2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships – Fan Guide

2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships

The 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships get underway Wednesday, March 17 in Birmingham, Alabama. The 2019 champion, Queens University of Charlotte, is hoping to extend its title streak to six straight.* The Royals won the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 NCAA Division II Championships.

(*There was no winner in 2020, as the national meet was stopped between prelims and finals on Day 2 amid growing concerns about the COVID pandemic. Divisions I and III, scheduled to begin a week later in mid-March 2020, were canceled altogether.)

Prior to that, Drury University had won ten championships in a row, from 2005 to 2014.

The 2021 pysch sheets put Queens and Drury within 1.5 points of each other. The Royals qualified 14 swimmers and all five relays. The Panthers will have 15 swimmers and five relays, four of which are seeded #1. Drury also has one diver qualified for the preliminary diving meet (diving points are not included in the projections yet since no divers have technically qualified for the championships).

The next wave of teams battling for position will include University of Indianapolis, Lindenwood University, McKendree University, Wingate University, and Grand Valley State University. It’s worth noting that most of these teams have divers whose potential points have not been scored yet: UIndy (3 divers), Lindenwood (2), McKendree (2), Grand Valley (3). Colorado Mesa, projected to finish in the top 15 in swimming points alone, has four divers in the qualifying meet.

Stars

Diving

Colorado Mesa senior Ammar Hassan, who was the double-defending champion in 1-meter and 3-meter diving heading into 2020 NCAAs, is back in his final championship meet. Hassan won both diving events in 2018 and 2019, breaking the NCAA D2 record in 3-meter diving as a freshman in 2018. He was the top scorer in 1-meter and 2-meter at the 2020 qualifying meet and had led the competition by 63 points after 1-meter prelims on Day 2 before the NCAA called the meet.

Other top-8 qualifiers from last year’s aborted 1-meter event who are back this year include UIndy’s Cade Hammond and Jason Lenzo; Delta State’s Jawone Blankenship; and Grand Valley State’s Christopher Kelly.

Freestyle

McKendree sophomore Fabio Dalu is heavily favored to dominate the longer end of the freestyle range, coming in with the top seed times in the 500 free (4:21.03), 1000 free (8:57.00), and 1650 free (14:55.42). Dalu broke the NCAA record in the mile in February, being the first Division II swimmer to break the 15-minute barrier in the event. He won the 1000 free on Day 1 of the 2020 NCAA Division II National Championships last year, the only day full day of competition (the meet was canceled between prelims and finals on Day 2). In doing so, he became the program’s first individual national champion in the 1000. He also competed in the 400 IM on Day 2, coming in 5th in prelims. Grand Valley State freshman Eric Hieber (4:23.64/9:00.53/15:16.51) is seeded second behind Dalu in all three distance events. He is also 15th in the 200 free (1:37.74).

At the sprint end, it’s Drury freshman Karol Ostrowski who leads the entrants in the 50 free (19.09), 100 free (41.50), and 200 free (1:34.93). Seeded second in the 50 is Queens freshman Matej Dusa (19.33). Gregg Lichinsky, a junior at McKendree, comes in with the second-fastest seed time in the 100 free (42.57). In 2020, he was runner-up in the final of the 50 free and 5th in prelims of the 100 fly. Dusa has the #3 seed time in the 100 free (43.30). Carson-Newman sophomore Raphael Paiva (1:35.71) is seeded behind Ostrowski in the 200 free. IUP freshman Luke Mikesell (1:36.28) is third.

Backstroke

Drury freshman Ostrowski (46.84) is also seeded first in the 100 back, .14 ahead of both Finn Howard of Queens and Nathan Bighetti of Drury (46.98).

Bighetti (1:42.69) is top seed in the 200 back. A pair from UIndy, sophomore Andras Tiszai (1:43.82) and freshman Landon Driggers (1:44.40), follow with the second and third times. Driggers is also in the top 8 of the 100 back. Delta State junior Emanuel Fava is seeded fourth in the 200 back (1:44.64) and 12th in the 100. A year ago, Fava won the 200 IM on Day 1 with 1:44.10. Giulio Brugnoni, a senior from Delta State, is 9th in the 200 back (1:45.62) and 5th in the 100 (47.17). He was third in the 50 free in 2020.

