Photo Courtesy of Viking Athletics

Phillip Sikatzki prepares for his final home meet against the University of Buffalo, Saturday, Feb. 3 in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium, where the team was defeated 149-94.

 

 

March 28, 2017

Phillip Sikatzki completes swimming career with return to NCAA national tournament

When athletes have a passion for something, they will do anything to make sure that nothing stands in their way.

For Cleveland State University student Phillip Sikatzki, swimming is a sport that is interesting and challenging.

Sikatzki, 22, a pre-med/health sciences major and member of the men’s swimming team, explained that swimming is very challenging, especially on the body. He would not want it any other way.

“I was fortunate enough to quickly find friends within all the teams that I had been on,” Sikatzki said, “and the fact that I improved very fast within the sport, made me passionate about it early on.”

Hailing from Leipzig, Germany, Sikatzki swam for Ashland University during his freshman year, because he said he wanted to challenge himself, he went school hunting for Division I programs in Ohio and landed at Cleveland State.

“The interesting part about Cleveland State was that I really liked the coaching staff that got in contact with me,” Sikatzki said. “I was also intrigued by the history and success this program had within the Horizon League.”

When Sikatzki looks backs on the memories he has at Cleveland State, he mentioned two that stood out to him. The first is the training trip the team took to Puerto Rico, which they have taken for the past two years. The other is participating at nationals in Atlanta, GA in 2016.

“The atmosphere of the meet itself was breathtaking, and I personally surprised myself with an amazing time as well as the fourth place finish in the 100-yard butterfly,” he recalled about the 2016 nationals.

Sikatzki’s accomplishments this year include runner-up in the league championship, athlete of the meet and swimmer of the year. He said nothing compares to being invited to his second straight NCAA championship. He qualified with his record-winning performance during the 100-yard butterfly in the Horizon League Championship.

“In my opinion, there is no better way to finish strong a long and exhausting swimming career —and I hope this experience is as memorable as the one in Atlanta was,” Sikatzki said. “Being qualified for a meet with such an incredible field of high class athletes just makes me proud to be one of them as well as being able to represent Cleveland State University one last time.”

Sikatzki said he will aim to make more history as he competes in the 2017 NCAA championships in Indianapolis, Indiana March 22-25.



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