ATLANTA – Cleveland State junior Philipp Sikatzki (Leipzig, Germany) and Oakland freshman Devon Nowicki (Lake Orion, Mich.) both earned All-America honors at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of Georgia Tech. The student-athletes finished among the top eight finishers in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, respectively, to receive the accolades.
Sikatzki etched his name in the Cleveland State record book, finishing fourth in the 100 fly, posting a time of a 45.37 in the event finals – marking a Cleveland State and Horizon League record.
Sikatzki, a health sciences/pre-med major who carries a 3.91 grade-point average, is the first Viking swimmer to earn All-America honors, since Jakub Dobies (Honorable Mention All-America 2009). Sikatzki was also the first Viking since Dobies to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
In the prelims of the 100 butterfly, Sikatzki posted a Cleveland State record 45.65, finishing seventh in the field of 47 to earn a spot in the event finals. Sikatzki entered the NCAA Championships with the 11th fastest seed time – a time of 45.90, which he recorded at the Horizon League Championship earlier this season.
In the 100 fly finals, Sikatzki was swimming alongside competitors from six Power Five conference schools, and finished ahead of swimmers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Georgia. Swimming in Lane 1, Sikatzki got out to a quick start and kept pace with the field throughout the race, bettering his prelim time by 0.28 seconds to finish fourth nationally in a time of 45.37.
Sikatzki's finals time marked a Cleveland State and Horizon League record.
Nowicki took sixth place in the 100-yard breaststroke to collect All-America honors in his freshman year. His 13 points scored is the second most points scored in Oakland history. Nowicki moved up 10 spots to earn a swim in the finals session, then moved up two more spots in the final. He is the first Golden Grizzly since 2008 to swim in the top eight and broke his own school record.
Sikatzki also competed in the 100 Backstroke Friday, finishing second in his prelim heat with a time of 46.78. Sikatzki finished 26th overall in the 100 back, just 0.68 seconds shy of qualifying for the event finals.
On Saturday, both Sikatzki and Nowicki saw their championships come to an end in the morning prelims. In the 100 free, Sikatzki posted a time of 43.24 finishing 25th overall. Nowicki capped an impressive freshman season by placing 31st in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching in 1:57.53.