TROY, N.Y. − Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete Graham Zola has been named the Men's Swimmer of the Week by the Liberty League, the conference has announced. The senior helped RPI to a win at Hamilton College by winning each of the four events in which he swam.
Zola (Fargo, ND / Davies) led the Engineers (8-0) to a 210.5 - 82.5 victory over the Continentals. In individual events, he finished first in the 50 free with a time of 22.17, which was nearly a second ahead of the runner-up (23.09), and he won the 100 free in 48.58. The second place finisher touched in 48.75.
In relays, Zola swam leadoff in the meet-opening 200 medley relay, which clocked a winning time of 1:36.96, and closed the day as the anchor in the 200 free, which won with a time of 1:28.90.
This is the second award this year for the aeronautical engineering major, who was tabbed by the conference in mid-January. Over two meets in two days, he won four events and finished second in a fifth.
In a 198-67 win over Union College, Zola, a captain, swam the anchor leg on the victorious 200 medley relay team that won by more than three seconds over the runner-up (1:36.06 - 1:39.44) before capturing the 50 free in a time of 21.74. The next day in the RPI Kumpf Invitational, he swam the anchor on the winning 400 medley relay team that beat the second place team by almost four seconds (3:29.95 - 3:33.75). He also won the 50 free, beating 14 others with a time of 21.85, and was second in the 15-person 100 free by less than a second (47.88 - 48.32).
As a junior, Zola was second on the Engineers with 329.50 total points, including 200.00 as an individual after earning seven wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. He swam on record-setting relays in the 200 medley (1:32.92), 200 free (1:23.04), 400 free (3:04.15) and 800 free (6:51.83).
The season before he won three times with a team-high 11 runner-ups and six thirds to finish with 180.00 points. He was also part of four relay records, including the 800 free (6:52.36).
Rensselaer's swimmers are idle until the Liberty League Championship that begins on February 19 and runs until February 22 in Ithaca, N.Y.