By Andy Ross, Swimming World College Intern
It was a short program on the first night of the 2016 Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships. Queens won five of the first six events of the meet on Wednesday night, with a few NCAA Division II records in the bag as well.
Queens started the night off with a win in the women’s 200 medley relay. Hannah Peiffer (25.49), Shelly Prayson (27.43), Patricia Castro Ortega (24.06) and Kyrie Dobson (22.51) broke Drury’s NCAA record from last year with a 1:39.49. Drury’s old record was a 1:40.09 set at the 2015 NCAAs. The Royals from Queens finished ahead of a solid Wingate squad that finished at 1:40.55. The team of Rita Koryukova (25.80), Jessika Weiss (28.33), Armony Dumur (23.92) and Ana Fish (22.50) swam for Wingate.
Queens returned later in the women’s 800 free relay to smash another national record. This time it was their own record from NCAAs last year. Castro Ortega led off with an NCAA record of her own at 1:44.44. Following her was Caroline Arakelian (1:49.80), Josephina Lorda (1:49.53) and McKenzie Stevens (1:49.19) as they went 7:12.96 to obliterate the old record of 7:14.69. Lorda was the only new member to the team as the other three were on the former record team. Castro Ortega’s old record was a 1:45.27 from last season. Wingate was second in that relay at 7:24.29 and Carson-Newman was third at 7:27.92.
In between the relays, Queens had a 1000 free sweep of the top three finishes. Stevens won with a 10:03.95. Nikki Johnston and Lauren Frizzell completed the top three with a 10:11.04 and 10:11.97 respectively.
Queens’ men’s relays were not quite as dominant as the women on this night. Wingate upset Queens in the 800 free relay in the final event. The team of Jerome Heidrich (1:36.63), Leif Henning-Kluever (1:36.04), Lennart Queiss (1:37.70) and Ossian Arvidsson (1:38.75) stole the race away from Queens by going 6:29.12 for the win. Queens looked they were going to run away with it after Dion Dreesens (1:35.43) and Ben Taylor (1:36.59) led off. But Hector Tricas’ 1:41.25 opened the door for Queiss to step up and take a big lead and Nick Arakelian could not close the gap as he had a 1:37.64 split. The Royals were second at 6:30.91.
Queens may have lost the 800 free relay but they started the day with a 200 medley relay win. Zach Phelps (22.11), Rost Fedyna (23.93), Felipe Oliveira (21.48) and Ben Mayes (19.60) went 1:27.12 to win the relay for the Royals. Wingate was second at 1:30.04 and Limestone was third at 1:30.28.
Queens’ Dreesens, a Dutch Olympian went 9:14.08 from one of the slower heats to win the 1000. He came in seeded without a time so he swam in lane 8 in one of the earlier heats. Camden Wunderlich of Wingate was second at 9:25.99 and Jon Lancaster of Carson-Newman was third at 9:29.48.