Breaststroke

The upperclassmen top the psych sheets in the breaststroke events, with seniors Joao Santos of Emmanuel (53.16) and Gerald Brown of Lindenwood (1:56.85) leading the way in the 100 breast and 200 breast, respectively. Brown is seeded second in the 100 breast (53.20).

Missouri S&T junior Thomas Huffman (1:57.50) is #2 seed in the 200 breast. He is followed by Jan Delkeskamp (1:58.17), a junior at Queens, who is also seeded 7th in the 100 breast (53.91). Delkeskamp came in third in the 200 on Day 1 last year.

Butterfly

Findlay sophomore Timothy Stollings (46.02) is entered with the top time in the 100 fly. McKendree’s Lichinsky (46.62) is second. Grand Valley senior Oscar Saura Armengol is seeded third, tied with Wingate senior Iran Almeida (46.86). Delta State’s Brugnoni is also in the top 8.

Almeida is the top seed in the 200 fly (1:43.94). Last year, he tied for 8th in the 100 fly prelims.

2019 NCAA champion Alex Kunert of Queens (1:44.39) comes in with the second-fastest seed time. His teammate, freshman Yannick Plasil, is third (1:45.36), just ahead of Drury sophomore Dominik Karacic (1:45.73).

Individual Medley

Drury junior James Brown (1:45.09) comes in with the leading seed time in the 200 IM. Defending champion of Fava Delta State is seeded second (1:45.51). Lindenwood freshman Matheo Mateos-Mongelo has the third-fastest time (1:47.49); he is followed by Henderson State junior Stephen Jones (1:47.64) and Queens junior Delkeskamp (1:47.67).

McKendree’s distance freestyle star Dalu (3:47.37) is the top seed in the 400 IM. A year ago, he came in fifth in prelims on Day 2. Indy freshman Driggers is seeded second (3:48.38), just ahead of Drury’s Brown (3:48.95), Lindenwood’s Mateos-Mongelo (3:49.83), and Queens’ Delkeskamp (3:51.01).

Team Race

The top men’s ten teams from the psych sheet, including distance events and relays, but excluding diving, are as follows:

  1. Queens (NC) – 495
  2. Drury – 493.5
  3. Indy – 339
  4. Lindenwood – 321
  5. McKendree – 310
  6. Wingate – 235.5
  7. Grand Valley – 222.5
  8. Delta State – 149
  9. Carson-Newman – 137.5
  10. Wayne State / Missouri S&T – 133 (tie)

Projected Scorers – Top 10 Individuals, Swimming Only

  1. Fabio Dalu, McKendree / Karol Ostrowski, Drury – 80 (tie)
  2. Jan Delkeskamp, Queens (NC) – 56
  3. Eric Hieber, Grand Valley – 53
  4. James Brown, Drury – 50
  5. Landon Driggers, Indy – 49
  6. Gregg Lichinsky, McKendree – 48
  7. Timothy Stollings, Findlay – 46
  8. Matheo Mateos–Mongelo, Lindenwood – 45
  9. Matej Dusa, Queens (NC) – 42

4-Day Schedule – Finals

Wednesday, March 17

  • 1000-yard freestyle
  • 200-yard individual medley
  • 50-yard freestyle
  • 3-meter diving (M)
  • 200-yard medley relay

Thursday, March 18

  • 200-yard freestyle relay
  • 400-yard individual medley
  • 100-yard butterfly
  • 200-yard freestyle
  • 400-yard medley relay

Friday, March 19

  • 500-yard freestyle
  • 100-yard backstroke
  • 100-yard breaststroke
  • 200-yard butterfly
  • 1-meter diving (M)
  • 800-yard freestyle relay

Saturday, March 20

  • 1650-yard freestyle
  • 100-yard freestyle
  • 200-yard backstroke
  • 200-yard breaststroke
  • 400-yard freestyle relay

 

 

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ISpeakTheTruth
1 month ago

CSMF

Diver
1 month ago

Is there a preview of the DII Women’s competitors?

PFA
1 month ago

I’d say Ean Vandergraaf is a dark horse in the 500 and 200 frees

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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