GENEVA, Ohio, March 15. THE final night of the NCAA Division II Championships featured the coronation of Drury with title defenses in the women’s and men’s team title races alongside a record-breaking onslaught from nearly every event at the SPIRE Institute this evening.
The Drury women overcame a bit of a scare from Wayne State yesterday by leaving no doubt this morning and evening en route to the 2014 team title with 486 points. That’s Drury’s fifth win in the last six years (having taken second to Wayne State in 2012).
Wayne State finished second with 419 points, even after a third day of action had them in the lead for a moment before falling behind after last night’s relay. Queens (368.5), West Chester (300) and UC San Diego (248.5) finished third through fifth in the women’s race, while Wingate (230.5), Florida Southern (184), Bridgeport (178), Cal Baptist (149) and Grand Valley (132) comprised the rest of the top 10.
Meanwhile, the Drury men captured their 10th straight team title with 569.5 points, well ahead of the rest of the field. Florida Southern (361), Wayne State (358.5), Queens (285) and Bridgeport (258.5) made up the rest of the top five. West Chester (237), UC San Diego (229), Wingate (221), Tampa (189) and Grand Valley (146) finished sixth through 10th to close out the night.
This is also the seventh time that Drury has swept the Division II national championships.
Queens’ Meredith Boudreaux kicked off the final night of action with a 16:44.88 to win the women’s 1650-yard free by a wide margin. Lindenwood’s Kyleigh Troxel took second in 16:53.38, while Wayne State’s Kristina Novichenko picked up third overall in 16:53.77.
Lindenwood’s Alecia McGillivray (16:56.72), West Chester’s Danielle Barron (16:58.17), NMU’s Rachel Borchardt (16:58.83), West Chester’s Kendall Somer (17:01.53) and Drury’s Sarah Pullen (17:02.22) rounded out the top eight in the timed final event.
West Chester’s Victor Polyakov clinched his amazing fourth individual title with a freestyle sweep of the events he contested with a 15:14.89 in the men’s 1650-yard free. With his wins in the 200, 500 and 1000, he has proven himself to be one of the top freestyle stars ever to grace the NCAA D2 stage. Plus, he’s just a freshman. He could set all sorts of career title records by the time he’s done.
Drury’s Alec Morris took second in 15:20.70 with Florida Southern’s Juan Tolosa placing third in 15:21.96. St. Cloud State’s Alex Bryson (15:22.68), UC San Diego’s Chandler Pourvahidi (15:28.54), Queens’ Alex Menke (15:30.97), Missouri S&T’s Jon Glaser (15:32.46) and Cal Baptist’s Elijah Barrows (15:35.08) closed out the top eight scoring in the timed final.
Wayne State’s Ana Azambuja became the first woman in NCAA D2 history to clear 49 seconds as she went out hard with a 23.46 and held on with a 25.48 for a 48.94 to win the women’s 100-yard freestyle finale. That swim smashed the previous mark of 49.33 set by Loni Burton of CSU Bakersfield back in 2005, and was enough to hold off a hard-charging Nicole Cossey (49.25) of Simon Fraser, who came home in 25.27. Drury’s Wai Ting Yu also cleared 50 seconds with a third-place 49.61.
NMU’s Deborah Lawrence (50.15), Queens’ Lillian Gordy (50.40), Bridgeport’s Tatiana Shepel (50.56), Florida Southern’s Kelsey Gouge (50.57) and Drury’s Tinsley Andrews (50.84) also competed for the national title in the championship heat.
Bridgeport’s Ruben Gimenez joined teammate Oscar Pereiro as a national titlist this year with a 43.49 to win the men’s 100-yard freestyle. Drury’s Nicholas McCarthy took second in 43.54 with Florida Southern’s Robert Swan placing third in 44.16.
Drury’s Daniel Rzadkowski (44.24), Wayne State’s Till Barthel (44.25), Limestone’s Sean Gunn (44.45), Pereiro (44.46) and Tampa’s Martin Hammer (44.50) comprised the rest of the championship finale.
Queens’ Caroline Arakelian clipped Drury’s Yakaterina Rudenko for the women’s 200-yard backstroke title, 1:55.57 to 1:55.69, coming from behind with a scorcing 29.60 final split. The two swimmers are now the first D2 competitors to ever break 1:56. Arakelian had broken Mary O’Sullivan’s 2011 record of 1:56.90 with a 1:56.40 during her conference championship last month. Wingate’s Kathryn Pheil finished well behind in third with a 1:57.74.
