Women’s 500 Free Final
Since transferring to Nova Southeastern from Florida Gulf Coast prior to the 2011-2012 season, Erin Black has now won two-straight 500 free Division II National championships. The latest came in 4:50.29, which is a nice recovery from a disappointing 13th-place finish in the 1000 earlier in the meet.
With some momentum behind her now, Black will have a chance for another podium in the mile, though West Chester junior Kassandra McNichol, who didn’t final here but is a great distance swimmer, enters that race as the favorite.
Just behind Black was UC San Diego junior Anjali Shakya in 4:51.89. She was strong at the beginning of this race and at the end of this race, but through the middle 300, Black was just too good.
Drury freshman Sarah Pullen took 3rd in 4:51.98, followed by another rookie: Allison Crenshaw from Florida Southern in 4:52.69. Tampa’s Heather Glenday recorded her second top-5 finish of the meet with a 4:53.40; that’s her second run at the School Record of the day, to go with a 1000 record from Wednesday.
Men’s 500 Free Final
Nova Southeastern swept the 500 free titles, with another senior, Oskar Nordstrand, winning the men’s race in 4:23.55. That improves on his runner-up finish from last year’s meet.
Incarnate Word’s Mark Rubin took 2nd in 4:24.67, and West Chester freshman Bradley Strathmeyer was 3rd in 4:24.74. Ryan Arabejo from Drury, an Olympian from the Phillipines, was 4th in 4:26.03.
Women’s 100 Back Final
Alaska-Fairbanks’ Bente Heller won a tight women’s 100 backstroke final in 54.26, holding off a good finish from Ashland senior Julie Widmann 54.26-54.42. That is Widmann’s second individual silver medal of the meet, following her runner-up performance in the 50 free.
Wayne State’s Sarah Maraskine was 3rd in 55.48.
Men’s 100 Back Final
Oscar Pereiro, a junior from Spain, sealed back-to-back titles in this men’s 100 backstroke with a 47.04: .05 slower than his title-winning swim from last year. Pereiro, who has been a captain of this team since he was a sophomore, was one of the first major recruits for this Bridgeport program. Just four years into its existence under Brad Flood, though, this men’s program is quickly rising into a DII power. They’ve won at least one individual national title in each of those four years.
Drury’s Daniel Swietlicki was 2nd in 47.58, and Florida Southern’s Jeffrey Halfacre was 3rd in 47.70.
The Drury men showed off their depth for the first time of the night int his race, placing three swimmers in the A-final. That included Swietlicki, 5th-place finisher Jordi Joan Montseny, and 6th-place finisher Taylor Westby. It’s that depth that has given Drury a more than 100 point lead with one day to go in this meet.
Women’s 100 Breast Final
Simon Fraser this year became the first international squad to join the NCAA in a full-capacity. Tonight, the Canadians added their first swimming & diving national title, when Mariya Chekanovych won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:01.50.
When Simon Fraser signed Chekanovych, it was a gift as they transitioned into full NCAA participation, but no coincidence: her stepfather, Dmitriy Konomenko, is an assistant coach at Simon Fraser.
Kayla Scott from Wayne State was 2nd in 1:01.85, and Kelsey Gouge from Florida Southern took 3rd in 1:02.72.
Men’s 100 Breast Final
In maybe the most hotly-anticipated race of this meet, Grand Canyon senior Eetu Karvonen successfully defended his national title in the 100 breast with a 52.65. He went surprisingly unchallenged by Incarnate Word senior Thiago Parravicini, who was 6th in 54.05, and instead was pushed by Rory Julyan in 52.98. Karvonen didn’t put Julyan away until there were about 10 yards to go in this race.
Florida Southern’s Miguel Ferreira took 3rd in 53.21, making this race a podium sweep for seniors.
Wayne State’s Piotr Jachowicz, already a champion in the 200 IM, was 4th in 53.46.
Parravicini earlier this year was faster than Karvonen’s National Record in the 200 breaststroke, though the NCAA doesn’t seem to have ratified that record from mid-season. That should leave a very good battle in the longer race.
Women’s 200 Fly Final
In the 100 fly earlier in this meet, LIU-Post freshman Joyce Kwok was the top seed after prelims, but slid to 3rd in finals. In this 200 fly, she did nearly the opposite. Sitting a full second back coming after prelims, she roared to a victory in 2:00.28 – a half-second win over Southern Connecticut State’s Amanda Thomas (2:00.74).
Though she didn’t do so here, Kwok remains the only Division II swimmer under two minutes this season in the race.
UC San Diego freshman Naomi Thomas took 3rd in 2:01.31, and Wayne State sophomore Kristina Novichenko was 4th in 2:01.64.
Men’s 200 Fly Final
UC San Diego sophomore Dane Stassi won the men’s 200 fly running-away in 1:45.12 – his lifetime best by half-a-second.
This 200 fly field ended up much thinner than it was last year, and Stassi ran away with the race by two full seconds.
Evandro Silva took 2nd in 1:47.16, with Ivan Nechunaev was 3rd in 1:47.35. Wingate Olympian Marko Blazevski was 4th in 1:47.47.
Men’s 1 Meter Diving Final
Wayne State sophomore Dylan Szegedi won the men’s 1-meter with a score of 529.65, coming down to the wire to hold off St. Cloud State’s Luke Weber (526.70). That victory from Szegedi prevented Weber from sweeping the meet’s diving events.
Women’s 800 Free Relay Final
The Drury women don’t have their strongest set of relays this season, but this women’s 800 was expected to be their highest-scorer.. Then, disaster struck on the third leg. The relay’s lone senior, Ekaterina Alyabyeva, dove in and lost both her cap and goggles, then completely stopped. The relay ended up getting disqualified, and the Tampa women rolled to a National Championship in 7:24.70. Tampa was anchored by their star Glenday with a 1:48.93 last leg.
Wayne State took 2nd in 7:26.87, and those 34 big points, combined with the Drury DQ, all-of-a-sudden made this meet a battle. Closing out the final day, Wayne State only trailed by fewer than 20 points.
Men’s 800 Free Relay Final
The Drury men had no issues, and cruised to a win in the men’s 800 in 6:29.82. That included a 1:35.12 anchor from senior Vladimir Sidorkin. He was the only senior on this relay that featured the two fastest splits of the entire field.
Florida Southern were the defending champions, and despite only having to replace one leg themselves, they were five seconds off of the National Record that they swam last season. They took 2nd in 6:32.57, with Wingate 3rd in 6:35.24.
Women after day 3
The men’s meet is basically decided going into the last day, with Drury holding a 124-point lead. The women’s meet, however, is very much up in the air. Neither team has huge scoring opportunities on the last day, though both teams have highly-seeded swimmers in the 200 breaststroke. Wayne State scored a ton of points on the 1-meter earlier in the meet, so they could make this race very, very close on Saturday.
1. Drury 295.5
2. Wayne State 276
3. U C S D 255.5
4. Wingate 199.5
5. L I U Post 164
6. Florida Southern 160
7. Incarnate Word 151
8. West Chester 136
9. Simon Fraser 134
10. Grand Canyon 129
Men’s top 10 after day 3
1. Drury 398
2. Florida Southern 274
3. Incarnate Word 272
4. Grand Canyon 260
5. Wayne State 236
6. U C S D 208
7. Wingate 200
8. Bridgeport 164
9. Queens (N C) 161
10. Nova S’Eastern 122