Division II Weekly Preview: RMAC, Bluegrass Get Going For Week Two

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There are three major Division II conference meets set to begin this weekend as the second major wave of conference meets in Division II hits us. The Bluegrass Mountain, the Rocky Mountain and the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference will all be hosting their championship meets this weekend.

There are a total of seven conference meets this weekend and they all start Wednesday night. The Bluegrass Mountain Conference championships will be one of the headlining meets with powerhouse Queens at the meet in Charlotte.

CSCAA ranked teams in BMC:

  • #1 Queens men
  • #14 Wingate men
  • #17 Carson Newman men
  • #24 Limestone men
  • #2 Queens women
  • #14 Wingate women
  • #19 Carson Newman women

The conference will be all about Queens as Wingate has underperformed this year after being in the preseason top 5. The Queens men look untouchable as they move forward to NCAA’s in four weeks. The Queens women will have their hands full with Drury when we get to nationals as they are second nationally.

Top men’s swimmers to watch:

  • Marius Kusch, Queens (200 IM, 100 fly, 200 fly)
  • Paul Pijulet, Queens (50, 100 back, 200 back)
  • Nick Arakelian, Queens (500, 400 IM, 200 breast)
  • Zach Bunner, Queens (200 IM, 100 back, 200 fly)
  • Sebastian Holmberg, Wingate (100 fly, 100 back, 100 free)
  • Lennart Queiss, Wingate (200 free, 100 free)

The psych sheet is not yet available as the events in parentheses are just guesses of what they could possibly swim. Kusch and Pijulet are capable of swimming anything and winning so their schedules may be completely different than they were at NCAA’s last season.

Top women’s swimmers to watch:

  • Alexis Divelbiss, Wingate (200 IM, 400 IM, 100 free)
  • Georgia DaCruz, Queens (200 IM, 100 fly, 200 fly)
  • Josephina Lorda, Queens (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly)
  • McKenzie Stevens, Queens (200 free, 100 free, 200 fly)
  • Kyrie Dobson, Queens (50 free, 100 free)
  • Margaret Stansberry, Carson Newman (200 IM, 200 free, 100 free)
  • Maggie Melhorn, Carson Newman (200 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast)
  • Marlena Dudek, Fairmont State (100 breast, 200 breast)

The women’s 200 IM could be a very interesting and star studded race, but not everyone is expected to swim it. The meet will still be a fun one to watch as more of the star power is on the women’s side, even if Queens is still head and shoulders ahead of everyone.

The meet will be hosted by Queens in the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center starting Wednesday night.

The west coast will get things started Wednesday night with the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships in Monterey Park, California.

Teams ranked in CSCAA top 25:

  • #16 UC San Diego men
  • #25 Fresno Pacific men
  • #6 UC San Diego women
  • #11 Fresno Pacific women
  • #21 Cal State East Bay women

Top women’s swimmers to watch:

  • Lisa Tixier, Biola
  • Laura Fornshell, Fresno Pacific
  • Daria Belova, Fresno Pacific
  • Bavindeep Basra, Fresno Pacific
  • Morgan McClure, Cal State East Bay
  • Claire Beaty, Cal State East Bay
  • Julia Toronczak, UC San Diego
  • Amanda Sumrow, UC San Diego
  • Angie Phetbenjakul, UC San Diego

The women’s meet looks to be a little more spread out and wide open. Fresno Pacific and UC San Diego are the two best teams in the conference and there is plenty of talent across all the teams.

Top men’s swimmers to watch:

  • Maksim Shcherbakov, Fresno Pacific
  • Aleksei Averchenko, Fresno Pacific
  • Tenny Chong, UC San Diego
  • Kevin Fink, UC San Diego

The men’s meet is not as stacked as it could come between UC San Diego and Fresno Pacific down to the wire.

The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will be held at Jenison High School in Michigan.

CSCAA ranked teams:

  • #5 Grand Valley men
  • #8 Northern Michigan men
  • #9 Northern Michigan women
  • #14 Grand Valley women
  • #22 Wayne State women

Top women’s swimmers to watch:

  • Rachel Helm, Northern Michigan
  • Emily Marginean, Wayne State
  • Sam Postmus, Grand Valley

Top men’s swimmers to watch:

  • Lajos Budai, Northern Michigan
  • Renars Bundzis, Northern Michigan
  • Ryan Knox-Leonard, Northern Michigan
  • Marius Mikalauskas, Grand Valley
  • Harry Shalamon, Grand Valley
  • Sasha Palazzo, Wayne State
  • Dmytro Drobnych, Wayne State

The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in Lewisville, Texas will start Wednesday and go through all the way until Monday with diving events. The meet will be especially interesting with David Lambert of Oklahoma Baptist in attendance as the fastest man in Division II.

CSCAA ranked teams:

  • #7 Oklahoma Baptist men
  • #9 California Baptist men
  • #10 Colorado Mesa men

The men’s meet will be particularly stacked with three top ten teams in attendance. The meet will be a sneaky one since a lot of Division II eyes will be on what is happening in North Carolina.

  • #12 Colorado Mesa women
  • #13 California Baptist women
  • #24 Oklahoma Baptist women

Top men’s swimmers to watch:

  • David Lambert, Oklahoma Baptist
  • Sam Bryant, Colorado Mesa
  • Brandon Schuster, California Baptist
  • Eric Tolman, California Baptist
  • Justin Quiroga, California Baptist
  • Robert Griffith, California Baptist

Top women’s swimmers to watch:

  • Miranda Yarnell, Western State
  • Victoria Fonville, Oklahoma Baptist
  • Tamlyn Price, Oklahoma Baptist
  • Sofia Petrenko, California Baptist
  • Christie Halverson, California Baptist
1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Joseph M. Knippenberg

    I wouldn’t take Wingate’s “underperformance” in season to be indicative of how both the men’s and women’s teams perform in Charlotte and Greensboro. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised with some “surprising” results this weekend and next month. To be sure, the Bulldogs graduated a lot of talent, but Coach Sanocki’s swimmers do their best when it matters the most.

Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross graduated Cum Laude from Southern Illinois University where he studied Radio and Television and Journalism. He is a native of West Lafayette, Indiana and has been on board with Swimming World since January 2015.

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