Division II Weekly Preview: One Final Round

Photo Courtesy: Nova Southeastern Athletics

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The final weekend of conference meets in Division II will be this weekend as three conference meets will be taking place in the Division II landscape. The New South Conference, PSAC and Sunshine State Conference will all be in action this weekend as this is the last call for NCAA qualifications in Division II.

Sunshine State Conference

Psych sheet

CSCAA ranked teams:

  • #10 Saint Leo men
  • #12 Nova Southeastern men
  • #13 Florida Southern men
  • #15 Florida Tech men
  • #17 Tampa men
  • #3 Nova Southeastern women
  • #5 Tampa women
  • #18 Florida Southern women

The men’s meet looks to be a real tight one with Saint Leo, Nova Southeastern, Florida Southern, Florida Tech and Tampa all ranked in the top eight places apart from top to bottom. The meet will begin Thursday morning in Clearwater at the Long Center.

Top men’s swimmers to watch:

  • Matija Rafaj, Saint Leo (1000, 200 free, 500, 1650)
  • Franco Lupoli, Nova Southeastern (1000, 200 free, 500, 1650)
  • Magnus Poulsen, Nova Southeastern (50, 100 fly, 100 back, 200 fly, 100 free)
  • Luis Jasso, Florida Southern (200 IM, 100 fly, 100 breast, 200 breast)
  • Matthew Holmes, Florida Southern (200 IM, 400 IM, 500, 200 breast)
  • Victor Rocha Furtado, Florida Tech (50, 100 fly, 100 free)
  • Brett Saunders, Tampa (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 back, 200 breast)

It looks to be the men’s race of the meet will be the distance races between Matija Rafaj of Saint Leo and Franco Lupoli of Nova Southeastern. Lupoli is the top seed in the 500 and 1650 while Rafaj leads the 1000 on the first night. Both of those two are some of the best distance swimmers in Division II and will be looking to get to the bar that Drury’s Joan Casanovas set two weeks ago.

Top women’s swimmers to watch:

  • Emma Sundstedt, Nova Southeastern (1000, 200 free, 500, 1650, 100 free)
  • Courtney Deveny, Nova Southeastern (200 IM, 400 IM, 100 back, 200 fly, 200 back)
  • Malin Westman, Nova Southeastern (200 IM, 400 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast)
  • Hana van Loock, Tampa (50, 200 free, 100 back, 100 free)
  • Natalia Garriock, Saint Leo (50, 100 fly, 100 back, 200 fly, 100 free)

Nova is the favorite in the meet but Tampa is right on their heels in the duel meet rankings. The 100 free looks to be the race of the meet with Hana Van Loock and Natalia Garriock standing at the top of the psych sheet, along with Nova’s Sydney Panzarino. Emma Sundstedt has also already broken the NCAA record in the 1000 and the rest of Division II will be on watch to see what she does this weekend in Clearwater.

New South Conference

CSCAA ranked teams:

  • #3 Delta State men
  • #4 Lindenwood men
  • #4 Lindenwood women
  • #10 West Florida women
  • #16 Delta State women

The New South Conference men’s meet will be a good duel between Delta State and Lindenwood. They already raced each other at Delta State’s Christmas Invite and those times they put up propelled them to their current duel meet rankings.

Top men’s swimmers to watch:

  • Mattia Schirru, Delta State
  • Giulio Brugnoni, Delta State
  • Cristian Vasquez, Lindenwood
  • Justin Winnett, Lindenwood
  • Matheus Isidro, Lindenwood

Delta State is hosting the meet so be sure to keep an eye on how their swimmers do in their home pool. It is the last weekend for any Division II conference meets so they will not be playing around when it comes to putting up times for nationals in three weeks.

Top women’s swimmers to watch:

  • Simone de Rijcke, Lindenwood
  • Ola Tomala, Lindenwood
  • Lexie Winnett, Lindenwood
  • Madeline Pitt, West Florida
  • Taby Read-Cayton, West Florida
  • Caroline Jouisse, Delta State
  • Lucia Martelli, Delta State

The meet already started Wednesday morning and will go to Saturday night.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship already started Wednesday and will go to Saturday night. The meet started in York, Pennsylvania and the Division II crowd will be following Georgia Wright of West Chester. The distance freestyler is one of the best swimmers in the nation and will be looking to put up times to answer what Erica Dahlgren, Francesca Bains and Laura Fornshell have put up already this conference season.

Expect a full recap of the previous week’s events by Monday or Tuesday. The NCAA’s are three weeks away and a psych sheet preview will be made available when the entries are finished.

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