NCAA Division II and III Preview: Florida Swimmers Prep For Shark Invitational

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 13. FOLLOWING a busy weekend of invitationals last weekend, few schools in Division II and III are competing this weekend. Highlighting this weekend’s racing action are the 4th Annual Shark Invitational at Nova Southeastern beginning tomorrow, and a handful of other Division II and III dual meet matchups.

Division II

Several of the top Division II schools in Florida will make the trek to Fort Lauderdale for the 4th Annual Shark Invitational at Nova Southeastern University, which begins tomorrow and concludes Tuesday. Bellarmine, Florida International, Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Lenoir-Rhyne, Lynn, Rollins, Saint Leo and Tampa will all be in attendance. In the most recent CSCAA Division II poll, Florida Southern (fourth), Tampa (11th) and Nova Southeastern (14th) were all ranked in the top 15 on the women’s side, while the Florida Southern men held the No. 1 ranking, with Tampa in eighth.

A number of swimmers in attendance are ranked in the top 30 nationally and will be looking for their NCAA Division II A cuts; from Florida Southern, Kelsey Gouge (50 and 100 free, 100 breast), Alli Crenshaw (200, 500 and 1000 free), Juan Tolosa (1650 free), Thomas Nguyen (200 back), Allan Gutierrez (100 fly); from Florida Tech, Nic Barnea (50 free); from Tampa, Karl Burdis (100 and 200 back); from Mars Hill, Hudson Tucker (100 fly); from Saint Leo, Pawel Trenda (400 IM); and from host Nova Southeastern, Marco Aldabe (400 IM). With Florida state bragging rights on the line, it should be an exciting meet.

Also in Division II, Cal Baptist will take on Cal State – Bakersfield tomorrow afternoon. Several Cal Baptist swimmers were recently honored by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for their swims at last weekend’s Colorado Mesa University Invite. Nolan Brown posted an automatic NCAA qualifying time in the 200 back, touching in 1:44.63 to break the CMU pool record and move into the top two nationally in the event. He also picked up B cuts in the 100 fly (49.04) and 100 back (49.98). Teammate Courtney Chacon earned RMAC Female Swimmer of the Week honors for her three B cuts in the 500 free (5:01.53), 1000 free (10:24.26) and 1650 free (17:27.20).

Division III

Division III Ohio Northern will host Ohio state rival and Division II foe Findlay tonight in a non-conference matchup. The Polar Bears recently competed at the Wooster Invitational, posting several standout swims. Lindsey Rahill broke her own school record in the 200 fly with a 2:06.08, clearing the NCAA B cut in the event. Teammate Emily Uhrin added a school record in the 200 free at 1:56.05. The men’s team will look to senior Jordan Breitigam and freshman John Raker to lead the team tonight, as Breitigam cleared the NCAA B cut in both the 100 and 200 fly at Wooster, while Raker posted a 4:11.56 in the 400 IM. Findlay competed at the Calvin Winter Invite last weekend, where Kaley Holmstrom set two school records in the 200 IM (2:06.92) and 200 breast (2:18.22).

Two other in-state rivalries are on tap for this weekend as well. Wisconsin rivals Lawrence University and UW-Oshkosh will race tonight, and Penn State – Altoona will face off against Penn State – Behrend tomorrow. UW – Oshkosh’s Katie Challoner is coming off a school record-breaking performance in the 100 breast at the Rochester Invite last weekend, where she posted a 1:06.25. On the men’s side, Dalton Anderson paced the UW – Oshkosh men with three top-10 performances in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM at Rochester.