Michigan State Record Holder Nick Arakelian Verbally Commits to Queens University in NC

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.

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10 years ago

What a top level, elite recruit! Congrats Queens!! Great things coming your way. Charlotte is a phenominal place!!

10 years ago

He will probably be developed into an “Elite” level swimmer. Wouldn’t classify him as “Elite” just yet.

Reply to  Elite-O-Meter
10 years ago

Elite-0-Metter… you should be a character that pops in and out of stories:

– nowhere never elite
– not quite elite
– almost elite
– barely elite
– so close to elite (wishing this swimmer was elite)
– ok…..the swimmer is elite — aka just plain ol’ “elite”
– elite plus and/or elite with extra stuff (perhaps a Water Polo NCAA title)
– way elite
– super elite
– super-duper elite
– superstar elite
– Spitz-like elite
– within eyeshot of Phelps elite
– Lochte-like elite
– Spitz-level elite and/or Coughlin-level elite
– Phelps elite (with only one member….Phelps)

Btw, I say Nick’s elite, certainly… Read more »

10 years ago

He will probably be developed into an “Elite” swimmer. Wouldn’t classify him as “Elite” quite yet.

Ron Kloster
Reply to  Elite-O-Meter
10 years ago

In Charlotte, at Queens, with Jeff, that would be “Team Elite” swimmer. Congratulations, coach!

10 years ago

I remember watching Nick go under 4:00 in the 400m free at Juniors in Seattle back in 2009 as a 14 year old.

10 years ago

Jeff Dugdale. You’re the man. Good work.

10 years ago

Congratulations! Jeff and his team showed some very impressive results last week against Auburn and SwimMac!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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