2015 NCAA Division II Championships: Queens seals dual national titles on night 4

We’re down to the final day of NCAA Division II nationals, with thrilling team races coming down to the wire in both genders. The Queens men have been on a record-breaking tear led by freshman Nick Arakelian and sophomore Matt Josa, and they lead defending champs Drury by just 14 points.

Meanwhile the Queens women are looking for a national title of their own, leading Drury by 66 courtesy of record-breaker Patricia Castro.

Keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates, and follow us at @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for up-to-the-second results, highlights and analysis from Indianapolis.

NCAA Division II Championships – Hot Links

  • March 11th-14th, 2015
  • Indianapolis, Indiana (IUPUI Natatorium)
  • Real-Time results
  • Video link
  • Day 4 events: 1650 free (timed finals), 100 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 400 free relay, women’s 3-meter diving

Women’s 1650 free

Lindenwood sophomore Alecia McGillivray added to her 1000 free title from earlier in the meet, going 16:46.25 to win the 1650 for the Lions. McGillivray had some challengers early, and actually trailed a number of swimmers at the 1000-mark, but closed really hard, dropping her splits from mid-30s to low-30s over the final 500 to take the win.

Bridgeport freshman Annagrazia Bonsanti took second, going 16:50.11, while the fastest swimmer to the 1000, senior Kendall Somer out of West Chester, wound up third in 16:50.21.

Florida Southern’s Alli Crenshaw came in next at 16:51.74, with a pair of women battling it out just a tick behind her. That was Delta State’s Melanie Tombers and Queens’ Meridith Boudreaux, who went 16:53.18 and 16:52.23, respectively.

With 3 scorers apiece, Drury and Queens stayed pretty even in this event, with Drury picking up just a single point to now trail by 65.

Men’s 1650 free

Make it a 4-for-4 weekend for Queens freshman Nick Arakelian. The rookie went 15:10.33 to win the 1650 and pick up his 4th title of the week so far. That time topped another freshman, Daniel Bis of Saint Leo, by about 1.7 seconds for the win.

Bis was 15:12.05, and another Queens Royal, senior Alex Menke, took third in 15:16.84. A bit of a break separated those top three from the field. Lindenwood’s Gustavo Silva Santa was 15:26.68 for fourth, and just behind was Drury’s top competitor, sophomore Alec Morris, in 16:26.95.

West Chester’s standout freestyler Victor Polyakov just about held his seed time, going 15:27.03, and Nova Southeastern freshman Blake Woodrow took 7th in a very young field with a 15:30.22.

Though that was a big scoring event for Queens, Drury is hanging in the hunt, now trailing by 36. SwimSwam’s Anne Lepesant has been scoring out the meet all week and has the men’s competition coming down to the wire tonight; she tells us this was a good event for Drury relative to seeds, with the Panthers picking up 2 points on Queens.

Women’s 100 free

The first national record of the night went to Queens sophomore Patricia Castro, who has been lights-out all week. Castro went 48.92 to just barely sneak under the old record of 48.94 set last year by Wayne State’s Ana Azambuja.

That’s also the 4th win of the meet for Castro, who took the 200 IM, 200 free and 500 free earlier on.

Drury answered back, though, putting two into the A final to match Queens. Janet Yu was second for Drury and Wen Xu fourth, going 49.29 and 49.45, respectively.

In between was 50 free champ and national record-breaker Bryndis Hansen out of Nova Southeastern in 49.37.

The rest of the field featured a lot of experience, with three seniors taking 5th, 6th and 7th. Northern Michigan’s Debbi Lawrence led the way in 49.80, with Emily Reh of Limestone (49.87) and Lillian Gordy of Queens (50.08) coming in next. The final championship heat finisher was Natalia Garriock, a freshman from Saint Leo, who went 50.49.

Men’s 100 free

Nova Southeastern sophomore Thiago Sickert picked up the 100 free national title in a touchout, going 43.18 to eke out the win over Bridgeport senior Ruben Gimenez‘s 43.22. Sickert went out fast, building a .16 lead at the 50 turn and hanging on for the eventual win.

