Division II Weekly Recap: Queens, Nova Southeast and Indianapolis Impress in Early October Weekend

Photo Courtesy: Queens Athletics

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Queens had a strong showing against defending national champion Emory as the Royals won handily over Emory with a 187-75 win on Saturday. Queens saw dominant performances from Marius Kusch, Paul Pijulet and Nick Arakelian.

Kusch had a big swim in the 200 fly as he swam a 1:47.18, which is four seconds ahead of everyone else in Division II so far in this young season. The junior from Germany leads the national rankings ahead of Nova Southeastern’s Magnus Poulsen who swam a 1:51.46 at the Shark Invitational this past weekend. Kusch also swam a 4:35.76 in the 500 free. Kusch’s 500 times puts him at fifth in the nation so far.

Paul Pijulet also had a big day for Queens as he swam a 1:39.69 200 free that puts him second in the national rankings behind Indianapolis’ Guilherme Zavaneli (1:38.56). Pijulet also leads the national rankings in the 100 fly and free from his efforts on Saturday. His freestyle (44.97) leads Zavaneli’s 45.47 as the fastest time of the weekend in Division II. Zavaneli is third in that event right now behind Alex Sobers of Emmanuel College who swam a 45.29 last weekend. Pijulet’s 48.84 100 fly also leads the Division II rankings ahead of Delta State’s Giulio Brugnoni (49.49) and Wingate’s Sebastian Holmberg (49.57).

Nick Arakelian swam quick times of 55.69 in the 100 breast, 2:02.56 in the 200 breast and 3:58.16 in the 400 IM. He leads the national rankings in both events as he is ahead of Lindenwood’s Justin Winnett (56.17) in the breast as Winnett swam that on Saturday in Lindenwood’s win over Truman State. He leads the 200 breast rankings ahead of Florida Southern’s Luis Jasso (2:03.56) from the Shark Invite. Arakelian also has a big margin over the rest of Division II in the 400 IM as he is seven seconds ahead of Matias Lopez of Florida Southern who won the Shark Invitational at 4:05.68.

In other news, Indianapolis won the stacked Shark Invitational held in Florida this weekend. The Greyhounds finished first ahead of strong Division II teams Wingate and Carson-Newman. The aforementioned Zavaneli and Adam Rosipal were the stars of the show on the men’s side for the winning team. Zavaneli won three events from the 50 to the 200 free. Rosipal finished second in the 500 (4:33.83) and was third in the 1000 (9:33.39).

Rosipal finished behind Franco Lupoli of Nova Southeastern in his events as Lupoli won the 500 (4:32.25) and the 1000 (9:29.09)

UIndy also had a win from Rodrigo Codo Berti in the 200 IM with a 1:52.24. Berti has the number one time in the nation this year in that event as he went a 1:51.86 against IUPUI on October 5.

Indianapolis also won three of the four relays contested at the meet as only Carson Newman beat them in the 200 medley relay. Queens had the fastest 200 free relay of the weekend with a 1:22.19 to lead the national rankings. Indianapolis also had the fastest 400 free relay in the nation so far this year with a 3:04.02 winning the Invite. In fact, the top three teams in that event from that meet (Indianapolis, Nova Southeastern and Florida Southern) lead the national rankings in that relay.

On the women’s side, Nova Southeastern and Queens impressed with big early season wins. Sydney Panzarino and Emma Sundstedt had big wins on the weekend in Florida. Panzarino won the 50 free with a 23.47 as she sits third in the national rankings in that event.

Sundstedt won the 1000 and 500 on the weekend with a 10:23.07 and 4:59.41 in her events. She is the only swimmer under five minutes so far this season in Division II. Sundstedt sits ahead of Fresno Pacific’s Laura Fornshell in the national rankings at 5:00.12. Sundstedt’s 1000 also puts her at number two in the country behind Queens’ Francesca Bains, who won the meet against Emory with a 10:18.42.

Queens beat Emory on the women’s side 169-92. The aforementioned Bains was a star on the day for Queens as she won the 1000 and was a part of an extremely tight 500 race. Queens’ Mckenzie Stevens won the 500 with a 5:00.89 ahead of Bains and Emory’s Cindy Cheng who tied for second at 5:00.96. Cheng has the fastest time in Division III this season with her swim by nearly two seconds.

Stevens also had wins in the 200 free (1:51.46) and the 200 fly (2:03.57). Stevens is four seconds ahead of the next person in Division II and she sits behind Carson Newman’s Margaret Stansberry (1:51.32) in the national rankings. Stansberry swam that time at the Shark Invitational and also won the 100 free at that meet with a 51.85.

Carson Newman also had strong performances from Maggie Melhorn who won the 200 breast with a 2:19.09 to sit on top of the Division II rankings. Melhorn also won the 200 IM with a 2:06.12 as she sits on top of the national rankings in that event as well.

Nova Southeastern ended up winning the women’s meet with 779 points ahead of Carson Newman (626) and Indianapolis (477).

In relay action, Nova Southeastern had the fastest 200 free relay with a 1:34.61. They finished ahead of Carson Newman who swam a 1:34.96. Carson Newman returned the favor with a 3:29.41 to Nova Southeastern’s 3:31.09. Queens had the fastest 200 medley relay of the weekend with a 1:44.76.

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Author: Andy Ross

Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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