Wingate Wins Most Events, But Queens Finishes as BMC Champs on Day 4

Bluegrass Mountain Conference – Men and Women

The final night of competition in Rock Hill, South Carolina began with the 1650 freestyle. SCAD senior Caroline Lepesant took it out from the hinterland of lane 9, and had built up a several-body length lead by the 300. McKenzie Stevens of Queens and Julie Wessler of Wingate, meanwhile, were trading stroke for stroke, essentially tied for second. Lepesant fell off her early pace and the two closed the distance. They caught Lepesant by about the 850 and took over the lead. Stevens took off over the last 200 and came to the wall first with 16:56.83. Another pair of Royals, defending champion Meridith Boudreaux and teammate Nikki Johnston, had been further back but also outsplit Lepesant over the middle 500 of the race. They made a push and Boudreaux actually moved into third with 250 to go. But over the last 150 Lepesant found another gear and wound up on the podium with 17:02.90. Boudreaux placed fourth in 17:04.88, just ahead of Johnston (17:05.86).

In the men’s 1650, defending champion Nick Arakelian was the first out of the gate, leading by a couple of body lengths already at the 200. Hanging in for second were Andrew Greenhalgh of Johns Hopkins, Hector Tricas of Queens, and Joel Ax of SCAD. Greenhalgh began to inch up on Arakelian, while Ax and Tricas stayed together for most of the race. Greenhalgh then took off over the second half of the race and put more and more distance between himself and the rest of the field. Arakelian fell off and Tricas and Ax battled for second. Ax turned on the jets over the last 100 and earned the silver medal with 15:28.32 behind Greenhalgh’s winning 15:22.68. Tricas picked up third with 15:31.46.

Viktoriya Arkhipova of Wingate broke the meet record in the 200 back, beating defending champion and previous recordholder, Caroline Arakelian of Queens, 1:55.86 to 1:58.87. Queens’ Hannah Peiffer was third with 2:01.43. Zach Phelps of Queens won the men’s title with 1:44.81. He was out in a 49.68, building up a huge lead. Over the last 75, however, a group of three began to close the distance in their battle for second. Tyler Prescott of SCAD closed the strongest with a final time of 1:48.15 for second. He was followed in quick succession by Leif-Henning Kluever of Wingate (1:48.93) and Dominic Brus of Catawba (1:48.99).

Patri Castro Ortego lowered her own meet record in the 100 free, winning in 49.19. Carson-Newman’s Margaret Stansberry came in second with 50.61, narrowly out-touching Queens’ Shelly Prayson (50.79). In the men’s race it was a thrilling finish, with Queens’ Dion Dreesens (43.83) getting the win over Jerome Heidrich of Wingate (44.33), Ben Mayes of Queens (44.80), and Lennart Queiss of Wingate (44.92).

Wingate’s Jessika Weiss broke the meet record in the 200 breast by beating Queens’ Brittany Phelan, who had set a new record in prelims, by 5/100 for the win with 2:15.90. Her teammate, Olga Kosheleva placed third with 2:17.17. Rost Fedyna clocked a 1:57.60 to take the men’s race ahead of teammate Inigo Alarcia (1:59.61) and Limestone’s Kristofers Pone (2:00.54), who just out-touched teammate Tobias Feigl (2:00.73).

Sofia Petrenko of Wingate won the 200 fly with a commanding 1:59.48. Coming in nearly two body lengths back, in second place, was Queens’ Josephina Lorda (2:01.95). Lexy Raybon of Carson-Newman rounded out the podium with 2:03.68. Another Wingate Bulldog made it to the top of the podium when Oystein Fjeldberg won the men’s race over his teammate Niklas Martin, 1:51.20 to 1:51.70. Nate Dacruz of Queens took third in 1:51.81.

The Royals finished the meet with a win in the women’s 400 free relay behind Castro Ortega (49.57), Arakelian (50.58), Kyrie Dobson (50.63), and Prayson (50.21). Their combined time of 3:20.99 was more than two second faster than second-place Wingate (3:23.19). Carson-Newman placed third with 3:26.89.

Queens also won the men’s contest, although they took down the meet record along the way. Dreesens (43.48), Phelps (44.11), Ben Taylor (45.00), and Mayes (43.87) held off Wingate, 2:56.46 to 2:57.89, for the win. Johns Hopkins earned third with 3:01.79.

Final Scores


  1. Queens University of Charlotte 1634
  2. Wingate University 1269.5
  3. Carson-Newman University, SES 1041
  4. Johns Hopkins University 873.5
  5. SCAD Savannah 791.5
  6. Limestone Swimming 520
  7. Lenoir Rhyne University 352
  8. Catawba College 317
  9. Fairmont State University 259
  10. Converse College 244
  11. Davis & Elkins College 238
  12. West Virginia Wesleyan College 216.5


  1. Queens University of Charlotte 1561
  2. Wingate University 1193
  3. Limestone Swimming 990
  4. Johns Hopkins University 820.5
  5. Carson-Newman University, SES 812
  6. SCAD Savannah 587.5
  7. Catawba College 442
  8. Fairmont State University 441
  9. Lenoir Rhyne University 319
  10. Davis & Elkins College 276
  11. West Virginia Wesleyan College 226

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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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