COLUMBIA, Missouri, March 13. THE teams in the lead remained the same after the second night of swimming at the NCAA Division II Championships, but the leaders fortunes took completely different turns. While the Drury men made a fourth straight team title much more likely by piling on points, the Truman State women's first-day lead nearly evaporated as the Drury women made their move.
The Truman State women remained in the lead after the second night of swimming, but only by the slimmest of margins with 226 points. Defending champs Drury, which broke Truman State's six-year win streak last year, made a serious move tonight to close to within a single point with a second-place total of 225. North Dakota (165), San Diego (151) and Nebraska-Omaha (111) made up the rest of the top five.
The Drury men pushed their advantage to 73 points after the second night with a leading-tally of 233 points. North Dakota, which had stood third after last night, moved into second with 160 points. West Chester moved into third with 144.5 points, while Ouachita Baptist (139) and Missouri Science & Technology (137) completed the rest of the top five.
Drury opened the second night right with a close triumph in the 200 freestyle relay when Eunate Garro, Li Tao, Heidi Halfhill and Kelsey Ward snatched victory from the jaws of three other squads with a time of 1:34.41.
UC San Diego's foursome of Anju Shimura, Aubrey Panis, Erinn Deters and Shannon Simonds finished second in 1:34.66, while North Dakota's squad of Carissa Gormally, Steffany Bachmeier, Natalia Busso and Brittney Jamerson finished third in 1:34.69.
Even Truman State's team of Kate Aherne, Emily Pufall, Kendra Brunkow and Emily Greenwood pushed the action from fourth place with a time of 1:34.71.
Drury made it two-in-a-row when Abbey Musch captured a triumph in the 400 IM with a time of 4:25.83, about a second-and-a-half ahead of South Dakota's Leita Rolfe, who placed second in 4:27.53.
Make it three straight as Drury's Li Tao cleared 55 seconds with a winning effort of 54.87 in the 100 fly, while UIndy's Valerie Crosby finished second in 55.15.
Southern Connecticut State's Kristen Frost broke the streak in the 200 free when she hit the wall in 1:48.15 to defeat UIndy's Isabela Tafur, who took second in 1:49.48.
Drury completed the relay sweep on the night as Janelle Slattery, Kristie Rose, Garro and Ward came within half-a-second of downing Drury's DII record of 3:47.27 set a year ago. This year, Drury completed the 400 medley relay in 3:47.65 to secure the win.
Limestone gave the men their first DII record of the meet as the contingent of Craig Jordens, Chris Harrigan, Anders Melin and Goran Majlat matched the record effort of North Dakota from last year with a time of 1:20.69 in the 200 free relay.
North Dakota, meanwhile, settled for second with a time of 1:20.88 from Anthony Buhr, Pedro Pereira, Eric Knight and Adam Rollins.
Drury's Kyrillo Fesenko nabbed a commanding victory in the 400 IM when he hit the wall in 3:52.26, ahead of Seattle's Jakub Jiracek's second-place time of 3:55.97.
Another title went to Drury in the 100 fly as Yiwen Huang captured the crown with a time of 47.86 as Seattle's Chris Coley placed second in 48.19.
In the 200 free, UIndy's Alex Arestis garnered the title with a time of 1:37.35 with Ouachita Baptist's Radu Badalac taking second in 1:38.31.
Nate Jimerson of Saint Cloud State then walked through the diving competition to snatch the event with 520.75 points. Brandon Birchak of St. Rose wound up with second-place points for his team with 508.90 points.
Drury's squad of Alexander Protsenko, Artem Sludnov, Huang and Tomas Kuzvard closed the night with a DII standard of 3:16.62, knocking nearly a second from the 3:17.50 set by North Dakota a year ago.