Pirate Swimmers Impress at U.S. Winter Nationals
Four members of the Seton Hall swimming and diving teams traveled to Columbus, Ohio to compete in this weekend’s Winter National Championships. The tournament, held at Ohio State University, included elite teams from colleges and aquatics clubs nationwide. The Seton Hall contingent was composed of female swimmer Sydney Simpson, alongside male swimmers Vadim Jacobson, Joshua Tosoni and Noah Yanchulis.
Yanchulis and Jacobson competed in the men’s 200-yard freestyle on Saturday in what was a strong showing for the senior duo. Yanchulis, who is the 3-time reigning Big East champion of this event and a 2-time Big East Outstanding Swimmer of the Year, finished 17th overall in the preliminary heats with a time of 1:37.79.
Jacobson clocked in just behind him at 1:39:09, good for 23rd in the highly competitive field of 37 who participated. Both Pirates qualified for Friday evening’s final, which saw Yanchulis finish sixth and Jacobson seventh in their respective finals.
A day earlier, Yanchulis and Jacobson competed in the men’s 500-yard freestyle, an event in which Yanchulis holds two Big East Championships. Competing in a field made up of some of the best in the nation, Yanchulis was able to finish 30th in the preliminary round with a time of 4:31.74, while Jacobson touched right behind him at 4:36:31, good for 34th. Despite their efforts, neither time was enough to qualify for the evening final.
The only underclassmen among the Pirates, Tosoni, competed in both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke. The sophomore posted a time of 55.63 in the 100-yard, which was good enough to qualify as a reserve for the final on Friday night. Tosoni’s showing in the 200-yard breastroke was even better, though, as he finished his preliminary heat in 2:02.47, 23rd out of 38. His time qualified him for a final, where he improved and finished fifth with a time of 2:01.04.
The lone female, Simpson, played up to the occasion in the 100-yard breaststroke, as she posted a personal-record time of 1:02.85. In a field of 47, the senior Simpson was able to take 28th and just narrowly missed a spot in the event’s final.
The Pirates’ performances are particularly impressive considering the level of competition throughout the tournament. That quality was perhaps most pertinent in the men’s 500 and 1650-yard freestyle, where Indiana swimmer Zane Grothe set two new American records with blistering times of 4:07.25 and 14:18.25. Grothe’s time broke the old record in the 500 by a full second and shattered the old record in the 1650 by over four seconds. Other events included Olympians, such as gold-medalist Ryan Murphy, who is a world-record holder in the men’s 100-meter backstroke.
The intercollegiate swimming and diving season resume for Seton Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. on Jan. 13 when they face Drexel and Towson at the Drexel Tri-Meet. The Pirates’ next home meet is that same weekend, with a quick turnaround toward Arthur E. Imperatore Natatorium where they will take on Fairfield on Jan. 14.
Kyle Beck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @notkylebeck.