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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Swimmers enjoy healthy relationship

It started out as a friendship and then one night it just happened.

But it was not just a hook-up that sealed the deal for the couple. Junior economics major Allison Zelnick and senior health science major Hajime Ichikawa started dating last May. The two met in 2010 when Zelnick joined Ichikawa on the Stony Brook swim team.

“He’s always been that really close friend that cares about what’s going on in my life,” Zelnick said. “He doesn’t just listen to things I say just because I need to vent. He actually will carry on a conversation, which I like.”

Although neither of them dscussed their feelings for each other initially, their friendship grew stronger as they started spending more time together.

“There’d be plenty of times where she would just make my day,” Ichikawa said. “I was in an emotionally low time back after champs when I didn’t swim well and other relationships hadn’t been going well. She was a really good friend and it built off that.”

Training as athletes, studying and working does not leave much time for the two to spend time together, but they do manage to find time right before they go to sleep and on the weekends.

“We usually just lay around because we are so tired, but we like going out for sushi a lot,” Zelnick said. “We always try to plan fun things to do together.

The couple plans to go archery shooting in the near future. However, Zelnick admits, “we’re both super competitive so we can’t play any games against each other because we don’t want to lose.”

Junior Allison Zelnick & senior Hajime Ichikawa met through their involvment in SBU's swim team. Photo courtesy of Allison Zelnick
Junior Allison Zelnick & senior Hajime Ichikawa met through their involvment in SBU’s swim team. Photo courtesy of Allison Zelnick

But there is one type of game that the couple can anticipate the winner of. “She’s really good at video games and I’m not,” Ichikawa said.

Despite being an athlete, Zelnick admits, “Haj is more into sports than I am. He actually really likes to follow football, basketball and baseball and I’ll sit there just for moral support.”

Although they have their differences, like all couples do, they can definitely agree on one thing.  “We’re both driven to be super athletic,” Zelnick said. “We both have a goal of being really successful in our career.”

When the team is competing, they really enjoy cheering each other on. Zelnick competes in the freestyle and butterfly strokes and Ichikawa competes in the breaststroke. The team is not competing this season due to the renovation of the pool.

“We really work well just because it’s based off friendship first,” Ichikawa said. “She’s my best friend.”

Because they both have late work and class schedules on Valentine’s Day, the couple plans to celebrate the holiday along with its nine-month anniversary on Friday, Feb. 15 at Takara Japanese Restaurant.

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