GENEVA, Ohio, March 12. ALTHOUGH Wayne State provided an appetizer with an NCAA D2 record during prelims, swimmers and divers took a torch to the NCAA Division II record book during the NCAA Division II Championships this evening at the SPIRE Institute. At the end of the night, Wayne State’s women and Drury’s men hold leads in the team title races.
Wayne State’s women, thanks to a huge point-scoring night from the divers, hold a slim, 120-114.5, lead against defending champs Drury. Queens (83), West Chester (74) and Bridgeport (60) make up the rest of the top five in scoring. Clarion (42), Grand Valley (39), NMU (38), Florida Southern (37) and Alaska Fairbanks (37) comprise the top 10.
The Drury men’s sprint group helped the defending champs take a strong first-day lead with 144.5 points. Florida Southern stands second with 83 points, while UCSD (69), Wayne State (57) and Queens (57) hold third through fifth. Bridgeport (48.5), West Chester (42), Wingate (41), Lindenwood (33) and Tampa (31) sit sixth through 10th.
Florida Southern’s Allison Crenshaw kicked off the first night of scoring with a 9:59.65 to win the women’s 1000-yard freestyle finale. Queens’ Meridith Boudreaux raced home to a second-place time of 10:02.90, while Lindenwood’s Alecia McGillivray earned third-place honors in the timed finale event with a 10:03.07.
West Chester’s Victor Polyakov, who set the NCAA D2 record in the 500 free with a 4:20.26 back in November, picked up the men’s 1000-yard freestyle triumph with a 9:07.00. He’s been faster this year, coming in with a 9:04.20 seed, but his time was more than enough for the win. Lindenwood’s Sylwester Borowicz Skoneczny took second overall in 9:08.66 with Florida Southern’s Juan Tolosa picking up third in 9:09.71.
The Division 2 level is unique in that it offers both the 1000 and 1650 as well as the 500 free, making distance swimmers that much more valuable at the competition. It’s still not as big as a sprinter who can score on a full boat of relays, but it’s one more event that a distance specialist can score in.
West Chester’s Katharina Fischer, the first Division II woman to ever clear 2:00 in the women’s 200-yard IM with a 1:59.41 record at her conference championships last month, duplicated the effort with an even faster time of 1:59.21. And, she did so in style with Queens’ Caroline Arakelian finishing second a full second behind with a 2:00.31. Drury’s Agnieszka Ostrowska placed third overall in 2:00.46.
Queens’ Matt Josa, a Division I talent who already broke the D2 record in the 200-yard backstroke with a 1:43.03 in December, snatched the men’s 200-yard IM title with a D2 record 1:43.96. That swim bettered the 1:44.82 set by Wayne State’s Piotr Jachowicz a year ago. Josa is definitely a contender for Swimmer of the Meet as he could be looking at full sweep of individual titles. Jachowicz, meanwhile, grabbed second in 1:44.82, matching his former record, while Grand Valley’s Gianni Ferrero placed third in 1:46.03.
The sprinters then took center stage with Wayne State’s Ana Azambuja leading the way in the women’s 50-yard free with a 22.62. That swim just missed Melissa Gates’ D2 record of 22.56 from 2012. Drury’s Wai Ting Yu hit the wall in 22.88 with Cal Baptist’s Mary Hanson winding up third in 22.92 as it took a sub-23 to make the top three.
The Drury men took control of the men’s team title race in the 50-yard free with a three up, two down performance. Nicholas McCarthy won the title in 19.75, while teammate Daniel Rzadkowski matched Bridgeport’s Oscar Pereiro for second with matching 19.88s. Samuel Olson also took eighth in 20.53, while Sean Feher (20.14) and Igor Kowal (20.60) also got into the scoring action with ninth and 15th overall from the consolation heat.
During the long 11-round diving break, Clarion’s Kristin Day crushed the NCAA D2 record in the women’s three-meter event with 539.35 points. That effort blasted the 511.15 set by Clarion’s Kayla Kelosky back in 2011.
Wayne State utilized a strong diving contingent to help power their way to the top of the team rankings at the end of day one. Paige Kortman (486.45), Elizabeth Rawlings (481.85) and Alex Geddis (471.10) took second, third and sixth overall.
Drury fought back in the women’s 200-yard medley relay with an NCAA D2 record 1:40.45. Yakaterina Rudenko (25.33), Agnieska Ostrowska (28.27), Wai Ting Yu (23.89) and Tinsley Andrews (22.96) produced the new mark. The swim beat the previous time of 1:40.78 set by Wayne State in 2011.
Wayne State’s Ellyson Maleski (25.90), Kayla Scott (28.02), Gloria Martinez Perez (24.95) and Ana Azambuja (22.06) finished second in 1:40.93. Alaska Fairbanks’ Victoria Adams (26.31), Thanh Nguyen (28.16), Margo Adams (24.69) and Bente Heller (23.06) finished third in 1:42.22.
In a blistering finale, Wayne State obliterated its preliminary NCAA D2 record of 1:27.12 in the men’s 200-yard medley relay. Juan David Molina Perez (22.32), Piotr Jachowicz (23.64), Soren Holm (20.56) and Till Barthell (19.50) posted a 1:26.02 in the finale.
Queens’ Matt Josa (21.56), Nicholas Eriksson (24.06), Evante Gibson (21.44) and Hayden Kosater (19.77) joined them under 1:27 with a second-place 1:26.83 with Josa providing a particularly swift backstroke leadoff. Bridgeport’s Oscar Pereiro (21.47), Ivan Capan (24.48), Didad Matsuyama (21.73) and Vlad Paskas (19.97) finished third in 1:27.64 with Pereiro also blazing on the backstroke.