FLUSHING, NY – Buoyed by their three seniors, the Queens College men's and women's swimming and diving teams split Thursday afternoon's home meet with William Paterson University. The Knights women edged away for a tight 119-116 team victory, while the men fell 95-132 despite boasting seven event winners.
In celebration of their final swim meets at Fitzgerald Gymnasium, seniors Mateusz Stypulkowski, Joseph Broderick and Angelia Crisci were all presented with framed action shots and commemorative bouquets; the emotions of the occasion doing little to weigh them down as the meet got underway.
After teaming up with Jordan Melidor-Fuxis, Louis Alers and Joseph Mo to win the opening 200-yard medley relay by nearly 15 seconds, Stypulkowski returned to swim the fastest 50-yard freestyle of the afternoon, touching the wall in 22.49 seconds. Broderick was behind him in fourth, finishing his first race during Senior Day in 25.35 seconds. Stypulkowski ended his meet later with a second-place finish in the 100-yard free, swimming 1:03.94 to narrowly miss what would have been a senior-day hat trick. Perhaps better known as an all-conference performer on the Knights' baseball team, Broderick capped his meet with a second place showing on the Knights' 200-yard freestyle relay team, helping to bring the final team score to 95-132.
Rather than do much to weigh on her, the buzz of Senior Day inspired Crisci during her events. She sprinted to the halfway point of the 100-yard freestyle in second place, before finishing fourth in a jumbled middle pack. The Knights' Elizabeth Hodges took top honors in the event by swimming 59.64 seconds. Crisci later closed the women's competition in the 200-yard freestyle relay, teaming up with Amanda Giordano, Chelsy Esponosa, and Nicole Weinsheimer to win going away and secure Queens' final three-point team victory over William Paterson.
Other highlights for the Knights' women included Hodges finishing first in the 50-meter free before completing the aforementioned double in the hundred. Elsewhere, Queens College record holder Jennifer Arana-Perez returned to the 100-yard butterfly to take the win in a routine 1:03.22, after earlier in the day besting William Paterson's Vera Blazevska to win the 200-yard individual medley. Both of Arana-Perez' individual wins came after she raced together with Hodges, Anna Lee and Katie Waszkiewicz to win the meet's opening 200-yard medley relay. Both relays taken into account, the Knights women had six event winners when all was said and done, and five more runner-up performances.
Away from Stypulkowski and Broderick competing in their final collegiate meets at home, the men were led by double individual victories from Melidor-Fuxis and Moustafa Ibrahim. Ibrahim was able to outclass the Pioneers' top diver by a wide margin in both diving events, and Melidor-Fuxis placed first in the 100-yard fly in 52.45 seconds, winning over Queens College teammate Alers, who finished in second. Later Melidor-Fuxis put an incredible gap between him and the rest of the field during the 500-yard freestyle to win by nearly 40 seconds. Mo was the other strong performer for Queens, returning after the opening 200-yard medley relay to take second in both the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.90) and the 100-yard back (57.30 seconds).
Having shaken off any dust following their long winter break with today's meet, the Queens College men's and women's swimming and diving teams are both back in action again on January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Knights will head to St. Francis College to take on the host Terriers and St. Peter's University in tri-meet action getting underway at 12:00 p.m.