Junior Mikolaj Czarnecki won three events and swam a leg on the second-place 200-yard medley relay to pace the Owls during Saturday's FAU Invitational
Dec. 18, 2010
Boca Raton, FL - Sparked by five-event victories and 25 top-five efforts, the Florida Atlantic University men's swimming and diving team had a strong day to conclude the 2010 portion of its schedule in the FAU Invitational on Saturday at the FAU Aquatic Center in Boca Raton.
The Owls scored dominate victories over the University of Cincinnati, 204-76, and the Air Force Academy, 189-91. They fell by a slim 155-133 margin to Sun Belt Conference foe University of Denver.
FAU was excited to host good competition in a format before the holidays. "It was great to have good, quality teams to compete against," said sophomore Eric Williams.
Junior Mikolaj Czarnecki echoed those sentiments and to face a conference opponent added energy to the meet.
"Our focus today was on Denver," said Czarnecki. "This gives us a good idea of where we are going into conference. Denver is always one of the top teams so to be close will give us more of a boost in preparing for the conference meet."
Czarnecki paced the Owls with three event victories and swimming a leg on the second-place 200-yard medley relay team. Individually, the Lublin, Poland native held off a late charge from teammate senior Adam Corbin to win the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.30). He led by over a second midway through the race but eventually won by just one-tenth of a second.
"Whenever I am tired I try to go out really fast to build up a lead before holding off someone," said Czarnecki. "It is a secret weapon and you can make someone else make more mistakes by jumping off to a quick lead."
Later the junior took top honors in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly races. He won the longer race by 1.5 seconds (1:52.77) before scoring a victory in the 100-yard race (51.26).
"I wanted to prove a point today that I should be one of the top contenders for conference," said Czarnecki, the defending 200-yard butterfly conference champion.
Junior Csaba Pek won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:53.39 while senior David Rudolf had a third-place finish in the event (1:55.04).
Williams had a runner-up showing in the 50-yard freestyle (21.42) and swam the anchor leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay that took the top spot in come-from-behind fashion. He also rallied to help the medley relay team finish second earlier in the meet with a strong anchor leg.
"I had the support of the team behind and the three other swimmers did a great job of putting us a position where if I swam well we could win," said Williams.
Czarnecki said it takes a total team effort in relays.
"We have never beat Denver in a relay so it just once again shows the depth our team has to offer," Czarnecki noted.
Corbin had a runner-up performance in the 500-yard freestyle (4:41.77) while senior Tyler Griffith earned a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (53.11) and fifth-place showing in the 100-yard freestyle (48.01).
The Owls will return to the pool on January 5 for a home meet at the FAU Aquatic Center, 777 Glades Road on the Boca Raton campus.