2019 NCAA Division II Men’s Championships – Day 2 Finals Live Recap

2019 NCAA Division II Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships

Day Two

Men’s 200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 1:17.27 3/10/2016 Tampa (Hammer, Augier, Borgen, Parker)
  • Meet: 1:17.27 3/10/2016 Tampa (Hammer, Augier, Borgen, Parker)


  1. Queens (NC) – 1:18.37
  2. Wayne State – 1:18.79
  3. Delta State – 1:19.11
  4. McKendree – 1:19.50
  5. Florida Tech – 1:19.77
  6. Grand Valley – 1:20.34
  7. Missouri S&T – 1:20.54
  8. Indy – 1:21.16

Queens won a tighter-than-expected 200 free relay with freshman Skyler Cook-Weeks (19.97), junior Brody Heck (19.15), junior Dmytro Sydorchenko (19.27), and freshman Ruben Stam (19.98) combining for 1:18.37. Wayne State (Ryan Katulski, Sasha Palazzo, Stewart Nowinski, and Franz Mueller) touched second with 1:18.79, just ahead of Delta State (Giulio Brugnoni, Alex Zolotukhin, Mattia Schirru, and Kohen Kerr). McKendree, who had led after Xander Skinner’s first leg of 19.75, finished 4th. Matija Pucarevic, Luca Simonetti, and Gregg Lichinsky joined with Skinner to go 1:19.50.

Men’s 400 Yard Individual Medley – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 3:43.84 3/12/2015 Nick Arakelian, Queens (NC)
  • Meet: 3:43.84 3/12/2015 Nick Arakelian, Queens (NC)


  1. Matthew Holmes, Florida Southern – 3:47.48
  2. Adrian VanderHelm, Simon Fraser – 3:49.50
  3. Cristian Vasquez, Lindenwood – 3:49.75
  4. Collyn Gagne, Simon Fraser – 3:51.08
  5. Zack Reuter, UCSD – 3:51.35
  6. Joao Ribeiro, Wayne State – 3:51.44
  7. Keegan Hawkins, Grand Valley – 3:52.77
  8. Samuel Brettmann, Nova S’eastern – 3:53.22

Simon Fraser senior Adrian VanderHelm was out early in the butterfly, turning 1st and the 50 wall and 1st at the 100 to lead the field from lane 2 on the fly-to-back wall. His teammate, freshman Collyn Gagne, pulled even at the 150 and took over the lead at the 200, with the strongest backstroke in the field.

Florida Southern senior Matthew Holmes, who had already moved into second place on the backstroke, took over the lead on the breaststroke and never gave it back. Holmes repeated his 2018 title in the event, going 3:47.48. VanderHelm came home with a monster final 50 yards, splitting 24.94, to overtake Lindenwood Cristian Vasquez over the last 25 yards. VanderHelm placed second with 3:48.50, while Vasquez finished 3rd in 3:49.75. Gagne wound up 4th in 3:51.08.

Men’s 100 Yard Butterfly – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 44.89 3/12/2015 Matthew Josa, Queens (NC)
  • Meet: 44.89 3/12/2015 Matthew Josa, Queens (NC)


  1. Marius Kusch, Queens (NC) – 44.32
  2. Pasha Semochkin, Drury – 46.64
  3. Magnus Poulsen, Nova S’eastern – 46.73
  4. Victor Rocha Furtado, Florida Tech – 47.08
  5. Giulio Brugnoni, Delta State – 47.15
  6. Gabriel Souza, Grand Valley – 47.27
  7. Spencer Daily, UCSD – 47.30
  8. Federico Bracco, Delta State – 47.56

Queens senior Marius Kusch took a .57-second chunk out of the NCAA Division II and meet records on Thursday, swimming the 9th-fastest 100-yard butterfly in history. Kusch becomes the 5th performer of all-time in the event, behind Caeleb Dressel (42.80), Joseph Schooling (43.75), Tom Shields (43.84), and Austin Staab (44.18). He moves ahead of Jack Conger (44.35).

