2021 Conference Carolinas Championships
- February 25-27, 2021
- Kingsport Aquatic Center, Kingsport, TN
- Short Course Yards
The NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Championships wrapped-up in Kingsport, Tennessee last weekend with Emmanuel College winning the men’s title and Barton College winning the women’s title.
Emmanuel scored a total of 880 points over the course of the meet to defeat the runners-up Barton by over 200 points. The women’s competition was a little closer, with Barton and Emmanuel flipping positions, as Barton scored a total of 696 points to best Emmanuel’s score of 600.5. Both teams also broke each others’ winning streak, with Emmanuel winning the last 2 women’s conference championships and Barton winning the last 2 men’s titles.
Team Scores – Men
- Emmanuel College 880
- Barton College 667
- King University 387
- Lees-McRae College 363.5
- Salem University 323
- Chowan University 280.5
Team Scores – Women
- Barton College 696
- Emmanuel College 600.5
- Lees-McRae College 499
- King University 417.5
- Chowan University 385
- Salem University 192
- Converse College 120
Emmanuel’s Julia Simioni was named the conference’s Female Swimmer of the Year, while two of her teammates, Enzo Kihara and Igor Bretas Dantas, were named the Male Co-Swimmers of the Year.
Simioni started her weekend by winning the 200 IM in a season best of 2:08.15. SHe was only a few tenths off of her best time of 2:07.36, which stands as the conference record as well. Later, Simioni won the 100 breaststroke, taking down the conference record with her time of 1:04.21. The record previously stood at a 1:05.01, which she set last season. Simioni closed out her individual line-up by winning the 200 breaststroke, setting another conference record in the process. Her final time of 2:22.85 smashed the previous record of 2:23.65, which was set by Julia Stegmaier last year.
Over the course of the weekend, Simioni also contributed to several of Emmanuel’s relay victory’s. In the 400 medley relay, she teamed up with Valentina Aloisio, Natalie Hayes, and Carmen Monae Arnold to post a winning time of 3:55.45, coming within .02 of the conference record. The next day, the team of Samatha Davidson, Simioni, Hayes, and Arnold touched first in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:46.70, which chopped over a second off of the conference record of 1:47.84. Simioni, Arnold, Aloisio, and Gabriela Arguar also competed in the 400 freestyle relay, claiming a second place finish with a time of 3:34.55.
Kihara was also named the conference’s Male Freshman Swimmer of the Year for his performances at the championships. Individually, Kihara swept the distance events, winning the 500 freestyle (4:30.08), 1000 freestyle (9:19.64), and 1650 freestyle (15:35.03). In all three races, Kihara also set the conference record and earned NCAA B-cuts.
Kihara also swam on Emmanuel’s winning 800 freestyle relay, alongside teammates Leonardo Trevisan, Amadeusz Kielczwski, and Alasdair McGhee. The team finished in a time of 6:54.07.
With his performances, Kihara should be invited to the NCAA Division II National Championship. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the field was reduced to 75% capacity. However, the “cut-line” remains unclear as the NCAA has not clarified how many competitors will actually qualify under the new protocols. Despite this, Kihara should be safe, as his time in the 1650 currently ranks him 10th in the country across Division II. Last season, the men’s cut-line was around the 21st or 22nd swimmer in each event.
Dantas led a strong core of Emmanuel sprinters, winning the 50 freestyle (19.92), 200 freestyle (1:39.36), and 100 freestyle (43.62). Like Kihara, Dantas earned NCAA B-cuts across all three of his individual events, while breaking the conference record in the 200 freestyle.
Dantas also contributed to several relay victories. In the 200 freestyle relay, Bretas teamed up with Joao Santos, Michael Semenov, and Rodolfo Moreira to touch first in a time of 1:21.60, exactly a tenth off of the conference record. Semenov, Santos, Bretas, and Moreira later combined for a winning time of 3:20.22 in the 400 medley relay and a time of 1:29.50 in the 200 medley relay. In the latter of the two events, the team took down the conference record of 1:30.08 that was set in 2018. In the 400 freestyle, the team of Semenov, Santos, Bretas, and Moreira swam to a time of 2:58.44 to beat the field by over 6 seconds.
Like Kihara, Dantas should also earn an invite to the NCAA Division II Championships with his performances. Currently, his 100 freestyle time ranks 7th across the division, with his teammate, Santos, also ranked within the top-10 with a time of 43.68.
Other Notable Swims:
- Barton College’s Bartek Swiderski won the 200 backstroke (1:46.79), 200 IM (1:49.60), and 100 backstroke (48.34). Currently, his times in the 100 and 200 backstroke rank him 18th and 19th in Division II, respectively, meaning he’s right on the cut-line for the NCAA Championships.
- Emmanuel’s Natalie Hayes won the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:04.00, which should earn her an invite to the NCAA Championships. She currently ranks 16th in the division, and the cut-line traditionally has fallen at about the 26th or 27th swimmer in each event for women.