GENEVA, Ohio, March 14. ON the third day of preliminary qualifying, the Wayne State Wildcat women set themselves up to potentially cut into Drury’s day two 30-point lead at the NCAA Division II Championships. Meanwhile, the Drury men are definitely cruising their way to another title.
Women’s 500 free
The middle distance event could kick off the night with a barn-burner this evening as Drury’s Sarah Pullen (4:54.86) and Florida Southern’s Allison Crenshaw (4:54.89) qualified first and second out of prelims. Both swimmers are capable of contending for the national title, and the two could be looking at pushing each other to fast times this evening.
Meanwhile, Delta State’s Melanie Tombers (4:55.72) and West Chester’s Lauren Carastro (4:55.93) put up 4:55s for third and fourth seeds heading into the finale.
UC San Diego’s Anjali Shakya (4:56.69), Queens’ Lillian Gordy (4:57.29), Lindenwood’s Alecia McGillivray (4:57.40) and IUP’s Christina Janosky (4:57.61) also earned their way into the finale.
Drury, which already put up a strong 30-point lead in team points last night, will gain more ground in the 500 with one up (Pullen) and one down (Allie Reynolds, 4:57.66, 9th), while second-place Wayne State qualified no one.
Men’s 500 free
While Queens’ Matt Josa is the favorite for Swimmer of the Meet after two individual wins by way of NCAA D2 records, West Chester’s Victor Polyakov has the chance to step into the void if Josa falters at all the rest of the way. Polyakov qualified second in the 500 free with a 4:24.39 and has already won the 200 and 1000 frees earlier this week. Polyakov already set the D2 record in the 500 earlier this season with a 4:20.26.
Missouri S&T’s Jonathan Glaser topped qualifying this morning with a 4:23.95, cutting more than two seconds off his seed time, while West Chester’s Jared Haley (4:26.38) and Bradley Strathmeyer (4:26.57) qualified third and fourth in what will be a huge point swing for West Chester.
Florida Southern’s Juan Tolosa (4:27.03), St. Cloud State’s Alex Bryson (4:27.05), Drury’s Fahad Alkhaldi (4:27.79) and Bridgeport’s Ivan Sangines (4:27.85) snagged the rest of the qualifying spots into the championship heat.
Women’s 100 back
The finale in the 100 back could be special with three swimmers all within striking distance of title contention. Drury’s Yakaterina Rudenko posted the top time this morning with a 54.50, while Delta State’s Anastasia Klyarovskaya placed second in 54.56. Cal Baptist’s Mary Hanson, who set the D2 record as a medley relay leadoff last night with a 52.67, qualified third in 54.62. All three are capable of breaking Hanson’s newly-minted mark.
Queens’ Hannah Peiffer (55.00), Alaska Fairbanks’ Bente Heller (55.18), Wayne State’s Ana Azambuja (55.25), Wayne State’s Ellyson Maleski (55.59) and Florida Southern’s Lauren Reynolds (55.64) finished fourth through eighth this morning to complete championship finals qualifying.
In terms of the team title race, Wayne State will return fire in this event after being blanked in the 500 free. Wayne State went two up (Azambuja, Maleski) and one down (Emily Maraskine, 56.61, 16th), with Drury having just Rudenko in the equation.
Men’s 100 back
Drury’s Jordi Montensy Diez (47.67) and Sean Feher (47.94) assured the defending champions another heavy-scoring event with a 1-2 finish in qualifying. Meanwhile, NCAA D2 record holder Oscar Pereiro or Bridgeport touched third in 47.95 with Ashland’s Philipp Sikatzki earning fourth in 47.96. All four will be vying for Pereiro’s 2012 record of 46.99.
Tamap’s Karl Bundis (48.11), Florida Southern’s Luis Rojas (48.17), Florida Southern’s Thomas Nguyen (48.41) and Wayne State’s Till Barthel (48.75) also made the finale as Drury went two up (Montseny Diez, Feher) and one down (Igor Kowal, 48.84, 10th) as the squad will be looking to run away with the title on the third day of action.
Women’s 100 breast
Wayne State’s Kayla Scott made history this morning, becoming the first D2 female swimmer to break 1:01 in the 100 breast. She rocketed to a 1:00.96 to lead prelims, cutting half-a-second off Mariya Chekanovych’s record of 1:01.50 set a year ago for Simon Fraser. She had the most complete swim of the morning, going out in 28.93 and coming home in 32.03 for the record. A sub-1:00 time could be asking a bit much this evening, but one never knows when the championship nerves can help power a breakthrough performance.
Meanwhile, it wound up being another strong event for Wayne State as it chases Drury. Manuela Ferreira finished sixth overall in 1:02.54, while Drury’s Agnieszka Ostrowska took fourth in 1:02.18 with Wayne State up 2-1 in qualifiers.
Grand Valley’s Danielle Vallier (1:01.99), West Chester’s Katharina Fischer (1:02.00), Cal Baptist’s Alena Rumiantceva (1:02.28), IUP’s Allyson Mitidieri (1:02.90) and Edinboro’s Holly Stein (1:02.91) picked up the rest of the transfer spots.
Men’s 100 breast
UC San Diego’s Nicholas Korth and Wayne State’s Piotr Jachowicz put up the top two times in the morning as Korth touched in 53.26 and Jachowicz placed second in 53.27. The two could easily push each other to an NCAA D2 record, as Aleksander Hetland’s 52.43 from 2009 is right there for the taking this evening.
Bridgeport’s Ruben Gimenez (53.89) and Queens’ Nicholas Eriksson (53.99) finished third and fourth, also breaking 54 seconds to make for an interesting center of the pool this evening.
Florida Southern’s Spencer Rowe (54.40), West Chester’s Bogdan Grebenyuk (54.44), Drury’s Kacper Pelczynski (54.44) and Wingate’s Roman Kanyuka (54.54) also earned their way into the championship heat.
Women’s 200 fly
Wayne State’s Kristina Novichenko has the NCAA D2 record in her sights heading into finals after leading qualifying with a 1:59.01. That’s just off Jaclyn Hynson’s 2012 mark of 1:58.84 set for IUP. Novichenko’s swim also represents big team points with Drury getting just one swimmer into finals as well with Hilary Ottaviano placing seventh in 2:02.68. Barring a huge swing tonight, Novichenko should cut some points off Drury’s lead.
Wingate’s Sofia Petrenko (2:00.13) and UC San Diego’s Naomi Thomas (2:01.53) finished second and third as Queens’ Hannah Peiffer (2:01.54) set up a difficult double with A final swims in both the 100 back and 200 fly. Luckily, she’ll have a few other heats in between the championship swims.
LIU Post’s Joyce Kowk (2:02.31), IUP’s Aniella Janosky (2:02.33) and Simon Fraser’s Carmen Nam (2:03.06) also made their way into the championship heat.
Men’s 200 fly
Drury’s Stanislav Kuzmin qualified just ahead of Southern Connecticut’s Raymond Cswerko, 1:47.24 to 1:47.26, in the men’s 200-yard fly to finish individual qualifying this morning. Wingate’s Marko Blazevski hit the wall third overall in 1:47.94.
UIndy’s Daniel Chan (1:48.01), Cal Baptist’s Josh Hanson (1:48.11), Delta State’s Vlad Zinca (1:48.22), Bridgeport’s Antonio Nunez (1:48.24) and Florida Southern’s Raul Garrastazu (1:48.56) also picked up spots in the championship finale.