Queens Looking to Extend Reigns At NCAA Division II Championships; Plenty of Speed Set For Display

Swimming World June 2021 - 2021 NCAA Division II Review - Queens University

Queens Looking to Extend Reigns At Division II Championships; Plenty of Speed Set For Display

The NCAA Division II Championships are scheduled for this week, March 9-12, at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Here is a look at some of the top storylines in the division.

(From the March issue of Swimming World Magazine)

The NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships have produced electrifying performances, tight team battles and an enthralling atmosphere over the years. The 2022 version shouldn’t be any different.

Women’s Psych Sheets

Men’s Psych Sheets

On the men’s side, it should be a thrilling contest between six-time defending champion Queens University, the University of Indianapolis and last year’s runnerup, Drury University.

The UIndy Greyhounds are led by fifth-year Likith Prema. The Bengaluru, India native has been spectacular this season, and is a title favorite in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Another star to watch is European Junior 400 IM champion Cedric Buessing. After a slow start to life in college swimming, the German seems to be rounding into form at the right time.

For Queens, senior Alex Kunert and sophomore Matej Dusa head the Royals’ push for seven straight titles. Kunert, a five-time national champion, is easily the most versatile Division II swimmer in the country. He should contend for multiple NCAA titles, including the 200 IM and 200 butterfly, and he’ll be an essential part of several Royal relays. Dusa has produced some phenomenal performances in the sprint freestyle and fly events this season and will look to carry that momentum to Greensboro.

Division II record holder Karol Ostrowski’s decision to compete for Drury this season put the Panthers right back into the title conversation. If he is anywhere near his best in March, he should contribute maximum points. His return also means Drury retains all its relay legs from last year, another critical component as the team tries to dethrone Queens after narrowly missing out in 2021.

Other swimmers to watch from teams outside the title race are Colorado Mesa sophomore Ben Sampson and University of Findlay junior Tim Stollings. Sampson is a favorite in both backstrokes and is gunning toward bringing home his team’s first-ever national title. Stollings created history last year when he became the Oilers’ first NCAA Division II swimming champion by winning the 100 fly.

On the women’s side, look for Queens and Indianapolis to battle it out. Leading the Hounds’ title charge is the South African duo of Johanna Buys and Marizel Van Jaarsveld. Van Jaarsveld will try to defend her NCAA title in the 400 IM. She and rookie Andrea Gomez form a lethal IM duo, which could prove critical to Indianapolis’ championship hopes. Buys, a three-time NCAA finalist, has established herself as a favorite in the 50 and 100 free, and will be a pivotal relay component for UIndy.

2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship - Preliminary Round

Indy’s Marizel van Jaarsveld; Photo Courtesy: NIK LAYMAN PHOTO/VIDEO

As for Queens, if it wants to extend its winning streak, it will need to rely on depth and strong performances from its freestyle group. With Sophie Lange, Monica Gumina and Danielle Mililli all in strong form this season, the Royals have the potential to sweep the freestyle events at NCAAs. If Queens can pull that off, plus move some swimmers up into scoring positions in its weaker events, the Royals chould have enough to fend off Indianapolis’ title challenge.

Other swimmers poised to make headlines are Nova Southeastern redshirt junior Celina Marquez and West Chester senior Ann Carozza. Marquez, a Tokyo Olympian, is the favorite to win the 100 and 200 back, and has an excellent chance of becoming the first Division II woman under 52 and 1:54, respectively.

Carozza, a three-time All-American, is the favorite in both the 100 and 200 fly. In addition to looking to capture her first NCAA title, she will also have her sights set on breaking Polina Lapshina’s 52.16 D-II record in the 100.

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G-Money Raindrops
10 months ago

Good luck Kilo and Garrett!!!