Update: Men's 200 free relay and 400 medley relay teams break school records; Zapisek flirts with 50 free record at SUNYAC championships
With 15 school records falling last season, the SUNY Potsdam swimming and diving teams felt confident that it would be able to raise the bar once again this year at the conference championships.
And, it did so on Thursday morning as the men's 200-yard freestyle relay team became the first to set a new program record at the 2014 SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships at Erie Community College in Buffalo.
Junior Dan Costa (Spencerport, N.Y. / Spencerport), senior Richie Zimmerman (Victor, N.Y. / Victor), freshman Ricky Blackburn (Cicero, N.Y. / Cicero-North Syracuse) and sophomore Tyler Zapisek (Syracuse, N.Y. / West Genesee) combined to swim the race in 1:26.77 in the preliminaries for the third best time in the event.
The prior school record was held by Daniel Snyder, Todd Kowalski, Travis Birkholz and Doug Dello Stritto with a time of 1:27.04. That mark is believed to be set during the middle of the 1990's although no official confirmation has been established.
During the Thursday night finals, Costa, Zimmerman, Blackburn and Zapisek outdid their previous time in the prelims by .47 of a second to clock in at 1:26.30, which now stands as the new record.
Later in the night, the same team of four swimmers also set a new Potsdam record in 400 medley relay by clocking in at 3:30.20 to place fourth in the SUNYAC championships. The previous best school mark was set just a year ago when Alexander Taylor (graduated in 2013) joined Costa, Zimmerman and Zapisek for a then-record a time of 3:30.68. Costa's leg time of 47.92 in the men's 400 medley relay was also a Potsdam best.
The Bears men's team placed fourth in the final to pick up 30 points toward their team score.
Zapisek nearly topped Potsdam's school record in the men's 50 free that has stood for 30 years when Jerry Miller swam it in 21.17. Zapisek was a hair behind at 21.27 and finished in second place after SUNY Fredonia's John Estanislau touched the wall first at 20.98.
The women's 400 medley relay team of junior Emily Kanoza (Syracuse, N.Y. / West Genesee), senior Ghena Binzer (Baldwinsville, N.Y. / C.W. Baker), senior Laurissa Coombs (Port Jefferson, N.Y. / Ward Melville) and junior Victoria Blakeslee (Gloversville, N.Y. / Gloversville) placed seventh with a time of 4:10.31. The time was just off the pace that Paige Montroy, Liz Ringer, Binzer and Blakeslee set last year for the school record at 4:08.50.
Zimmerman placed eighth in the "A" final of the men's 200 individual medlay (2:01.03)
The live results link for championship events is listed below.