2018 NCAA Division II Women’s Championships – Queens Takes Charge on Day 1

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 1

Women’s 1000 Yard Freestyle – Fastest Heat

  • NCAA DII: 9:46.63 12/15/2017 Emma Sundstedt, Nova S’eastern
  • Meet: 9:48.87 3/8/2017 Georgia Wright, West Chester
  1. Georgia Wright, SO West Chester 9:51.16
  2. Simone de Rijcke, JR Lindenwood 9:55.45
  3. Laura Fornshell, SO Fresno Pacific 9:55.61

The first finals session of the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships began with excitement. Cal Baptist freshman Buse Topcu went out very quickly, swimming well under record pace through the 500. At the 200 she was already nearly 3 seconds under pace. By the 400 she was 3.1 under, turning in 3:51.16. While she was still faster than record pace at the 500, it was only by a tick, and by then defending champion and meet record-holder Georgia Wright was closing the gap. The West Chester sophomore pulled within a body length of Topcu at the 550, and passed her at the 600. Meanwhile, Emma Sundstedt of Nova S’eastern, who set the Division II record in December, was moving up on the leaders as well.

The last 150-200 was a sprint to catch Topcu and Sundstedt, as Wright was too far out in front. Wright repeated her 2017 NCAA title in the 1000, this time going 9:51.16. Simone de Rijcke, a junior at Lindenwood, succeeded in getting her hand to the wall just ahead of Fresno Pacific sophomore Laura Fornshell, 9:55.45 to 9:55.61. They both passed Buse (4th with 9:55.88), Queens freshman Francesca Bains (9:56.25), Sundstedt (9:56.45), and Drury sophomore Erica Dahlgren (9:58.76). Grand Valley sophomore Melina Goebel, who put up the fastest time in the morning heats, wound up in 8th place with 10:04.02.

Women’s 200 Yard Individual Medley – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 1:55.63 3/9/2016 Patri Castro Ortega, Queens (NC)
  • Meet: 1:55.63 3/9/2016 Patri Castro Ortega, Queens (NC)
  • Pool: 1:52.11 3/19/2015 Missy Franklin, California
  1. Bailee Nunn, SO Drury University 1:57.55
  2. Zuzanna Chwadeczko, SR Drury University 1:58.19
  3. Alexis Divelbiss, SR Wingate 2:00.11

It was a fairly even field until the fly-to-back turn, the middle lanes all turning together in 25-low to 25-mid. Then Drury senior Zuzanna Chwadeczko broke away with a 30.0 backstroke leg and moved to the front by 9/10 at the halfway mark. 2017 runner-up Alexis Divelbiss of Wingate was in second place at that point, followed by Courtney Deveny of Nova S’eastern and defending champion Bailee Nunn of Drury. But Nunn had just been biding her time, waiting to let loose on the breaststroke leg. She split it 32.88 and pulled within 6/10 of her teammate Chwadeczko. Over the final 50 yards the pair battled for the win, with Nunn getting the touch, 1:57.55 to 1:58.19. Divelbiss came in third with 2:00.11.

Shippensburg senior Stephanie O’Toole went 2:00.78 for 4th. She was followed by CSU East Bay senior Morgan McClure (2:00.87), Deveny (2:01.41), and Queens teammates Georgia DaCruz (2:03.47) and Josephina Lorda (2:03.71).

Women’s 50-yard Freestyle – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 22.20 3/9/2017 Bailee Nunn, Drury
  • Meet: 22.20 3/9/2017 Bailee Nunn, Drury
  • Pool: 21.32 3/19/2015 Simone Manuel, Stanford
  1. Wanda Dollmayer, FR Queens (NC) 22.75
  2. Vera Johansson, SR Drury University 22.79
  3. Victoria Fonville, SO Oklahoma Baptist 22.80

All eight lanes of the women’s 50 free came in together, but in the end it was Queens freshman Wanda Dollmayer who got her hand to the wall first, stopping the clock at 22.75. Drury senior Vera Johansson followed by .04; she in turn was .01 faster than top-seeded Victoria Fonville of Oklahoma Baptist.

