2018 NCAA Division II Women’s Championships – Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

2018 NCAA Division II Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships

  • Dates: Wednesday, March 14 – Saturday, March 17
  • Swimming: prelims 10am, finals 6pm; Diving: 2pm
  • Location: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champions: Queens (results)
  • Psych Sheet
  • Video
  • Live Results
  • Championship Central

Day 3

Women’s 500 Yard Freestyle – Prelims

  • NCAA DII: 4:39.28 3/11/2016 Patri Castro Ortega, Queens (NC)
  • Meet: 4:39.28 3/11/2016 Patri Castro Ortega, Queens (NC)


  1. Buse Topcu, FR Cal Baptist 4:49.40
  2. Georgia Wright, SO West Chester 4:50.86
  3. Simone de Rijcke, JR Lindenwood 4:51.85
  4. Erica Dahlgren, SO Drury University 4:52.41
  5. Emma Sundstedt, FR Nova S’eastern 4:52.79
  6. Francesca Bains, FR Queens (NC) 4:53.11
  7. Laura Fornshell, SO Fresno Pacific 4:54.00
  8. Annagrazia Bonsanti, SR Bridgeport 4:54.13
  9. Morgan Fischer, JR Lindenwood 4:55.22
  10. Sarah Reamy, SO Queens (NC) 4:55.60
  11. Emma O’Neill, SO West Chester 4:56.09
  12. Nicole Smith, JR IUP 4:56.77
  13. Kristen Olvet, SO Simon Fraser 4:57.14
  14. Caroline Jouisse, JR Delta State 4:57.28
  15. Mia Wood, SO Colorado School 4:57.36
  16. Madison Yelle, SR Nova S’eastern 4:57.44

Augustana freshman Taylor Beagle won the first heat in 5:01.85. The next heat went to Nova S’eastern senior Madison Yelle in 4:57.44 ahead of West Chester senior Lovisa Nyman (4:58.52). Queens freshman Sarah Reamy held off fast-charging Nicole Smith of Indiana University of Pennsylvania to win the last heat before the circle-seeds, 4:55.60 to 4:56.77.

Fresno Pacific sophomore Laura Forshell kicked off the championship heats with a wire-to-wire win, swimming most of the race in clean water. She stopped the clock at 4:54.00. Behind her, West Chester sophomore Emma O’Neill and Simon Fraser sophomore Kristen Olvet were trading stroke for stroke in the second position until O’Neill broke away over the final 100 yards and touched second with 4:56.09. Olvet went 4:57.14 for third in the heat.

Cal Baptist freshman Buse Topcu, who is having a breakout meet, went out early and hung onto the lead to win heat 5 in 4:49.40. Behind her, Lindenwood junior Simone de Rijcke and Drury sophomore Erica Dahlgren battled for second. De Rijcke finished with 4:51.85 for second, Dahlgren touched at 4:52.41.

Defending champion, West Chester sophomore Georgia Wright, finished the 500s with a 4:50.86 win in heat 6. Nova S’eastern freshman and top seed Emma Sundstedt went 4:52.79 to touch out Queens freshman Francesca Bains (4:53.11) for second in the heat.

Women’s 100 Yard Backstroke – Prelims

  • NCAA DII: 52.45 3/14/2014 Mary Hanson, Cal Baptist
  • Meet: 52.45 3/14/2014 Mary Hanson, Cal Baptist


  1. Celina Marquez, SO Oklahoma Baptist 53.60
  2. Yekaterina Rudenko, SR Drury University 53.89
  3. Erin Sullivan, SR MSU-Moorhead 54.39
  4. Rachel Helm, SO NMU 54.51
  5. Cassandra Wright, FR Sioux Falls 54.60
  6. Suzanne Afchain, JR Oklahoma Baptist 54.71
  7. Rachel Massaro, FR Queens (NC) 55.07
  8. Karis Fuller, JR LIU Post 55.12
  9. Alexandra Rodman, SR UCSD 55.23
  10. Tamlyn Price, SR Oklahoma Baptist 55.34
  11. Cecilia Hake, SR Minnesota State 55.42
  12. Morgan McClure, SR CSU East Bay 55.64
  13. Lucia Martelli, FR Delta State 55.67
  14. Vladyslava Maznytska, FR Queens (NC) 55.72
  15. Laura Bendfeldt, SR LIU Post 55.81
  16. Regan Kilburn, JR NMU 55.88

A 6/10 improvement of her seed time led Fresno Pacific junior Olga Melnikova to a heat 1 win in the 100 back with 55.91. UCSD senior Alexandra Rodman followed in the next heat with a .86 drop of her own to claim victory with 55.23. Second in that heat was Cal State East Bay senior Morgan McClure (55.64).

