by Shanika Sealy.
On Saturday, February 2, the Lehman Lighting Men’s team won the 2013 CUNYAC Swimming and Diving championships ending the competition with 761 points.
They defeated the former champions, the Baruch Bearcats with an 87-point lead, who ended up ranking in second place leaving the Brooklyn Bulldogs in third.
The City University of New York presented the 14th Annual Athletic Conference Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving Champions at the Apex Center at Lehman from January 30 until the culminating event on February 2.
Other schools in attendance were John Jay College, York College, Borough Manhattan Community College, and Queensborough Community College, but it was all about Lehman’s star players: seniors, Chip Shala, Ivan Srdanovic, junior, Aytasissa Estime-Kirkpatrick, sophomores, Ramon Peralta, Abel Dupres, freshmen’s, Anthony Preda and Medloy Ovalles.
Lehman won despite fierce competition from their opponents. Ovalles, said, “The game was awesome. We were not intimidated by Baruch.”
Baruch ended day one winning 1st place with a total of six events: Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, Men’s 200 yard Freestyle Relay, Women’s 500-Yard Freestyle, Women’s 200-Yard Individual Medley, Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle, and Women’s 400-Yard Medley Relay.
Lehman players did not place too far behind as Dupres and Shala ranked in second and third place in the Men’s 200-Yards while Nelson Medina, junior, was the first to score a perfect 6 1/2 points in the third round of the men’s one-meter diving.
Lehman won a total of three events. Srdanovic, Preda and Peralta placed first in diving in the Men’s 500-Yard Freestyle, Men’s 200-yard individual medley and men’s 400-yard medley relay. The College of Staten Island and Brooklyn College conquered the men’s one-meter diving and men’s 50-yard freestyle.
Baruch slammed day two winning five events: Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay, Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay, Women’s 400-Yard Individual Medley, Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly, and Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle.
Again, Srdanovic won first place in the men’s 200-yard freestyle, Medina fell in third place in the men’s 3 meter diving followed by Peralta who placed second place to Baruch freshmen Jacky Lau. The College of Staten Island closed with two wins for men’s 400-yard individual medley and men’s 100-yard butterfly.
In the men’s 400-yard individual medley, Chris Mammano, senior, and Maxwell Sacoto, sophomore, came in fourth and fifth place. Besides winning the championship there were some breaking record achievements such as that of Estime-Kirkpatrick who ended day 3 scoring 1650 points–a record break by 4.2 seconds.
How did the champions feel about the competition? “The game was intense, but we won fair and square,” said team member Luis Salazar.
There was no success for the Lehman’s women team, which came in sixth place again Baruch who scored 761 points, placing the Hunter Hawks and Staten Island Dolphins in second and third place.