Kusch got a terrific start and had strong underwaters, making up for a couple of less-than-perfect walls. He split 20.44/23.88 to win in 44.32, 2.32 seconds faster than runner-up Pasha Semochkin of Drury.

It was a tight final, with 2nd through 8th separated by less than a second. Semochkin led that field with 46.64, moving up one spot from his 3rd-place finish last year. Nova Southeastern’s Magnus Poulsen, 7th in 2018, was third with 46.73.

Men’s 200 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 1:32.46 3/10/2016 Dion Dreesens, Queens (NC)
  • Meet: 1:32.46 3/10/2016 Dion Dreesens, Queens (NC)


  1. Alex Kunert, Queens (NC) – 1:33.56
  2. Alex Sobers, Emmanuel – 1:34.76
  3. Alen Mosic, Queens (NC) – 1:36.00
  4. Morgan Meyer, Missouri S&T – 1:36.25
  5. Xander Skinner, McKendree – 1:36.99
  6. Skyler Cook-Weeks, Queens (NC) – 1:37.00
  7. Ivan Kurakin, UCSD – 1:37.52
  8. Mathew Fuller, Simon Fraser – 1:38.47

Queens freshman Alex Kunert got right to work in his quest for a national title in the 200 free. Out in a quick 21.17, he already had half a body-length lead on teammate Alen Mosic at the 50. He continued to build his lead over the next 50 yards, but Emmanuel junior Alex Sobers, who had passed Mosic on the second 50, swam the fastest 3rd 50 and began to close the distance. Kunert had more gas in the tank, though, and he came home .66 faster than Sobers to get the win, 1:33.56 to 1:34.76. Mosic finished 3rd with 1:36.00, just holding off Morgan Meyer of Missouri S&T who had a strong second half.

In his post-race interview, Kunert said, “I put my head down, like my coaches told me, and I got my hand to the wall first.”

Men’s 400 Yard Medley Relay – Finals

  • NCAA DII: 3:07.38 3/9/2017 Queens (NC) (Pijulet, Fedyna, Kusch, Dreesens)
  • Meet: 3:07.38 3/9/2017 Queens (NC) (Pijulet, Fedyna, Kusch, Dreesens)


  1. Queens (NC) – 3:08.15
  2. Wayne State – 3:10.24
  3. Grand Valley – 3:11.88
  4. Delta State – 3:12.30
  5. Indy – 3:12.87
  6. Nova S’eastern – 3:13.66
  7. Lindenwood – 3:13.80
  8. Florida Tech – 3:15.00

Kusch led off the winning Queens relay in 45.90, just .02 off the NCAA Division II and meet record of 45.88. He was followed by freshman Jan Delkeskamp (53.47), Kunert (46.17), and Heck (42.61). The Royals finished with 3:08.15, winning by 2 body lengths but falling short of the meet and D2 record, set in 2017 by a quartet from Queens.

Wayne State came in second behind legs from Dima Drobnych (47.11), Sasha Palazzo (52.63), Rasmus Olsen (46.81), and Ryan Katulski (43.59). Palazzo was the fastest breaststroker in the field. Indy’s Justin Winnett was also under 53 seconds with 52.72.

Grand Valley took third with 3:11.88 thanks to Harry Shalamon (46.82), Marius Mikalauskas (54.09), Souza (46.86), and Ben Walling (44.11).