The rest of the field wasn’t far behind. Queens junior Kyrie Dobson, fifth last year, touched fourth this time with 22.94. She was followed by Carson-Newman’s Lisa Postma (23.07), Drury senior Yekaterina Rudenko (23.08), Queens senior Lara Marshall (23.12), and West Chester sophomore Mikaela Lantz (23.17).

Women’s 3-meter Diving – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 555.70 3/14/2015 Elizabeth Rawlings, Wayne State
  • Meet: 555.70 3/14/2015 Elizabeth Rawlings, Wayne State
  1. Genesis Veliz, JR Oklahoma Baptist 494.20
  2. Emma Kehn, SO Clarion 484.60
  3. Christina Sather, JR Clarion 477.50

Oklahoma Baptist junior Genesis Veliz continued to dominate the 3-meter board in the finals of women’s diving on Wednesday night. She scored 494.20 points to win the national crown over Clarion teammates, sophomore Emma Kehn (484.60) and junior Christina Sather (477.50). Sather and Kehn finished fourth and fifth, respectively, last year.

The other finalists included Colorado Mesa sophomore Kelsey Vreeman (472.00), Cal Baptist sophomore Emily Dunkerson (470.75), Indy freshman Cassandra Kury (with a new school record of 468.05), Colorado Mesa sophomore Brittany Dixon (463.30), and St. Cloud junior Britin Thomsen (428.00).

Women’s 200-yard Medley Relay – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 1:38.49 2/14/2018 Queens (NC) (Massaro, Prayson, DaCruz, Dobson)
  • Meet: 1:38.78 3/8/2017 Drury Rudenko, Chwadeczko, Johansson, Nunn
  • Pool: 1:35.10 3/20/2015 Stanford A Howe, S Haase, J Hu, L Neal
  1. Queens (NC) 1:38.65
  2. Drury University 1:38.68
  3. Nova S’eastern 1:41.00

In the final event of the day, both Queens and Drury beat the meet record of 1:38.78 in the 200 medley relay, but only the Royals inscribed their name in the record book as they came out ahead, 1:38.65 to 1:38.68. Freshman Rachel Massaro led off for Queens, going 25.44. Michelle Prayson split 27.28 on the breast, while sophomore DaCruz (23.85) and junior Dobson (22.08) brought it home for the Royals. Drury’s front half was stronger than Queens’ with Rudenko in back (25.32) and Chwadeczko in breast (27.03). But they lost ground on the breast (Johansson 23.70) and free (Abigail Lunzmann 22.63) and had to settle for the silver medal. Nova S’eastern (Deveny, Malin Westman, Jenna Johns, and Sydney Panzarino) came in third with 1:41.00.

Women’s Team Scores – Day 1

  1. Queens (NC) 140
  2. Drury 118
  3. Oklahoma Baptist 69
  4. Nova S’Eastern 67
  5. Fresno Pacific 46
  6. Cal Baptist 45
  7. Carson-Newman 44
  8. West Chester 42
  9. CSU East Bay 38
  10. Clarion 33
  11. NMU 29
  12. Lindenwood 28 / Wingate 28 / Grand Valley 28
  13. Colorado Mesa 27
  14. Indy 19
  15. UCSD 18
  16. MSU Mankato 16
  17. Ship 15
  18. Sioux Falls 14
  19. Cloud St.-W 11
  20. Wayne State 10
  21. Wscu 7 / Tampa 7
  22. Bridgeport 6
  23. Mines 5
  24. Truman St. 4 / Saginaw Valley 4
  25. West Florida 3 / Florida Southern 3
  26. McKendree 2
  27. Azusa Pacific 1 / UMSL 1


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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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