Queens Men Crush 3 CCSA Records on Day 2 of 2023 Championship Meet

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 0

February 17th, 2023 News


It’s a new look CCSA conference, and the new faces continued to make their presence felt on day 2 of the CCSA Championships.

Queens University, the seven-time NCAA Division II Champions, now in the midst of a transition to Division I swimming, swept the day’s four relay events, and in total won seven races on Thursday evening. Of the other three, newcomers James Madison won two events.

Men’s Recap

Team Scores After Day 2:

  1. Queens – 447.5
  2. Florida Atlantic – 380
  3. Gardner-Webb – 236.5
  4. Old Dominion – 215
  5. Bellarmine – 169

The Queens men opened the session hot with a new CCSA Record in the 200 yard free relay. The team of Matej DusaAlex KunertDaniel Meszaros, and Alexander Bauch combined for a 1:17.57, which crushed the old record set in 2014 by Incarnate Word at 1:19.59.

Queens’ swim is an NCAA “B” cut, though while participating in the transition to D1 athletics, they are ineligible for NCAA Championship competition.

Dusa, who won and broke the conference record in the 50 free on Wednesday, led off that relay in 19.32. Kunert split 19.22, Messzaros split 19.68, and Bauch split 19.35. Dusa’s swim was about a tenth slower than his individual race. He is the defending NCAA D2 champion and the D2 record holder in that event.

Dusa’s individual event on Thursday came in the 100 fly, where he swam 47.61 for 4th place. That was the one event where the old-blood of the CCSA held serve on Thursday: Florida Atlantic’s Rateb Hussein won the event in 56.81.

That is a successful title defense for Hussein, who won the 100 fly in 2022 in 47.0 en route to CCSA Swimmer of the Year honors. He said before the season that this would be his last at FAU, with plans to transfer after completing his undergraduate degree.

Hussein also split 19.49 to anchor FAU’s runner-up relay.

Queens would run through the rest of the wins on the men’s side on Thursday after that 100 fly. In the 400 IM, senior Jan Delkeskamp won in 3:47.81, putting him about a second ahead of FAU’s Nick Shaffer (3:48.79).

That is Shaffer’s second-straight runner-up performance: though this one came with a 5.6-second improvement over his time from last year.

The men’s 200 free, which has long been a strength for Queens, saw the aforementioned Kunert win in 1:34.02. That broke teammate Daniel Meszaros conference record from the leadoff leg of the 800 free relay, where his 1:35.53, which in turn broke Evandro Silva’s 2014 record.

Kunert is a 7-time individual NCAA D2 champion, including winning the 200 free in 2019 and 2021. He led a 1-2-3 finish that had Luke Erwee 2nd in 1:36.33 and Meszaros 3rd in 1:36.45, a second slower than his relay leadoff from a day earlier.

The men’s competition ended the way it began, with Queens shattering a CCSA Record. The 400 medley relay of Alexander Bauch (46.40), Balazs Berecz (52.77), Alex Kunert (46.42), and Daniel Meszaros (42.88) combined to knock almost four seconds off the old record set by Incarnate Word in 2014. They had the fastest split on every leg of the relay.

Women’s Recap

Team Scores After Day 2:

  1. James Madison – 712.5
  2. Liberty – 678
  3. Queens – 572
  4. Florida Gulf Coast – 442
  5. UNC Asheville – 432
  6. Campbell – 281
  7. Old Dominion – 273
  8. Georgia Southern – 266
  9. Gardner-Webb – 178
  10. North Florida – 158.5
  11. Bellarmine – 101

The women of Queens and James Madison University took all of the wins on day 3 of the CCSA Championships, though long-time conference power Liberty has stayed in contention with their newest opponents through two days of competition.

James Madison holds a narrow lead after two days of competition thanks to three wins, including a huge output by their divers.

JMU’s Alexa Holloway won the women’s 3-meter event with a score of 322.85, beating out the defending champion Reese Wakefield of Florida Gulf Coast by two points.

Holloway led a 1-3-4-8 finish for James Madison that saw them score 120 points. That was a 28-point margin on their closest rivals, Liberty; Queens didn’t enter any divers in the meet, so it was an even bigger jump on them. Sans diving, this meet is essentially a three-way tie for first.

But diving is part of the competition, and JMU will have one more event, the 1-meter, to help cement their lead later in the meet.

In between the lanes, the first place Dukes got a pair of wins as well. Madison Cottrell won the women’s 100 fly in 53.29, beating out FGCU’s Cam Kuriger (53.63) and Liberty’s Abbie Shaw (53.83). That is the first time since 2018 that the conference final has had three swimmers under 54 seconds in this event.

JMU got back-to-back wins when junior Jess Pryne touched first in the 400 IM in 4:15.69, and NCAA D1 “B” standard swim. She trailed the race early to Liberty’s Grace Isaacs, but a big backstroke leg of 1:04.41 pulled her ahead for good.

The Queens women, specifically senior Monica Gumina, showed off their prowess in the 200 free with a win in 1:47.15. Gumina was the 2022 NCAA Division II Champion in the 200 free.

Queens bookended the swimming portion of the session with victories as well. The first came in the 200 free, where they swam 1:29.37 to win by a second-and-a-half ahead of James Madison. The Queens relay included Danielle Melilli (22.32), Gumina (21.96), Caroline Lawrence (23.09), and Ryley Heck (22.00). That grouping accounted for the three fastest splits across all relays in the field.

At the end of the day, Queens won again in the 400 medley relay, though this time it was in a nail-biter with Liberty.

The Flames got off to a fast start thanks to a fast start from Shaw, who split 52.92 on the backstroke leg. That put Queens more than a second behind, even with the star Gumina (54.62) on their backstroke leg.

But Queens caught up in a hurry when freshman breaststroker Annika Huber split 59.81, leaving the teams separated by only a couple of tenths.

Liberty again pulled ahead thanks to a 53.41 butterfly split from Chloe Harris, but it was Liberty’s anchor Melilli who was the ultimate difference-maker.

She split 47.88, versus Liberty anchor Sydney Stricklin‘s 49.20, which gave the Royals the win by two-tenths of a second.

UNC-Asheville finished 3rd in 3:41.01, including a 49.95 anchor from Delaney Carlton.

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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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