Women’s 1650 Freestyle
Florida Southern freshman Allison Crenshaw got better-and-better as the distances got longer-and-longer at this meet. She was 8th in the 200 free; 4th in the 500 free; and then she swept the two longest races in the 1000 and now the 1650 on Saturday in 16:42.58.
This was one of the better mile races we’ve seen at DII Nationals, which often has a blowout star and then a big jump to second and third-place finishers. This one was a battle all the way to the wall, with Crenshaw holding of West Chester junior Kassandra McNichol in 16:43.62 and Incarnate Word freshman Mikayla Felchak in 16:43.87. All three will be back next year, lookign to push their times somewhere into the 16:30 range,but hopefully we can have another competitive race.
Men’s 1650 Freestyle
The Queens University program in Charlotte is a new one, but like we’ve seen from a lot of the other new Division II programs (especially on the men’s side), it’s not taken them long to get up to speed with proper resources in place. They took yet another individual National Championship with Alex Menke swimming to a 15:11.50 in the men’s mile. That’s a 44-second improvement from his time at this meet last year, which left him 16th for a single point.
Unlike the women’s race, this one was not very competitive, with Incarnate Word’s Mark Rubin, already winner of the 1000, taking 2nd in 15:25.25.
The top-finishing freshman was West Chester’s Bradley Strathmeyer in 3rd with a 15:28.66.
Women’s 100 Freestyle
From the distance to the sprint, Incarnate Word’s Tamiris Nascimiento added the 100 title to her earlier victory in the 50 with a 49.46. That’s still a few tenths away from the 49.2 that she swam mid-season, which was under the NCAA Division II Record though still not yet officially recognized anywhere that we’ve seen.
Drury’s Wai Ting Yu took 2nd in 50.21 and a tie had UC San Diego’s Shakya Anjali and Alaska-Fairbanks’ Bente Heller tied for 3rd in 50.58.
This was a badly-needed race for Drury; after a relay DQ on Friday, it pushed their lead over Wayne State (who didn’t score) north of 50 points and back into the comfortable range.
Men’s 100 Freestyle
A senior named Vladimir won the men’s 100 freestyle title in Division II. Perhaps some foreshadowing for the Division I Championships, but this time it was Drury’s Vladimir Sidorkin (an Estonian not a Russian) in 43.16.
Ouachita Baptist’s Marcus Schlesinger was 2nd in 43.56, and Bridgeport’s Ruben Gimenez was 3rd in 43.71.
Women’s 200 Backstroke
Queens’ Caroline Arakelian was the freshman of the meet at this year’s Division II Championships; on Saturday, she completed her meet with a 1:57.26 victory in the 200 backstroke, which marked her second event victory. In fact, across three individual events (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 back), she never finished lower than 2nd.
This race wasn’t easily won; Wayne State’s Ana Azambuja finished a second faster than Arakelian to make what could have been a runaway into a photo-finish, but Azambuja came up just short in 1:57.34. LI Post’s Johanna Peterson also had a good last 50 and was 3rd in 1:57.64.
Wingate’s Kathryn Pheil was the closest to Arakelian coming into that last 50, but ended up 4th in 1:57.93. Nobody else was under two minutes.
Men’s 200 Backstroke
The top three in this men’s 200 backstroke from last year’s meet returned. The result showed why swimming races aren’t won on paper, as the outcome was wholly different than the 2012 meet. This year, Daniel Swietlicki from Drury jumped from second to first with a 1:44.12. Meanwhile, defending champion Jeffrey Halfacre slipped to 3rd in 1:45.09.
In between was Incarnate Word junior Andrii Nikishenko, who wasn’t swimming in the NCAA last season, in 1:44.78.
Just behind Halfacre was his Florida Southern teammate Luis Rojas in 1:45.78 – one spot off of where he was last season.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke
Simon Fraser freshman Mariya Chekanovych completed a sweep of the women’s breaststrokes by winning this 200 in 2:13.35, but just like the 100 she got a good challenge. This time, it was from Drury freshman Agnieszka Ostrowska in 2:13.84.
Ostrowska took the pace out early, but Chekanovych remained patient and charged the third 50. She grabbed a half-second lead going into the last lap, and wouldn’t relinquish it.
Ashland freshman Hannah Mattar was well back in 3rd with a 2:17.61, but completed a rookie sweep in the race.
Men’s 200 Breaststroke
Just like the women’s side, Grand Canyon’s Eetu Karvonen completed a breaststroke sweep in this 200 breaststroke, swimming a 1:54.57 for the victory. That’s a new Division II NCAA Record, thanks in part to a monstrous push; though once again it wasn’t from Incarnate Word’s Thiago Parravicini, who was the top seed coming into the race.
This time, Nicholas Korth gave Karvonen a run for his money, taking 2nd in 1:54.61. Both swimmers were under the old record held by Parravicini at 1:54.67 from mid-season this year (this is another one that we can’t confirm was ever officially ratified, but at this point is almost moot).
Drury sophomore Kacper Pelczynski took 4th in 1:57.92, and Wayne State sophomore Piotr Jachowicz, winner already of the 200 and 400 IM’s, was 5th here in 1:58.19.
Women’s 400 Free Relay
The Drury women saved their best for last, as the meet champions would take their first relay win of the meet in this meet-closing 400. The winning time was 3:23.31, a bit slower than their winning times of the past two seasons, but still good enough for a 5th-straight event victory.
Wayne State took 2nd in 3:24.42, and UC San Diego took 3rd in 3:24.61. The finishing order of that relay mirrored the finishing order of the meet, fittingly enough.
Men’s 400 Free Relay
The men from Drury and the men from Bridgeport pushed each other in this men’s 400 free relay to the tune of both team’s breaking the Division II National Record. Not just breaking it (Bridgeport did that already in prelims), but destroying it by more than a second from where it had sat at 2:56.42 from Drury last season.
The two teams had two very different swims. Bridgeport had a very balanced four legs on this relay, including three splitting under 44 seconds. Drury’s first three legs, on the other hand, left them far back of Bridgeport, until 100 individual champ Vladimir Sidorkin hit the water. Splitting 19.58 en route to a 41.91 (and not even with a great reaction time), he came all the way back to give the Panthers the win in 2:55.26. Bridgeport took 2nd in 2:55.54, and Florida Southern was 3rd in 2:56.80.
The repeat championships for the Drury Panthers makes 9-straight for their men, and 11 overall, while the Drury women got back on track in fighting-back the defending champs from Wayne State. For the ladies, that’s a 5th win in 7 years.
Women’s Top 10
1. Drury 432.5
2. Wayne State 388
3. U C S D 313
4. Incarnate Word 252
5. Wingate 242.5
6. Florida Southern 219
7. West Chester 209
8. L I U Post 186
9. Simon Fraser 175
10. Queens (N C) 174
Men’s Top 10
1. Drury 546
2. Florida Southern 397
3. Incarnate Word 389
4. Grand Canyon 336
5. Wayne State 264
6. Wingate 262
7. U C S D 237
8. Bridgeport 227
9. Queens (N C) 201
10. Nova S’Eastern 151