                      Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 20                      
  1. Queens (Nc)                       331   2. Delta State                     200.5
  3. Indy                              156   4. Grand Valley                      140
  5. Wayne State                     135.5   6. Florida Tech                    107.5
  7. Missouri S & T                    102   8. Ucsd                               98
  9. Nova S'Eastern                     97  10. Colorado Mesa                      93
 11. McKendree                          79  12. Lindenwood                         75
 13. Simon Fraser                       74  14. Florida Southern                 59.5
 15. Emmanuel                         33.5  16. Tampa                              33
 17. Wingate                          25.5  18. Drury                              25
 19. Nmu                                24  20. Carson-Newman                      18
 21. Oklahoma Baptist                   17  22. Clarion University                 14
 23. Fresno Pacific                     12  24. St. Cloud St.-W                    10
 24. Gannon                             10  26. Truman St.                          4
 26. Concordia Irvine                    4




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5 years ago

Any Australians competing here?

Reply to  Stefano
5 years ago

Ryan Leonard of NMU, Jesse Goodyear of GVSU, off the top of my head

Rumble Ranger 066
Reply to  queensdumb
5 years ago

Bec Cross from Drury

5 years ago

What’s the largest margin of victory points-wise at D2 nationals?

Reply to  Curious
5 years ago

Presuming that you’re asking about men – 429 points by Bakersfield in 1992 over Clarion.

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

Yes, thank you! Interested to know the same on the women’s side as well – would be interesting to see how close Queens ends up in comparison this year

5 years ago

What’s the likelihood someone beats Kusch’s 44.32 at D1s in two weeks? I say it’s unlikely, maybe 25%.

Follow-up: when’s the last time a D1 champion was not faster than the D2/D3 champion in that event?

Curious Swimma
Reply to  joe
5 years ago

2005, Michaelsson

Reply to  Curious Swimma
5 years ago

Same events too. Ian Crocker was the fastest in D 1 that year.

Reply to  Curious Swimma
5 years ago

It was 2003. At the time, it was just short of the American Record, but I believe that year he was faster than Crocker.

5 years ago

Alex Kunert is 23 year old freshman

Reply to  swimmer
5 years ago

Even though it’s also the reason the teams I root for are good…. this is what is wrong with Division II. It’s a joke. Before Queens it was Drury. It’s a never ending cycle.

Reply to  queensdumb
5 years ago

It’s perfectly legal in D 2, so why is it wrong? They’re rules are just different. If D 1 didn’t exist, would the D 2 rules then be ok since they’d be the standard?

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
5 years ago

I wonder if he is eligible for four years since he went to college in Germany before. He graduated high school in 2015 and competed at the 2017 Universiade.

Reply to  CHMI
5 years ago

He will definitely lose at least one year then, in my experience with my own international teammates. Any year he chose to don a university label he will lose

Reply to  queensdumb
5 years ago

He will only lose a year if he claims that he competed in Germany unfortunately…or if the ncaa actually takes the time to look into it but they rarely do

Foreign Embassy
Reply to  queensdumb
5 years ago

What’s the difference btw d1 and d2 you are referring to? I’m not familiar…something to do with age?

Reply to  Foreign Embassy
5 years ago

In D2, essentially if one enrolls full-time in a university (any university in the world) within a year of their high school graduation, and completes one semester, their clock freezes. They can then just train (professionally) for as long as they like, and then enroll in a D2 school at any age and have 4 years of eligibility still remaining (although technically not if they’re a professional, but that’s…well….up to compliance….). Then there’s a bunch of D2 rules also stating about not being able to accept prize money (except for “after” the “playing season” and “only” in the summer) and not being able to represent the school (i.e. entered with the school’s name nor wearing provided gear) at competitions other… Read more »

The michael phelps caterpillar
5 years ago

God I am jealous of Kusch. Lives in SD, super fast, dates Kathleen Baker. What a life.

Reply to  The michael phelps caterpillar
5 years ago

Who isn’t 😩

Reply to  The michael phelps caterpillar
5 years ago

I don’t get any of this. How can they train/date in San Diego, when their schools are in Berkeley and Charlotte?

Reply to  Curious
5 years ago

Marius going to school, hahahahahaha

5 years ago

Thank GOD we don’t have Rowdy announcing at D2 nationals… This guy is way better

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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