Defending champion, Northern Michigan sophomore Rachel Helm, won the first circle-seeded heat in 54.51. LIU Post junior Karis Fuller touched second with 55.12, improving her seed time by .20. Next to the wall was Oklahoma Baptist senior Tamlyn Price in 55.34.

Oklahoma Baptist sophomore Celina Marquez ripped a 53.60 to take the next heat over MSU-Moorhead senior Erin Sullivan (54.39) and Oklahoma Baptist junior Suzanne Afchain (54.71). Sullivan dropped 9/10 to make the A final, while Afchain improved by 2/10.

The final heat went to Drury senior Yekaterina Rudenko, runner-up in this event last year, in 53.89. Sioux Falls freshman Cassandra Wright came to the wall next in 54.60, ahead of Minnesota State-Mankato senior Cecilia Hake (55.42).

Women’s 100 Yard Breaststroke – Prelims

  • NCAA DII: 59.51 3/10/2017 Theresa Michalak, West Florida
  • Meet: 59.51 3/10/2017 Theresa Michalak, West Florida


  1. Zuzanna Chwadeczko, SR Drury University 1:00.25
  2. Bailee Nunn, SO Drury University 1:00.49
  3. Maggie Melhorn, SR Carson-Newman 1:01.15
  4. Michelle Prayson, JR Queens (NC) 1:01.45
  5. Olga Tovstogan, SO Fresno Pacific 1:01.58 / Nicole Young, SR Bloomsburg 1:01.58
  6. Natalie Galluzzo, FR Truman St. 1:01.91
  7. Daria Belova, SR Fresno Pacific 1:02.08 (1:02.08 in swim-off)
  8. Claire Beaty, SR CSU East Bay 1:02.08 (1:02.33 in swim-off)
  9. Malin Westman, SR Nova S’eastern 1:02.13
  10. Anshani Phetbenjakul, SR UCSD 1:02.18
  11. Katharina Vos, SO Wingate 1:02.43
  12. Rachel Taylor, FR UCSD 1:02.62
  13. Ewa Dymarek, SR Lindenwood 1:02.68
  14. Sophia Noren, FR Bellarmine 1:02.78
  15. Mckenzie Street, JR TAMPA 1:02.90

Queens freshman Sarah Atkinson blasted a best-by-1.1-seconds 1:03.00 to open the heats of women’s 100 breast. Second in the heat was Mankato freshman Lily Borgenheimer, who dropped .65 to go 1:03.93. Wingate sophomore Katharina Vos took 8/10 off her seed time and won heat 2 with 1:02.43 ahead of Tampa junior Mckenzie Street (1:02.90).

Queens junior Michelle Prayson won the first championship-seeded heat in 1:01.45. She was followed by Truman State freshman Natalie Galluzzo (1:01.91) and Nova S’eastern senior Malin Westman (1:02.13).

Drury senior Zuzanna Chwadeczko, who was fourth in this event last year, took half a second off her seed time in winning heat 4 with 1:00.25. Carson-Newman senior Maggie Melhorn, 12th in 2017, went .52 better than her seed time to finish second with 1:01.15. Third to the wall was Fresno Pacific senior Daria Belova, who again improved her entry time; she dropped .71 and clocked a 1:02.08.

Defending champion Bailee Nunn, who has the best back-half in town, claimed victory in the final heat with 1:00.49. Nunn was third at the 50 behind Bloomsburg senior Nicole Young and Fresno Pacific sophomore Olga Tovstogan. Nunn raced home 1 second faster than Tovstogan and 1.4 faster than Young to get the win. Tovstogan and Young ended up tied for second with 1:01.58.

There was a swim-off for 8th place between Fresno Pacific’s Belova and Cal State East Bay senior Claire Beaty, both of whom swam 1:02.08 in prelims. Belova stopped the clock at exactly 1:02.08 for a second time, while Beaty was a tick behind (1:02.33) despite roaring home on the last 25 yards.

Women’s 200 Yard Butterfly – Prelims

  • NCAA DII: 1:57.62 2/17/2018 McKenzie Stevens, Queens (NC)
  • Meet: 1:57.94 3/11/2016 Sofia Petrenko, Wingate


