Statesmen Win Third NSISC Title In A Row, West Florida Women Back On Top

by SwimSwam 0

February 23rd, 2020 College, NCAA Division II


  • Dates: Wednesday-Saturday, February 19-22nd
  • Location: Ronnie Mayers Aquatic Center, Cleveland, Mississippi
  • Defending Champions:Delta State men (2x) Lindenwood women (3x)
  • Championship Central
  • Live Results

Courtesy: Delta State Athletics

CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Delta State University men’s swimming and diving team claimed its third consecutive New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference title on Saturday at the Ronald G. Mayers Aquatic Center.

With the win, the Statesmen became the first school in conference history to win all individual swim and dive events in a single championship weekend.


EVENT: NSISC Championships
DATE/TIME: Saturday, Feb. 22 | 5 p.m.
LOCATION: Ronald G. Mayers Aquatics Center
STATESMEN: 1,246.5 points, NSISC Champions


  • John Stewart got the night started in the men’s 1650 freestyle with a 15:42.87 to take home gold, while Ben Kelly snagged silver with a time of 15:48.22 for DSU.
  • Giulio Brugnoni added another top finish in the men’s 100 freestyle with a 44.23.
  • Emanuel Fava brought home another title for the Statesmen, in the men’s 200 backstroke, with a time of 1:46.95.
  • Matey Rezashki and Savio Ragonesi went first and second in the men’s 200 breaststroke. Rezashki posted a 1:57.87, while Ragonesi went 1:59.15.
  • The Statesmen swam a 3:01.75 to finish second on the men’s side in the 400 freestyle relay.


  • On the men’s three-meter diving board, Kyle Weesner captured an NSISC crown with a score of 504.60. DD Blankenship (496.75) turned in a silver finish and Hunter McCarter (414.35) placed third as well.


  • Brugnoni was named the men’s swimmer of the meet for the third consecutive year, and Weesner also won his second straight men’s diver of the meet award.
  • Head coach Dan’l Murray was named men’s Coach of the Year and diving coach Kyle Friesenhahn was named NSISC men’s diving Coach of the Year.
  • The Statesmen claimed their third consecutive team title (2018, 2019 & 2020) and 11th total in school history.
  • For the first time in NSISC history, Delta State won all individual swim and dive events in a single championship.
  • Delta State broke Ouachita Baptist’s previous record of total events won, posting 19 titles.
  • DSU also set a new NSISC record for largest margin of victory, winning the tam title by 439.5 points. DSU’s 2016 team held the previous record of 324.
  • Murray has now led the Statesmen to five team titles, just one behind former Statesmen head coach and current Athletic Director Emeritus Ronnie Mayers (six team titles).
  • Murray also became the second coach in NSISC history to reach the 100th conference event title mark, doing so in his 10th year at the helm. He is the quickest coach to reach the mark. Coak Matthews of Henderson State hit the century title mark in his 16th year.
  • Delta State swimming and diving is the first school in conference history to surpass the 200 event titles mark. The Statesmen now have 205 conference event wins. The next closest team sits at 147 events.


1. Delta State University – 1,246.5
2. Henderson State University – 807
3. University of Texas of the Permian Basin – 639
4. Ouachita Baptist University – 377.5
5. University of Montevallo – 275


Statesmen qualifiers will travel to the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships March 11-14 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Courtesy: West Florida Athletics

CLEVELAND, Miss. – The University of West Florida swimming and diving team won its first conference championship since 2016, with a team victory at the 2020 NSISC Championship accumulating a total of 1176.5 points. UWF led for the entire four-day meet and defeated six other teams, including No. 9 ranked Delta State, to take home the trophy.

This championship is the third conference championship for the UWF Swim & Dive team and the 103rd conference championship in University of West Florida history.

Head Coach Phil Kraus was named Women’s Swim Coach-of-the-Year for the first time in his coaching career, and Diving Coach Barbara Parker earned Women’s Diving Coach-of-the-Year for the seventh straight year.

“The conference championship meet has been such a great experience for us. This meet is a long, hard four days where emotions can run high. I thought our girls did a great job of using that to their advantage,” Head Coach Phil Kraus said. “We came out fighting for every point we could get and used that mentality throughout the meet.”

Ester Rizzetto was awarded the Swimmer of the Meet, after winning three individual events and setting two new pool and conference records at the meet. Kelsey DeJesus was named the Diver of the Meet, after placing first in both diving events.

“This morning I thought we came out a little flat, but we came back tonight and did a great job. Some of the swims tonight really blew me away. I knew we had good swimmers, but it was amazing to see how they finished the meet.” Kraus said.

The Argos had a terrific start to the final day of the NSISC Championships, winning the first three events. Yael Danieli got things started for UWF with a first-place finish in the 1650 Free with a finals time of 17:06.55. Gena Mendez finished fourth (17:21.44), and Lauren Jonsson followed in fifth (17:25.11). Ardinn Grabenhorst came in sixth with a time of 17:29.45.

Rizzetto made it two straight UWF first-place finishes by winning the 100 Free. She swam a 49.98, setting a conference championship and DSU pool record.

Danieli won her second event of the day, taking first in the 200 Back by recording a time of 2:02.29. Olivia Hadaway placed eighth by posting a finals time of 2:07.72.

Four Argos placed inside the top eight in the 200 Breast event. Morgan Ayers placed third (2:18.89), Manon Milczynski came in fourth (2:20.89) and Lisa Cottage-Ramnick finished in fifth (2:20.90). Senior Hannah O’Toole recorded a time of 2:25.55, putting her in seventh-place.

The Argos wrapped up the meet by posting a time of 3:26.03 in the 400 Free Relay earning second-place. The 400 free relay team consisted of Argos’ Caitlin Tierney, Abby Williamson, Cottage-Ramnick, and Rizzetto.

“This was a great conference meet. I think we have a great group of girls that are jelling together now. We are now at the point where we can really get all of our fine details down and be ready for nationals.” Diving Coach Barbara Parker said.

“I’m really proud of these girls. They worked hard all year long, so it’s a great feeling to come away with a championship.” Kraus said.

Next up for West Florida is the NCAA Championships in Geneva, Ohio, from March 10-14.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments