual Magnus Cup inside the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium from Nov. 22-24. The eighth annual Magnus Cup marks Cleveland State’s biggest in-season meet of the year. With 10 teams competing on the men’s side and 13 on the women’s, the Magnus Cup saw its biggest field of competition since creation.
In the past, the Cleveland State men’s team has won six of seven Magnus Cups, five of those wins occurring over the past five years. Coming off the 2018 Magnus Cup, where they scored a record 1,871.5 team points, the Vikings knew they had to compete with the same intensity as last year if they wanted to extend their streak.
The women’s team, on the other hand, have not had as much success at the Magnus Cup. With a fifth place finish last year, they knew the competition was not going to be easy. Senior Chuchu Yang believed that the team went into the tournament with the best mindset possible.
“Our expectations were just to go into the meet with a positive mindset knowing that we did all the work we needed to,” Yang said. “We went in with the best attitude, and we were not worried about the competition because we knew we were prepared more than ever.”
Junior Matt Akers set an early tone with a first place finish in the 3-meter dive with a score 377.50, which is almost 70 points ahead of the NCAA Zones standard. The Vikings didn’t stop there, as they would sweep the top four spots. Junior Trevor Mahoney placed second with 306.90 points, senior Antony Styrt finished third with 286.10 points, and sophomore Konstantin Vincent took fourth place with a personal best of 278.90. Akers, Mahoney and Styrt topped the scores in the 1-meter dive as well.
They were led by three swimmers. Senior DJ Arslanian placed in the top three in all three of his events. He finished third in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly, before winning the 100-yard freestyle by just six tenths of a second.
Sophomore Jack Krusinski was second in the 200-yard individual medley and won both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke, with the 200-yard winning by three seconds.
Junior Timothy Kubacki placed second in one event and winning two others. He was second in the 200-yard backstroke, falling just short of the win by under one second. Kubacki would bounce back and win both the 200 and 400-yard individual medley by four and nine seconds respectively. Kubacki’s time of 3:54.49 in the 400-yard individual medley set a new meet record.
The men’s team also won every relay of the event. The trio’s results and the efforts of all the other swimmers added up to 1,509 team points, finishing first overall. They finished 427 points ahead of the second place finishing team, Xavier University.
The women had a strong showing as well. Their quest for a team title began in the diving section of the competition with a third place finish by freshman Emma Kerro in the 1-meter dive.
The women also had a strong showing as well. Their quest for a team title began in the diving section of the competition with a third place finish by freshman Emma Kerro in the 1-meter dive. She placed third with a score of 288.05, passing the NCAA Zones standard by over 20 points. After Kerro’s success in the diving portion, the swimmers took to the pool to try and bring the team title home. Junior Lexie Kostelnik was able to bring home a second place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, with her freshman teammate Rachel Contich finishing just .47 seconds behind her. Kostelnik would also dominate the field in the 1650-yard freestyle, winning by nine seconds over second place Contich. Junior Alana Cartwight would be the first woman Viking to top the podium with her win in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.90, and junior Libby Smith helped the Vikings go 1-2 in the event finishing just over five tenths of a second behind her teammate.
Sophomore Agnes Bahr also helped the Cleveland State campaign with her second place finish in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:25.81, which is the third fastest time for a Cleveland State swimmer in the event. Not to be outdone, junior Sule van der Merwe broke the school record in the 200-yard backstroke when she finished second with a time of 2:00.62. These efforts, along with many other top 10 performances from the Vikings, was enough to garner 989.5 team points, which resulted in a third place finish as a team, which is their highest finish ever in the events history.
Yang was pleased with the teams finish and credits the support that they had for each other as the reason that they were successful.
“The women’s team is really excited about our third place finish!” Yang says, “It was our highest placing finish ever and we couldn’t have done it without each other. We had lots of great racing and some harder ones but we couldn’t finish where we did without our new coaches, hard training, and each other.”