Emmanuel’s Alex Sobers Rips 4:19.41 to Set 500 Free Record on Day 2 of BMC/CC

Bluegrass Mountain Conference/ Conference Carolinas Championships – Men and Women

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 6-Saturday, February 9, 2019
  • Location: Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center – Charlotte, NC
  • Defending Champions: BMC – Queens women (3x); Queens men (3x)/CC – Barton women (results)
  • Live results on Meet Mobile: “Bluegrass Mtn and Conference Carolinas Champs”
  • Live video (finals only): Available here
  • Championship Central
  • CC teams: Barton (M&W). Converse College (W), Chowan (M&W), King (M&W), Emmanuel (M&W), Lees-McRae (M&W)
  • BMC teams: Carson Newman (M&W), Lenoir-Rhyne College (M&W), Queens University (M&W), Salem University (M&W), Savannah College of A&D (M&W), Wingate University (M&W). Catawba College (M&W), Mars Hill (M&W)

Queens University of Charlotte maintained the lead in both the women’s and men’s BMC meets while Emmanuel moved to the lead of the CC women’s meet. Barton held onto the top spot in the men’s rankings for Conference Carolinas. Several meet records fell on Thursday night, beginning with the 500 free where Emmanuel College junior Alex Sobers threw down a 4:19.41 for the fastest 500 free of the night – by far. Swimming in the Conference Carolinas championship heat, Sobers won the event by 23.23 seconds and broke his own meet record of 4:22.74 that he had set in the morning’s prelims sessions. (That, in turn, was 19.35 seconds faster than the previous meet record, set in 2018 by Barton’s Robert Zamorano.) Moreover, Sobers would have won the BMC championship final by 6.08 seconds over Queens’ Luke Erwee (4:25.49), who had the benefit of swimming in a heat of similarly-seeded swimmers. One last tidbit to add perspective to Sobers’ race: if Emmanuel were in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference, he would have taken down Nick Arakelian’s 2015 meet record by 1.0 seconds. As it is, the men’s 500 free is the first event in which the CC meet record is faster than the BMC record.

Day Two – BMC

Queens University of Charlotte won all the events in the BMC meet. Sarah Reamy added a victory in the 500 free (4:54.25) to her Wednesday night win in the 1000. Lexie Baker won the 200 IM with a season-best time of 2:00.88. Polina Lapshina won the 50 free in 22.71, having broken the BMC meet record (set in 2018 by teammate Kyrie Dobson with 22.78) in prelims with 22.70. And finally, the quartet of Vladyslava Maznytska (54.62), Shelly Prayson (1:00.79), Georgia DaCruz (53.57), and Lapshina (48.40) set the meet and NCAA Division II records in the 400 medley relay with their combined 3:37.38. Wingate swept 2nd-5th and 8th places in the 500 free and had half the lanes in the A final of the 200 IM, but Carson-Newman and Queens squeezed the Bulldogs out of the 50 free championship.

In the men’s meet, Erwee kicked off the night with a victory in the 500 free (4:25.49). He was followed by Marius Kusch’s 1:44.99 rout in the 200 IM. Kusch won the event by nearly 3 seconds but remained .67 off Matt Josa’s 2015 meet record. Kusch owns the D2 record with 1:41.61, also from 2015. Dima Sydorchenko scored a gold medal in the 50 free, going 19.99 for the only sub-20 of the meet. Kusch (46.95), Jan Delkeskamp (53.34), Alex Kunert (46.38), and Alen Mosic (43.55) won the 400 medley relay in 3:10.22, about 8/10 off the meet record.

Day Two – CC

Barton sophomore Nicola Macdonald came from behind to win the 500 free over Emmanuel’s Juana Mafla, 5:12.33 to 5:12.38. Macdonald had led the entire race by about half a body length. Mafla began to outsplit her slightly from the 250 onward and took over the lead at the 450. But Macdonald clawed her way back to the front with a gutsy final 50, coming home in 29.7 for the win. The 200 IM was just as exciting but this time Emmanuel’s Julia Simioni (2:08.02) held off Barton’s Addy Nemitz (2:08.14) for the win. Both women stopped the clock in CC-record time but it was Simioni’s 2:08.02 that will go in the record books. After two nailbiters in a row, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any closer, along came the women’s 50 free. There, Converse senior Sarah Russell and Emmanuel sophomore Carmen Arnold hit the wall at exactly 24.36, tying for first place. King’s Madison Wisely came in 3rd, just .03 back in 24.39. Emmanuel (Anna Calka, Simioni, Natalie Hayes, and Karolina Ostojska) won the 400 medley relay with a new meet record of 3:55.43. Converse, who set the meet mark in 2018 with 3:59.84, came in second this year with 3:58.15, also under the old record.

After Emmanuel College’s Sobers swam his massive 4:19.41 in the 500 free, it was King’s Juan Somoza (1:52.66) and Simen Vik (1:53.82) with a 1-2 sweep of the 200 IM. Lees-McRae’s Javier Sanchez took third (1:54.61). Barton had 3 of the 8 lanes in the A final. Emmanuel dominated the 50 free with half the swimmers in the championship final. Joao Santos got the win with 20.05, which was the second-fastest time in the meet and would have earned him the silver medal in the BMC meet behind Queens’ Sydorchenko. Lees-McRae’s Arsham Mirzaei (20.61) edged Emmanuel’s Thiago Rosa (20.62) for second place. Emmanuel’s Rosa (49.05), Santos (54.49), Rafael Mendes (50.37) and Sobers (43.30) won the 400 medley relay with a new meet record of 3:17.21.

Women – Team Rankings – Through Event 14

Bluegrass Mountain Conference Conference Carolinas
1. Queens University of Charlotte 360 1. Emmanuel College 282.5
2. Wingate University 300 2. Barton College 274
3. Carson-Newman University 186 3. Converse College 198.5
4. Catawba College 135 4. Chowan University 163
5. SCAD 104 5. King University 139
6. Lenoir Rhyne University 100 6. Lees-McRae College 95
7. Mars Hill University 77
8. Salem University 44

Men – Team Rankings – Through Event 14

Bluegrass Mountain Conference Conference Carolinas
1. Queens University of Charlotte 409.50 1. Barton College 319
2. Wingate University 256.5 2. Emmanuel College 225
3. Carson-Newman University 202 3. King University 179
4. Catawba College 116 4. Chowan University 148
5. SCAD 111 4. Lees-McRae College 148
6. Lenoir Rhyne University 90
7. Mars Hill University 76
8. Salem University 66



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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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