  1. Jessie Gibson, SO Simon Fraser 1:57.99
  2. Mckenzie Stevens, SR Queens (NC) 1:58.20
  3. Georgia DaCruz, SO Queens (NC) 2:01.36
  4. Josephina Lorda, JR Queens (NC) 2:01.41
  5. Sofia Petrenko, SR Cal Baptist 2:01.44
  6. Lucia Martelli, FR Delta State 2:01.60
  7. Charlott Knippenberg, SO Wingate 2:01.87
  8. Kaleigh Sharkey, FR Simon Fraser 2:01.92
  9. Courtney Deveny, SR Nova S’eastern 2:02.88
  10. Darian Murray, SO Indy 2:02.96
  11. Caroline Oster, JR Nova S’eastern 2:02.97
  12. Meghan Keithly, SO West Chester 2:03.15
  13. Faith Moss, SR Oklahoma Baptist 2:03.22
  14. Cecilie Jensen, FR Carson-Newman 2:03.55
  15. Madeline Pitt, SR West Florida 2:03.77
  16. Haley Groteler, FR Wayne State 2:03.81

Oklahoma Baptist senior Faith Moss cracked a 2:03.22, taking 1.63 seconds off her entry time, to win heat 1 over UC San Diego freshman Lindsay Clark (2:04.42). Queens sophomore Georgia DaCruz, who won the consolation final at 2017 NCAAs, improved her time by a tick to win heat 2 in 2:01.36 in front of Nova S’eastern senior Courtney Deveny (2:02.88) and UIndy sophomore Darian Murray (2:02.96).

Simon Fraser sophomore Jessie Gibson dropped 9/10 to win the penultimate heat with 1:57.99. Queens junior Josephina Lorda edged Wingate sophomore Charlott Knippenberg, 2:01.41 to 2:01.87 for second in the heat.

NCAA record-holder Mckenzie Stevens of Queens took the final heat in 1:58.20 over Cal Baptist senior Sofia Petrenko (2:01.44) and Delta State freshman Lucia Martelli (2:01.60).

Women’s 1 Meter Diving – Prelims

  • NCAA DII: 511.55 3/10/2011 Kayla Kelosky, Clarion
  • Meet: 511.55 3/10/2011 Kayla Kelosky, Clarion


  1. Christina Sather, JR Clarion 443.85
  2. Cassandra Kury, FR Indy 433.00
  3. Britin Thomsen, JR St. Cloud St 429.40
  4. Mikayla Karasek, SO Grand Valley 427.50
  5. Kelsey Vreeman, SO Colorado Mesa 426.85
  6. Brooke Abrantes, JR UCSD 417.45
  7. Brittany Dixon, SO Colorado Mesa 417.25
  8. Nadia Mulder, SO West Chester 413.75
  9. Emma Kehn, SO Clarion 413.70
  10. Genesis Veliz, JR Oklahoma Baptist 404.20
  11. Mia Teifer, SO Wayne State 399.70
  12. McKenna Webster, FR Azusa Pacific 394.40
  13. Nicole Taormina, FR Grand Valley 389.50
  14. Emily Dunkerson, SO Cal Baptist 388.00
  15. Ashley Holloway, JR Lindenwood 386.20
  16. Lonie Anderson, SR St. Cloud St 382.80

Clarion junior Christina Sather, runner-up in 2017, emerged on top of a tight field after preliminary diving on the 1-meter board. She scored 443.85 points, ahead of Indy freshman Cassandra Kury (433.00). Sather was third in the final of 3-meter diving on Wednesday; Kury was 6th. Britin Thomsen of St. Cloud State and Mikayla Karasek of Grand Valley, 8th and 9th in 3-meter diving, were the next qualifiers. Oklahoma Baptist junior Genesis Veliz, who won the national title on Wednesday, finished 10th this morning.

Women’s 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – Slower Heats

  • NCAA DII: 7:12.96 2/10/2016 Queens (NC) (Castro Ortega, Arakelian, Lorda, Stevens)
  • Meet: 7:14.69 3/13/2015 Queens (NC) (Castro Ortega, Gordy, Stevens, Arakelian)

Top 8 from morning session:

  1. Colorado Mesa 7:26.36
  2. Drury University 7:27.52
  3. Cal Baptist 7:28.06
  4. Carson-Newman 7:28.30
  5. Truman St. 7:28.37
  6. Grand Valley 7:28.54
  7. Delta State 7:29.75
  8. CSU East Bay 7:30.81

Margaret Stansberry chased down Truman State to give Carson-Newman a heat 1 victory, 7:28.30 to 7:28.37. Stansberry anchored in 1:48.94, while Truman State’s Jamie Fitzpatrick swam a blazing 1:49.16, herself. Stansberry finished 4th in last night’s 200 free final; Fitzpatrick was 11th with 1:50.03.

Drury and Colorado Mesa provided excitement in the second heat. Virtually tied at the last exchange, with Cal Baptist a half body-length behind, they battled to the finish, while Sophia Petrenko tried to move in on the leaders. Mesa sophomore Madelaine McClain notched it into a whole other gear over the final 50 and gave the Mavericks the heat win with 7:26.36. Drury placed second with 7:27.52, while Cal Baptist touched in 7:28.06.




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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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