Rising Division II power Queens University opened their 2014 with a win over fellow Division II programs West Florida (women only) and Carson-Newman (men and women) at West Florida’s home pool in Pensacola, Florida.
Queens rolled through the competition by a score of 119-74 in the men’s match-up, and in the women’s meet by nearly matching scores of 125-71 over Carson-Newman and 123-77 over West Florida. This year is the first season for both West Florida and Carson-Newman.
Queens, who swam this meet without their star freshman Matthew Josa, one of the best swimmers in the NCAA’s Division II, kicked the meet off well by going 1-2 in the men’s 200 medley relay, including a winning time of 1:33.07. That included a 20.86 anchor leg from Hayden Kosater.
This shortened-schedule meet focused on mostly the shorter version of each event. Among the exceptions were the distance freestyles, which Alex Menke swept in 4:46.32 (500 free) and 9:35.65 (1000 free).
Gibson Evante won the men’s 100 fly for Queens in 51.84; and a pair of freshmen, Will Hicks and Devyn Hughes, battled for the men’s 100 breaststroke win, with Hicks topping the race in 59.49 and Hughes taking 2nd in 59.62.
The Queens men swept the individual events. Carson-Newman did get a handful of solid swims, including a 1:01.33 from freshman Kent Eldreth for a 3rd-place finish in the men’s 100 breaststroke.
The women’s team from Queens was equally successful. Sophomore Caroline Arakelian was the top performer of the meet, winning the women’s 200 free in 1:51.64, which she followed with a 4:28.80 in the women’s 400 IM. Though neither is a season’s best time (the 200 was pretty close), they were both well under the NCAA “B” standard.
Also clearing the B standard was freshman Hannah Peiffer in the women’s 100 fly. She swam a 57.67, and though that cleared that NCAA provisional standard, it was actually her slowest mark of the season. That shows where Queens is coming out of holiday training. Meanwhile, Carson-Newman’s Natalie Burnett was a 58.07 in the 100 fly: only about half-a-second shy of her season’s best.
Peiffer would also take the 100 back in 59.21, ahead of West Florida’s Cheryl Corvo (59.60).
The Queens women, despite the lopsided score, didn’t sweep the events. Carson-Newman’s Natalie Burnett won the 50 free in 24.57, topping Queens freshman Alexandra Marshall in 24.61.
But it did go primarily the way of the Royals. Emma Durante won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:08.02, winning in a great wire-to-wire battle with West Florida’s Anna Macht (1:08.17).