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

Podium:

  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.

 

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Swimmer
3 years ago

As someone who is at this meet and is a D2 swimmer it’s very unfair swimming against competition up to 4-7 years older than you. The rules are the rules … but it’s very demoralizing knowing you physically can’t compete with Fully grown men dominating the competition. All the hard work put in and the sacrifice doesn’t seem worth it st the end of the day when you know you don’t stand a chance . Again the rules are the rules . But it doesn’t seem worth it knowing everyone typically is years older than you .

Swimmer
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

You should be proud of yourself only because you made the meet.
(We have the same name but I am not responding to myself lol).

Superfan
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

You could have gone to a D1 school?

Rafael
3 years ago

As there is no contact us session just some news
Breno correa just went 1:47:06 200 free
52:05 55:01

Rafael
Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago
Brad Flood
3 years ago

A little history lesson is in order. The following (in quotes) was taken from the NCAA website:

“Division II was officially christened in 1973 when NCAA members at a Special Convention that summer voted to establish three divisions for athletics competition. Before then, NCAA schools were classified as either “university” or “college” to distinguish between the larger and smaller athletics programs, but the three-division structure adopted in 1973 gave NCAA members a more varied menu for which to classify their programs.”

Notice the year DII was started, 1973. For you puppy dogs too young to know, there was a pretty big international conflict going on at that time called the Vietnam War.

By 1973 there was a huge population of… Read more »

DrSwimPhil
Reply to  Brad Flood
3 years ago

You are correct, however….the spirit of the rule is most obviously being abused now. These aren’t “non-traditional” students who had some sort of post-high school life situation (ala military obligations, religious obligations, going on to have to work to support a family for various reasons, etc). It’s swimmers (and coaches/schools) using the rule to essentially freeze their clock and (in quite a few cases) basically train professionally for a few years before coming to the USA to enroll. Sure, everyone knows the rules and has the opportunity to play by them (well…kinda…there’s also rules about professionalism, both in accepting money and training with pros…that are at best blurred at the D2 level and viewed differently depending on the compliance director/coach/admins…),… Read more »

Anonymous
Reply to  Brad Flood
3 years ago

This isn’t 1973. And there is no Vietnam War. It seems to me that an 18 (aka 6-9 month old adults) vs 25ish is unfair. Some 18s, especially guys, have not completed growth and lack a significant amount of mental maturity and professional experience in comparison. My nearly 16 JUST STARTED puberty. He is at a huge disadvantage with the new early recruiting rules and was hoping to get to DII. It has been really really difficult to keep him in it and is finally getting better times guys who crushed him with their puberty years ago. It’s nice to know that he will be competing with 26 year olds and doesn’t stand a chance. Thanks for pointing out his… Read more »

Koolaide
Reply to  Anonymous
3 years ago

Tldr; my kid can’t win on my terms, change the rules.

Let me help you with this life altering issue… hold your kid from enrolling in college after high school. Kunert did. Pay for your kid to continue training and put the rest of his life on hold for 4 or 5 years. The Kunerts did. If it really means that much to you, there’s your solution.
Don’t whine about the rules when your kid has every door open (D1/D2/D3) to him/ her. Alex doesn’t and neither do many other athletes in D2.

Swimmy
Reply to  Koolaide
3 years ago

But Kunert also got a lot of extra college swimming experience in Germany before coming here and competing at NCAAs. It’s a bit easier as a foreigner to hide your previous college experiences overseas. I swam with foreigners who previously had swam in college or made money but didn’t claim it to the ncaa. For the most part, how would the ncaa ever figure it out? Specially with so many foreigners competing.
I wish I got to have extra college swimming experience! You are acting like this is just childish parents complaining but there is some legitimacy to the objections…his age alone and the fact that he is foreign aren’t good objections but the extra experience is crap

Doconc
3 years ago

Matt Sims a great story (and swim). His father was a sheriff killed in car-motorcycle accident when he was like 13. Has a twin bro
Good for u Matt!!!

Superfan
3 years ago

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.

Scoobysnak
Reply to  Superfan
3 years ago

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 »

Admin
Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 years ago

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
Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 years ago

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… Read more »

Scoobysnak
Reply to  Coach Josh
3 years ago

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.

Superfan
Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 years ago

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.

Sprintdude9000
3 years ago

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

Sprintdude9000
Reply to  Sprintdude9000
3 years ago

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

Swimmy
Reply to  Sprintdude9000
3 years ago

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

Barbotus
3 years ago

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.

swim
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

This is fast swimming… why the hate?

Maverick
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

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

Swimmer
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

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
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

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.

Doconc
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

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

CHMI
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

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.

SCC
Reply to  Barbotus
3 years ago

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… Read more »

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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