CSI sophomore swim sensation Nikolay Shevchenko claimed fourth place in the nation in the 200-yard Individual Medley, setting a CSI record in the process, and putting the Dolphins on the board at the 2009 NCAA Division III National Swimming & Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Shevchenko is one of three CSI and CUNYAC student-athletes to be competing at nationals, and he took center stage again today with participation in the 100-yard Butterfly event.
Last night, Shevchenko clocked in at 1:50.38, almost one full second faster than the preliminary time he put in during Wednesday morning’s heat. After the morning preliminary round, Shevchenko was seeded in fifth position, but his CSI-record time earned him fourth overall during the final. Nelson Westby from St. Olaf College took the 200 I.M. national championship with a time of 1:48.82, and his teammate Jacob Koch came in second at 1:49.21. Coming in third p;ace was Kenyon College’s Blair Withington with a time of 1:49.56.
More than the end result, however, was Shevchenko’s tremendous improvement over his personal best times. Coming into the championship, Shevchenko’s best time in the 200 I.M. was 1:52.98, which seeded him in the teens among the 49 total participants who qualified. Then, in the morning prelim, Shevchenko turned heads by coming in with a time of 1:51.03, almost two full seconds faster than his previous best, and shooting him up to number five overall. His final time was a full 2.6 seconds faster than any of his previous times during the year, a tremendous improvement.
Shevchenko isn’t done just yet, he still has two races to go, both in his signature event, the butterfly. In this morning’s preliminaries, he stayed true to form, coming in with a time of 49.41, good for 11th overall. Coming in the top 16 means he will have a chance to compete again this evening for a chance at another national championship. Shevchenko came into the meet with a previous best time of 49.40. Kenyon College’s Matthew Harris topped out the entire field by taking the preliminary event with a time of 47.91. With less than two seconds seperating 1st place from 11th, the competition is intense, and Nikolay knows his chances will be just as good as anyone else in the pool.