Nick Arakelian from Lavonia, Michigan has verbally committed to Division II Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He joins his sister, two-time NCAA Champion Caroline who is already on the team at Queens, and Nick becomes the top swimmer in the country to have committed to a Division II program this year.
“I chose Queens because of the atmosphere and the coaching. I feel like it’s a program that will experience so much success in the near future, and I would like to be a part of that,” Arakelian said. “Lots of people are surprised that I went D2, but ultimately I had to go to a place where I felt I could be the most successful, and for me that meant both in the pool and classroom. Queens is the place where I felt I could best accomplish both.”
Arakelian is a phenomenal middle-distance swimmer, breaststroker, and IM’er. In yards, his bests are:
- 200 free – 1:38.56
- 500 free – 4:23.79
- 1650 free – 15:21.38
- 100 breast – 56.19
- 200 breast – 2:03.15
- 200 back – 1:49.71
- 200 IM – 1:48.22
- 400 IM – 3:52.16
In reality, he could have hung with any Division I program in the country in the pool but for the second-straight year, Queens’ relatively new program, under Jeff Dugdale, has picked up an elite-level recruit (last year, it was World Championship Trials finalist Matthew Josa).
For example, Arakelian’s best time as a junior in high school in the 500 free would have been within two tenths of winning the NCAA Division II title. Several other races would have scored as well, and by the time he complete his freshman year, Arakelian will probably have a full-slate of top three finishes at NCAA’s.
The Queens men finished 9th at last year’s meet, a substantial 345 points behind the champions Drury. While even the additions of Josa and Arakelian aren’t enough to close the gap over the supremely deep Drury men, if Queens can fill in around these guys with more solid recruits, we could see them challenging for titles in the next few years. That’s impressive considering that Queens didn’t have a swim program until the fall of 2010.
His sister Caroline, as a freshman last year, finished 2nd in the country in the 200 IM (2:02.03), was the NCAA Division II Champion in the 400 IM (4:17.51), and the NCAA Champion in the 200 back (1:57.26).
Arakelian swims for the Kingfish Aquatic Club of Waterford and Livonia-Stevenson High School. He’s the Michigan High School Division I State Record holder in the 500 yard free, done in March of 2013, where he was the state champion in Michigan’s biggest schools.