2023 CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships
- February 15-18, 2023
- Allan Jones Aquatic Center, Knoxville, Tenn.
- SCY (25 yards)
- Defending Champion: Liberty women (4x), Incarnate Word men (1x)
- Start Times (ET)
- Prelims: 10 am
- Finals: 6 pm
- Meet Central
- Pre-Scratch Psych Sheet
- Live Results
- Live Stream
After the eventful 2021 meet that saw Liberty and Florida Gulf Coast tie for the women’s title and the three-time defending men’s champion Incarnate Word unable to make the trip, things returned to normal at the 2022 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Swimming & Diving Championships.
The Lady Flames rolled to a decisive victory over the Eagles by nearly 250 points, giving them four straight conference championship titles (including the tie in 2021).
On the men’s side, Incarnate Word had no trouble in reasserting itself as the class of the conference, winning the team title by 142.5 points over Florida Atlantic.
Now, Incarnate Word has departed for the MPSF, making the men’s title vacant, and there’s a new squad entering the fold set to make an impact.
- Participating Teams: Queens (NC), Gardner-Webb, Florida Atlantic, Old Dominion, Bellarmine, Campbell, Liberty, FGCU, Georgia Southern, UNC-Asheville, North Florida, James Madison (women only)
The long-reigning national champions in Division II, Queens, have entered the fray. The men’s team appears to be on track to take over the title left by IUW, while the women’s team will put Liberty’s winning streak to the test. James Madison and Old Dominion will also enter the fold.
- 200 medley relay
- Men’s 3-meter diving
- 500 free
- 200 IM
- 50 free
- 200 free relay
- Women’s 3-meter diving
- 100 fly
- 400 IM
- 200 free
- 400 medley relay
- 800 free relay
- Men’s 1-meter diving
- 100 back
- 100 breast
- 200 fly
- 1650 free
- 100 free
- 200 back
- 200 breast
- 200 breast
- Women’s 1-meter diving
- 400 free relay
SWIMMERS TO WATCH
Matej Dusa – Junior, Queens University of Charlotte: Dusa is a massive favorite to win the men’s 50 and 100 free titles, holding best times under the existing conference championship record in both events. Last season, Dusa, a Slovakian native, clocked a blistering 18.88 to win the Division II 50 free title, and his season-best time of 19.17 has him seeded first on the psych sheets by over a second. In the 100 free, Dusa owns a PB of 42.23. The current CCSA Championship Record stands at 19.49 and 43.05 in the two events, respectively. A junior, Dusa’s other entry comes in the 100 fly, where he’s seeded second to teammate Alex Bauch, though Dusa holds the faster best time at 46.84 and is in position to go three-for-three individually.
Alex Kunert – Senior, Queens University of Charlotte: Kunert has won three consecutive 200 fly titles at D2 NCAAs, and was also the 2019 winner in the 200 free and last season’s champ in the 200 IM. Similar to Dusa, his best times in all three events are well under the CCSA Championship Record, as Kunert has been as fast as 1:33.29 in the 200 free (2019), 1:41.19 in the 200 fly (2019), and 1:43.95 in the 200 IM. With Queens ineligible to compete at NCAAs this season due to their move up to D1, we can expect their swimmers to be fully tapered at CCSAs, and Kunert figures to rewrite the conference record book in what will be one of his final collegiate meets (Queens is scheduled to race at the CSCAA Championships in March).
Alex Bauch, Sophomore, Queens University of Charlotte: In addition to being in the mix with Dusa for the 100 fly title, Bauch is the frontrunner in both of the men’s backstroke events, and should be particularly dominant in the 100 back. The German native blasted his way to a time of 46.04 at the Queens Fall Frenzy in November, more than a second and a half under the CCSA Championship Record of 47.65. In the 200 back, he’s seeded first at 1:44.20 and has been as fast as 1:43.38 at last year’s D2 NCAAs.
Cameron Kuriger – Freshman, Florida Gulf Coast University: Kuriger enters her first collegiate conference championship meet with an excellent shot at two individual titles. The freshman out of Columbus leads the CCSA this season in the women’s 100 fly (53.94) and 200 fly (1:59.63), two of the few races in which the conference’s top time doesn’t belong to a swimmer from Queens. With FGCU losing Tori Czarnecka, the 2022 CCSA Swimmer of the Year who won the 100 free and 100 fly last season, Kuriger will aim to help fill the void. In the 100 fly, only Czarnecka was faster in last year’s championship meet than Kuriger’s season-best, while in the 200 fly, Kuriger’s 1:59.6 from November is well clear of the 2022 winning time (2:01.51).
