NCAA Division II Championships- Women’s Meet
- Dates: Wednesday, March 12 – Saturday, March 15, 2014
- Location: SPIRE Institute, Geneva, Ohio (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champions: Drury
- Live Results: Available
- Live Video: Available Here (Click on Date on Scroll Bar)
- Championship Central
Over the past 5 years at the NCAA Division II National level the Panthers of Drury have remained dominant. With only a one-point loss to Wayne State in 2012 putting a blemish on their near perfect record, the Lady Panters look to enjoy sweet victory for the 5th time in 6 years.
With Queens and Wayne State nipping on their heels for a chance at the title this year, it looks as though the Battle for the crown will not be an easy one for any team.
Who’s Who in 2014
We take a look at every individual event, (Relays are too tightly contested to mark a favorite), a breakdown the field and who the favorite might be, which won’t necessarily always be the top seed.
- 1000 Freestyle: Alli Crenshaw (Florida Southern)
- Crenshaw is the defending national champion in this event as well as the top seed going into the meet this Year. Right there with her is Heather Glenday of Tampa who was the only other swimmer in the field to qualify with an automatic “A” standard. Don’t rule out Lauren Carastro as she finished only 2 seconds behind Crenshaw for second at last year’s championship.
- 200 IM: Caroline Arkelian (Queens)
- Katharina Fischer is the only women in Division II that has broken the 2 minute barrier so far this season, but with 7 automatic qualifying standards achieved in this event it’s really anyone’s game. Be on the lookout for Arkelian who gets the nod for favorite after a dominant showing at the 2014 BGMC as well as being the defending champion in the 400 IM. Others to contend will be Agnieszka Ostrowska from Drury and Allyson Mitidieri of IUP.
- 50 Free: Ana Azambuja (Wayne State)
- Azambuja finished with top honors in the “B” final of last year’s championships but has made strides of improvements to break the 23 second mark. Joining her below that barrier is Mary Hanson of Cal Baptist. Watch out for dark horse Kelsey Gouge of Florida Southern who returns as the highest ranked repeat performer as she placed fourth last year behind 3 graduating seniors.
- 400 IM: Caroline Arkelian (Queens)
- She comes in as the defending national champion, but almost mirroring her qualifying time from this year is Melanie Tombers from Delta State. Both qualified with 4:19’s and Arakelian may have a battle ahead of her if she wants to defend her title.
- 100 Butterfly: Joyce Kwok (LIU Post)
- In an event that will more than likely take a National Record to take the crown in Kwok’s endurance from her national title in the 200 Fly last year will look to aid her as she takes on Hannah Peiffer of Queens and Armony Dumur of Bridgeport. These 3 ladies will be neck and neck most of the race, but all it takes is a split second to decide the winner.
- 200 Free: Adelaide Martin (Bridgeport)
- In another event that looks to be a toss-up; Martin and Sarah Pullen from Drury are tied as the top seed, but that may not matter as only 1.8 seconds separates the top-16 places. Defending champion Anjali Shakya of UCSD is in that mix as well along with, Fischer, Sofia Petrenko (Wingate), and Kathryn Pheil (Wingate).
- 500 Free: Anjali Shakya (UCSD)
- Middle distance is the name of the game for Shakya who took second place last year behind Erin Black from NSU who graduated leaving the door open for Shakya to claim another title. Be on the lookout for Crenshaw and Pullen who each also made the “A” final last year and look to give Shakya a run for her money.
- 100 Backstroke: Hannah Peiffer (Queens)
- With a showing at the BGMC of how dominant Peiffer can be off of every wall with her under-waters she is the favorite and top seed for this event. Right behind her is Hanson and Yakaterina Rudenko of Drury who will look to steal the spotlight. Defending champion Bente Heller of Alaska-Fairbanks is also right there in the mix and might be one to look for to stir the pot a little.
- 100 Breastroke: Kayla Scott (Wayne State)
- Runner-up last year, Scott will look to take the crown away from all competitors in what will be another event that might take a NCAA Division II National Record to win. Fischer will also be in the mix along with Grand Valley’s Danielle Vallier.
- 200 Butterfly: Kirstina Novichenko (Wayne State)
- Novichenko has been the only women under the 2 minute mark this season, a feat which even defending national champion Kwok didn’t accomplish this season or prior. Peiffer may also make a showing on the podium as she sits right behind Novichenko on paper, but once these ladies hit the water it’s anyone’s game.
- 1650 Freestyle: Meredith Boudreaux (Queens)
- Boudreaux has already swam a time this season comparable to what defending champion Crenshaw put up last year. She gets the nod for favorite in the true test of grit. Crenshaw should put up a good showing as well with Glenday and Novichenko tossing their names into the proverbial hat as well.
- 100 Freestyle: Nicole Cossey (Simon Fraser)
- Cossey comes in with the fastest time in the country so far, but there is an asterisk on it, it’s converted from SCM. Still with that being that case it’s the only time under 50 seconds. Look for Drury’s Wai Ting Yu and Limestone’s Emily Reh to put the pedal to the metal in a sense and steal the race from under Cossey’s feet.
- 200 Backstroke: Caroline Arkelian (Queens)
- In a bold move we are calling for Arkelian to take the hat trick with yet another victory in an event that she won last year. Along with the 200 IM this might be her toughest challenge as Azambuja and Rudenko are both tight on her tail joining Delta State’s Anastasia Klyarovskaya as they look to prevent Arkelian from repeating.
- 200 Breaststroke: Agnieszka Ostrowska (Drury)
- In the final individual event of the meet this looks to be the easiest event of the meet to call as there is almost a 2 second gap between the top see in Ostrowska and her next nearest competitor. She also set the National Record at the GVLC meet just a little over 3 weeks ago. She will look to better that to take top honors after placing second last year.
With Drury looking like they might take another championship this year, the battle appears to be for second and onwards. I recall Rowdy Gaines saying it best: “I do it over and over again on paper and it keeps coming out the same way.” (Recall he said that right before the Americans took down the French in Beijing in 2008). You never really know what is going to happen until you hit the pool. Here is the way we think things are going to shakedown:
- Wayne State
- West Chester
- Florida Southern
- LIU Post
- Delta State
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