INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, February 20. DRURY University's men's and women's teams will go to the NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships in two weeks with the most swimmers on deck.
The women of Drury will take a division-leading 16 swimmers to Birmingham, Ala., for the four-day championships in an effort to reclaim the team championship lost to Wayne State last year by one point. Before 2012, Drury had won three consecutive team titles. The Panthers return no individual event champions, and will rely on depth to win the team trophy.
Wayne State will defend its women's title with 11 swimmers, including NCAA champion Ana Azambuja. Wayne State was able to pull off their close win last year with just nine swimmers, compared to 15 for Drury in 2012.
On the men's side, Drury is sending 15 swimmers to the meet in a quest to make it nine in a row in the Division II championships. Like their female teammate, the Drury men return no individual champions, but will rely on their relays and depth to capture the title. With the graduation of distance star Iaroslav Denysenko from Wingate and sprint legend Andrey Seryy of Wayne State, Drury could find themselves at the top of the podium in the freestyle events.
In their final Division II competition, Grand Canyon University and the University of the Incarnate Word will be sending strong teams to the meet before joining the Division I ranks. Watch for breaststroker Eetu Karvonen and sprint freestyler Micael Branning from Grand Canyon, as both have put up top times so far this season. Incarnate Word has two new NCAA record holders on their squad in sprinter Tamris Nascimento (100 free) and Thiago Parravicini (200 breast).
The combined men's and women's Division II NCAA championships runs March 6-9. The list of swimmers that automatically qualified and were invited in each event should not be viewed as the official psych sheet. That is expected to be released soon.