Drury senior Samuel Olson was third in 43.68 as Drury used this event to make a run at Queens, who didn’t put anyone into the top 16. Drury could only score one swimmer themselves, though, and so Queens still leads, now by just 20 in a meet that’s looking like it could come down to single digits (Anne Lepesant has Queens currently winning by 3 based on her pre-session projections).

Wayne State’s Till Barthel came in fourth, going 43.80, and also joining him under 44 were two Lindenwood freshmen: Jakub Jonczyk (43.81) and former national record-holder in the 100 back Serghei Golban (43.94).

Rounding out the A final were Jordan Augier of Tampa (44.17) and Adrian VanderHelm of Simon Fraser (44.41).

Women’s 200 back

Drury’s Katya Rudenko pulled off the upset win, beating last year’s champ and national record-holder Caroline Arakelian for the 200 back title. Rudenko went 1:55.71, coming within two tenths of breaking Arakelian’s mark.

Cal Baptist senior Mary Hanson also got in ahead of the defending champ, going 1:56.85. Arakelian was 1:57.66 at the end of what’s been a busy week for her.

Meanwhile Wingate’s Vika Arkhipova was 1:58.10, outlasting Mesa’s Mary Saiz (1:58.95), and also under two minutes was Delta State’s Anastasia Klyarovskaya (1:59.42).

Also placing in the final heat were Drury senior Chelsea Staab (2:00.08) and LIU Post senior Johanna Pettersson (2:00.55).

That leaves Queens in the lead by 58 points with three events remaining as they attempt to knock off 2014 champs Drury.

Men’s 200 back

Queens sophomore Matthew Josa completed a 4-for-4 sweep of individual event titles at this year’s national championships, but he couldn’t quite finish the 4-for-4 in NCAA records. Josa was 1:41.45 to easily win the 200 back, but missed his own Division II NCAA record of 1:40.74 set last year.

Much like his 200 fly yesterday, Josa went out fast, leading by a full second at the 100-turn, and struggled a little coming home. But it was still plenty enough to top the field by .98 seconds and might have sealed the meet for his Queens Royals. They now lead Drury by 28, a tough margin for the 10-time-defending national champs to overcome in just two races.

Lindenwood’s 100 back champ and NCAA record-breaker Krzystof Jankiewicz took second in 1:42.43, coming back on Josa with a nice 26.0 final leg. Another freshman, Grand Valley’s Metin Aydin went 1:44.26 for third.

UCSD junior Michael Cohn was fourth in 1:45.91, with Drury’s top finisher being Sean Feher at 1:46.05 for fifth.

Florida Southern’s Marco Palacios (1:46.12) touched out Drury’s other A-finalist, Jordi Montseny (1:46.15) and Palacious’ teammate Luis Rojas took 8th in 1:46.91.

Women’s 200 breast

It’s been a relatively quiet night for NCAA records compared to earlier in the week, but Lynn junior Rebecca Matthews did her best to change that with the fastest 200 breast in Division II history. The 100 breast champ went 2:10.77 to make it a sweep of the breaststrokes and break the 2:11.45 set last year by Drury’s Agnieszka Ostrowska.

Cal Baptist’s Alena Rumiantceva was second back at 2:13.32, and LIU Post senior Caroline Rademacher was 2:13.61 for third-place honors.

Ashland’s Hannah Mattar led the next big pack of swimmers at 2:15.77. Just behind were the duo of Nicole Weber of Saint Leo and Jade Arganbright from Cal U Pennsylvania. Weber touched out Arganbright 2:16.03 to 2:16.16.

Lindenwood freshman Ewa Dymarek was 2:17.18 for 7th, with Paulina Szydlo of West Florida just behind in 2:18.25.

That event featured no point-scorers from the top 2 teams, so the deficit remains stable at 58, with Queens leading Drury.

