Queens Freshman Alex Kunert Destroys NCAA D2 200 Fly Record

2019 NCAA Division II Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships

Men’s 200 Yard Butterfly – Finals


  1. Alex Kunert, Queens (NC) – 1:41.19
  2. Pedro Terres Illescas, Colorado Mesa – 1:44.28
  3. Federico Bracco, Delta State – 1:44.83
  4. Matthew Sims, Bellarmine – 1:46.33
  5. Leo Laporte, Southern Conn – 1:46.72
  6. Magnus Poulsen, Nova S’eastern – 1:46.91
  7. Brian Valedon, TAMPA – 1:48.55
  8. Aaron Taske, Missouri S&T – 1:48.80

Queens freshman Alex Kunert swam his 6th-ever 200-yard butterfly on Friday night and took an .85 bite out of the NCAA Division II and championship meet record of 1:42.04 set by his teammate Marius Kusch in 2017. Kunert went out slower than Kusch but his back half was 1.3 seconds faster.

Kunert – 22.48 / 25.68 / 25.90 / 27.13 = 48.16 / 53.03
Kusch – 22.26 / 25.38 / 26.99 / 27.41 = 47.64 / 54.40

Kunert won the 1000 free on Wednesday with a NCAA Division II record of 8:56.76. He then won the 200 free on Thursday in 1:33.56. Kunert and Kusch are both entered in the 100 free on Saturday.


In This Story

Leave a Reply

7 Comment threads
21 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Fantastic swim and congratulations to the swimmer. Cheers to him. Now to invite the flames. The “freshman” in question is 23 years old. He is a full year older than Texas senior Townley Haas. His senior teammate mentioned in the article will be 26 before graduation.

So I ask with all sincerity, is this college swimming or a European pro league? Even with the current penchant for kindergarten redshirting and such, doesn’t this bother anyone else? And really, I mean no disrespect to the swimmer. He was offered an opportunity and took it. He’s getting an education and doing what he loves, and excelling at it. But it just feels wrong. At least to me.

Flame on.


This is fast swimming… why the hate?


Agreed. There should be some sort of age rules when it comes to athletics especially with foreigners.


I don’t know about Alex and why he enrolled late, but some swimmers even in D1, have to fulfill prior requirements such as military service before enrolling to college. There is no reason to prevent swimmers from studying in the US if they can’t enroll when they are 18.
I do believe that there should be some rules in terms of the latest you can enroll, but those cases like Alex’s should be treated on an individual basis.

Foreign Embassy

Exactly. How would he have done 5 years ago? And more importantly, how many Us-based freshmen did not receive scholarship money so this guy could attend? It’s one thing if it’s a gap-year or one redshirt year. But bringing in a guy 5 years older with international experience as a freshmen? At most I would have expected the ncaa to give him one year of eligibility…but with 3 more years left, he will be nearly 8 years older than the incoming freshman class when he’s a senior, if he stays that long. He should be starting his career, not starting his college experience. I know this is a rare case but this should raise red flags on many levels IMO.


U nailed it barbotus. I read these like a euro taper meet. Nothing in common with 19 year old kids


He graduated high school in 2015 and went to college in Germany before. He even took part in the 2017 Universiade. I do not think that he is eligible for four years. Additionally, he had some kind of sponsorship deal with Funky Trunks in the past.


European pro league is one of the better descriptions I have seen regarding the current state of D2 swimming. It’s a lot like public vs private HS swimming, some teams have a almost exclusive European make up while others have rely on backyard recruiting. I started coaching on the D2 level and can remember the waves made when a D1 athlete transferee competed for a UCSB, I believe. His times then stuck out like a sore thumb, now they would not guarantee a final swim. Is this a natural progression? Good or bad? I can’t tell you but by reading through these comments I can see there is a great divide. I attended a major D2 conference meet this season,… Read more »


Going to be honest, really don’t see what the issue is here. The world is a changing place, no doubt we will have more late starts scoring scholarship places in future if it’s within the rules…which it is.

Great swim and congrats to the athlete


As a side note, Baslakov (second place finish in 100 back after Kusch) is 29…go figure


It is not within the rules for the guy to have competed for a college in Germany and have all 4 years of eligibility here. I get that foreigners can compete here and get an education, but they should be forthcoming about their previous experiences and/or the ncaa should check them more rigorously to stop this


I understand your concerns with the age thing but this is one reason why there is a D1 and a D2 division with NCAA swimming. They have different rules. It is fair because everyone in D2 plays by the same rules. D1 has different rules and so if you like them better, go there or just follow them.


Generally curious what are some of the major rule differences that would prevent Kusch or Kunnert from competing in D1? Quick research shows D1 and D2 have the same rule that you must enroll in college no more than 1 year after graduating college. Overall most of the descriptions of D2 schools are that they are a) smaller and b) less competative albeit with more of a focus on academics. Much like the other posters I dont want to take away from either of these guys accomplishments, it just seems to bastardize what I always thought was the point of Division 2 which was to provide every athlete a chance to compete in college if their skill level isnt up… Read more »

As I understand it (there are other commenters here who are more versed in the rules, like Brad Flood), in D1 once your clock starts, it’s running. In D2, your clock can start and stop.

Coach Josh

D1 has a 5 year clock that starts when you first enroll in a university or college…or if you take more than the single gap year. D2 does eligibility based on full-time semesters. You get 10 full-time semesters to do your 4 years of eligibility. They do not have to be consecutive and you can take gaps after your initial enrollment. Part-time semesters also do not count. In D2, you get dinged if you take more than 1 year to enroll full-time in a college or university after you graduate from high school. If you enroll within that window though, you can take an unlimited gap (in terms of time) and return and pick right up where you left off.… Read more »


Thanks for the explanation! That does clear things up. Obviously if these athletes are eligible they have every right to compete in the division of their choosing. You cant tell them to leave because they are too fast.


About 20? years ago, a D2 or D3 swimmer could also attend D1 NCAAs champs but had to meet same standards! Rules change as the sport evolves.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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 …

Read More »