Cal Baptist’s Mary Hanson (1:58.47), Florida Southern’s Lauren Reynolds (1:59.87), Delta State’s Anastasia Kylarovskaya (2:00.06), Wingate’s Viktoriya Arkhipova (2:00.29) and Limestone’s Rachel Hickey (2:02.78) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.
Queens’ Matt Josa won a third NCAA D2 individual title and set his fourth D2 record of the meet by uncorking one of the finest D2 swims of all time in the men’s 200-yard backstroke. Josa entered the meet with the record at 1:43.03 from December, and just obliterated that mark with a stunning 1:40.74 this evening. That swim would have placed sixth in the NCAA Division I Championships a year ago.
More impressive is that Josa did it basically alone as Drury’s Igor Kowal touched well back in second with a 1:45.23. Florida Southern’s Luis Rojas took third in 1:45.81 with Cal Baptist’s Nolan Brown earning fourth in 1:46.24.
Wingate’s Tim Kniffler (1:46.46), Tampa’s Karl Burdis (1:46.53), Drury’s Sean Feher (1:47.94) and Florida Southern’s Thomas Nguyen (1:48.30) pocketed the rest of the championship finishes.
The record-breaking definitely proved to be contagious as Drury’s Agnieszka Ostrowska pillaged Ana Gonzalez Pena’s NCAA D2 record of 2:12.89 in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke with a blistering time of 2:11.45. That’s a two second drop from her preliminary time, and gave her a win by more than a second.
West Chester’s Katharina Fischer placed second in 2:12.62, under the former record, but still well back of Ostrowska’s incredible swim. Ashland’s Hannh Mattar placed third in 2:13.04.
Cal Baptist’s Alena Rumiantceva (2:13.42), Saint Leo’s Nicole Weber (2:14.73), Bridgeport’s Adeline Martin (2:15.18), IUP’s Allyson Mitidieri (2:16.79) and UC San Diego’s Jaimie Bryan (2:16.79) closed out the heat.
The record-breaking roll continued in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke when UC San Diego’s Nicholas Korth popped a 1:54.45. That swim lowered the previous mark of 1:54.57 set by Eetu Karvonen of Grand Canyon. Queens’ Niclas Eriksson (1:56.75) and Drury’s Banjo Borja (1:57.34) took second and third.
Wayne State’s Piotr Jachowicz (1:57.69), Missouri S&T’s Ethan Goldfarb (1:58.03), Lake Erie’s Julian Milinkovskyi (1:58.19), Bridgeport’s Vyacheslav Fattakhov (1:58.38) and Wayne State’s Jayson Hansen (1:58.59) made up the rest of the championship finale.
The divers even joined the record-breaking onslaught with Clarion’s Heath Calhoun amassing 615.95 points. That smashed the 581.65 points set by St. Cloud’s Chris White in 2012. Wayne State’s Dylan Szegedi took second with 561.80 points, while Colorado Mesa’s Brock Martin placed third with 523.90 points.
Drury’s Yakaterina Rudenko (51.00), Tinsley Andrews (49.87), Leah Reed (51.49) and Wai Ting Yu (49.16) put an exclamation point on the team title with a 3:21.52 to top the women’s 400-yard free relay, edging Wayne State in the process. Wayne State’s Ana Azambuja (49.68), Gloria Martinez Perez (50.38), Ellyson Maleski (51.13) and Kayla Scott (50.80) took second in 3:21.99, while Queens’ Caroline Arakelian (50.88), Lillian Gordy (49.89), Lara Marshall (51.01) and Kristin Diemer (51.21) took third overall in 3:22.99.
CSU East Bay (3:23.26), UC San Diego (3:23.58), Wingate (3:23.59), Bridgeport (3:23.91) and West Chester (3:25.55) rounded out the championship heat.
The Drury men capped another dominant run to the title as Daniel Rzadkowski (44.04), Samuel Olson (43.88), Albert Lloyd (43.59) and Nicholas McCarthy (42.86) raced their way to an NCAA D2 record time of 2:54.37. Queens’ Matt Josa (42.75), Harry Traystman (43.82), Niclas Eriksson (44.53) and Hayden Kosater (43.87) also cleared the former record with a second-place 2:54.97 as Drury’s 2013 mark of 2:55.26 took a tumble. Florida Southern’s Allan Gutierrez (44.26), Luis Rojas (44.81), Jesus Marin (44.58) and Robert Swan (43.68) closed out the top three in 2:57.33.
Wingate (2:57.44), Wayne State (2:57.64), Tampa (2:59.30) and Saint Leo (3:00.73) finished fourth through seventh, while Bridgeport drew a disqualification for an early takeoff.