Men’s 200 breast

Nova Southeastern’s freshman Anton Lobanov continued to rewrite the men’s breaststroke record books with a 1:51.71 to win the 200 breast title. That smashes the old NCAA mark of 1:53.49 set last month at the conference level.

Lobanov was out in 53.43, well ahead of the field, and came home in well under a minute to take down the record and win by nearly 4 seconds.

Queens senior Nic Eriksson was second in 1:55.65, and those points probably sealed the deal on Queens’ national championship bid. The Royals lead by 32 and will likely only need to avoid a DQ in the final relay to end Drury’s ten-year win streak.

Cal Baptist’s Nikolay Klepikov was 1:56.32 for third, with Wayne State senior Piotr Jachowicz fourth in 1:57.13.

Missouri S&T sophomore Miguel Chavez touched out his fellow sophomore from Lindenwood Mateusz Pacholczyk 1:57.31 to 1:57.42 for fifth place, and Drury senior Kacper Pelczynski was just a tick behind in 1:57.55. Rounding out the A heat was Delta State’s Matteo Fraschi in 1:58.34.

Women’s 400 free relay

In a fitting end to a meet that was brutal on the national record books, both Queens and Drury went under the old NCAA Division II record in the 400 free relay to close the meet. Queens led the way in 3:18.75, getting a 49.08 leadoff leg from Patricia Castro.

Also on the squad: Lillian Gordy (49.50), Alexandra Marshall (50.21) and Caroline Arakelian (49.96). The old record was Drury’s from 2011 at 3:19.75.

The 2015 edition of Drury’s team went 3:19.24, getting the field’s best split from Janet Yu, who anchored in 48.42. Wen Xu led off in 49.96, and the middle two legs came from Leah Reed (50.81) and Katya Rudenko (50.05).

A ways back from the top 2, Wingate nipped Wayne State for bronze, going 3:23.36 on a 50.01 anchor leg from Armony Dumur. Wayne State had a faster top split, getting a 49.80 from Elly Maleski, but couldn’t match Wingate on depth and went 3:23.67 for fourth.

That left Queens atop the final team points, beating defending champs Drury by 51 to finally cap off an eventful NCAA Division II title.

Men’s 400 free relay

Drury, Tampa and Nova Southeastern battled it out for meet’s final relay title, with all three teams separated by just about six tenths at the halfway mark.

Nova Southeastern had the best leadoff leg, getting a 43.11 from 100 free champ Thiago Sickert, but Drury’s Samuel Olson (43.70) kept pace. Tampa’s Jeremy Parker dropped a quick 42.98 on the second leg to pull his team back into things, with the top two teams splitting almost identical times.

Nova fell off in the third leg as Drury (Rodrigo Caceres Acosta in 43.69) and Tampa (Jordan Augier in 43.68) started to pull away. But it was the 43.51 anchor leg from Sean Feher that capped off the win for Drury in 2:54.90.

Tampa was just behind in 2:55.11, and Nova Southeastern went 2:55.29, climbing back into the hunt with a 43.81 final leg from Magnus Lundgren.

Wayne State beat out Bridgeport for fourth, 2:57.00 to 2:57.30. Wayne State was led by a 43.46 from Piotr Jachowicz, and Bridgeport had an even faster anchor in Ruben Gimenez (42.93).

Queens finished 7th overall, but that was still enough to seal their NCAA title, breaking a decade-long run by Drury in the NCAA’s Division II.

Final Team Scores


  1. Queens – 540.5
  2. Drury – 489.5
  3. Wingate – 320
  4. Nova Southeastern – 216
  5. Wayne State – 211


  1.  Queens – 433.5
  2. Drury – 417.5
  3. Lindenwood – 359
  4. Wayne State – 285
  5. Florida Southern – 273.5

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Mr. Royal
6 years ago

Royals did it! Just gotta be safe on the relay, congrats Coach Jeff/Peter/John

Rich Parsons
6 years ago

Congrats to Queens Women and Mens Champions!
Special recognition goes out to Caroline and Nick Arakelian for their outstanding efforts.
Livonia Michigan is very proud of your accomplishments!