Jess Pryne – Junior, James Madison University: With JMU joining the conference this season, Pryne comes in with a great chance at resetting CCSA Records in the women’s 200 and 400 IM. Pryne, a native of Cornwall, N.Y., was the Swimmer of the Meet at the 2022 ECAC Championships, having roared to victory in the 200 IM (1:58.97) and 400 IM (4:12.64) while placing second in the 200 fly (2:00.56). That time in the 400 IM would’ve won last season’s CSCAA title by nearly five seconds, and is under the conference championship record of 4:13.06, while in the 200 IM, her PB would’ve won the title in 2022 by nearly two seconds and is within striking distance of the conference record of 1:58.28. In the 200 fly, she figures to have an excellent battle with FGCU’s Kuriger.
Abbie Shaw – Junior, Liberty University: The defending champion in both female backstroke events, Shaw dropped a personal best time of 52.94 at the TYR ’85 Invite in mid-November, a swim that seeds her nearly a second and a half clear of the field at CCSAs. In the 200 back, Shaw is lurking down as the third seed on the psych sheets with a time of 1:59.19, but her PB of 1:55.13 from the 2022 CCSAs won the title by more than three seconds and she projects to dominate in a similar manner this year.
200 Backstroke: Only one swimmer went under 1:47.5 in the 200 back at last year’s championships, and he’s not in the conference this year (Incarnate Word’s Fernando Ruvalcaba Cruz). This year, we’ve got three men who have been at least 1:45.6, led by Queens’ Alex Bauch, who clocked 1:44.20 at their mid-season Fall Frenzy meet and owns a best of 1:43.38 from last year’s D2 NCAAs. His teammate Andreas Marz owns a best of 1:44.34 from last season, while ODU’s Jacob Cobb swam a best of 1:45.62 at the WVU Invitational in November.
100 Breaststroke: Five men are within three-quarters of a second of one another atop the conference in the 100 breast, led by Queens’ Noah Beladi at 53.98. He’s followed by FAU’s Dalton Lillibridge (54.08) and a trio of his Royals teammates in Balasz Berecz (54.27), Jan Delkeskamp (54.41) and Declan Gleason (54.70). In last year’s championship meet, only one swimmer was under 55.5.
100 Breaststroke: After completing the career grand slam by winning the women’s 100 breast for four straight years, FGCU’s Petra Halmai has graduated and the CCSA title is up for grabs. This season, Queens swimmers Danielle Melilli (1:01.45), Annika Huber (1:01.80) and Liberty’s Heather Gardner (1:01.94) lead the conference ranks, while UNC-Asheville’s Mikaela Fullerton comes in as the top returner after placing second last season to Halmai in 1:00.55.
100 Freestyle: Last year, Liberty freshman Sydney Stricklin upset FGCU’s Tori Czarnecka to win the 100 free title in a time of 49.48. This year, the Queens duo of Monica Gumina and Danielle Melilli enter the fold having both been 49-low this season. Gumina leads the conference with her time of 49.04 from the mid-season Queens Fall Frenzy, while Melilli was 49.21 at the same meet and owns a best of 48.90 from last season’s D2 NCAAs. Stricklin ranks third this season with a time of 50.27, done in early November, and the trio figure to have an exciting razor-thin battle on Saturday night.
- Florida Atlantic
The Queens men own the top seed in every single swimming event at the competition and figure to run away with the conference title, while FAU and Gardner-Webb appear to be destined to finish second and third like they did last season.
- James Madison
For the women, the newcomers from Queens have the most high-end performers, but Liberty has the depth, plus strong diving (Queens doesn’t have any divers). And with 24 swimmers scoring in each event, that combination benefits the Lady Flames in a big way and should be enough to earn them a fifth straight title. FGCU is losing its two top swimmers from last season, Czarnecka and Halmai, who combined for four individual titles and a pair of runner-up finishes. James Madison figures to jump up into the top three, though strong diving performances FAU and FGCU could change that.
Can we get a clarification as to why Queens can’t set CCSA records? Are the other ASun teams also ineligible for conference records?
Also, does the ASun have any intention of adding Women’s Swimming & Diving the near future? They would have a competitive, 6-team meet.