6 years ago

More like congrats Dave Marsh

Reply to  Skeptic
6 years ago

Quote from one of Queen’s best swimmers ‘I wanted to train with Dave Marsh and Elite team, so I chose Queen’

I am not familiar with NCAA rules, but can NCAA swimmers train with pro swimmers?

6 years ago

Dugdale is a phenomenal coach. Would not be surprised to see UNC lose recruits to him even though they are D2. Very interested to see if he moves up to big time D1

6 years ago

Congrats to Queens. Good to see a team win with americans and athletes that are your traditional college age.

Mr. F
Reply to  SOCAL GUY
6 years ago

Patricia Castro Ortega is Spanish and has competed for Spain in the Olympics in 2012. She was a huge part of Queens’ title on the women’s side. She will also be 23 years old before starting her junior year of college. Not really what I would consider “American” or “Of College Age.”

Reply to  Mr. F
6 years ago

Sorry, was referring to men. but you are correct about women.

(internationals don’t dominate the field in the women as much as men)

Reply to  SOCAL GUY
6 years ago

The meet is loaded with swimmers from other countries including 22 yr old freshman. Now there is concern of losing scholarships because of changes with the super conferences but no concern to the lose that has been happening to US swimmers already.

Reply to  SOCAL GUY
6 years ago

Say thank you to the “old” foreign athletes, or your D2 would be irrelevant. Congrats Queens, way to swim lights out…well deserved!

Reply to  Foreigner
6 years ago

I dont believe thats necessarily true. If there was an age cap like D1, im sure coaches would find foreign athletes that were younger, no doubt.

If there were no foreigners, I have no doubt those slots could be filled with American swimmers. Obviously, it may not be as fast.

Swimmer j
6 years ago

Fast swims, but Too bad that these top winners(freshman) settled and went to division II schools rather than compete at the top level in division I. I think it’s best to compete at the highest level, and they could’ve made that choice out of high school. Big a big fish in a small pond, or strive to be a big fish in a big pond!

Reply to  Swimmer j
6 years ago

While D1 is definitely the fastest at the top I think what these D2 and D3 schools like Queens, Drury, Kenyon, and Denison have proved is that fast swimming happens at all levels. Of course were not seeing Morozov level 40 point on these 100 frees, but just because these athletes drop 42or 43s doesnt mean they are too fast for a lower division. A 43 would do exceptionally well at the large majority of D1 schools, but would barely be noticable at the top tier programs like Texas or Cal however at a d2 or d3 school that can turn you into a legend. Maybe these swimmers chose these programs because they weren’t 43s going into college and maybe… Read more »

Swimmer j
6 years ago

I think you are making my point exactly. If your a freshman “smashing” a division 2 record, and you were recruited by lots of division 1 schools, you are taking the ” glory” opportunity away from someone who develops over their college career. That freshman would better fit in division 1, that’s all.

Reply to  Swimmer j
6 years ago

As the dad of a swimmer that finished 2nd to Patri in 2 of those events, 200 Fr & 500 Fr. I can assure you that she has never once felt that she was cheated out of any “Glory”. If anything she’s grateful for the opportunity to have swam with and roomed with her for the past 2 years.

With Patri there she has pushed herself harder than she otherwise would have and has become a better swimmer from the experience.

6 years ago

There’s division 1 and there’s real division 1. There’s participating and there’s competing. Kudos to those outside the box thinkers that say I don’t want to be a small fish in a big pond…with the exception of what? 3-4 athletes, who can score at the Div1 ncaa meet individually?
I wonder what it would look like it you took the top 15 division 2 schools and put them up verses Divison 1 schools?? How far up from the bottom of Division 1 would you have to get before someone said, hey wait a minutes, what’s going on here? 50th? 40th? 30th I’m speaking duel meets on Mens side because the 9.9 and 8.1 is a lot more relative than… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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