Ranking the Top-12 Women’s Collegiate Swimmers Outside of Division I For 2023-2024

Jennah Fadely

Ranking the Top-12 Women’s Collegiate Swimmers Outside of Division I For 2023-2024

Here it goes: I did another ranking, and this time, I ranked the top-12 women’s swimmers outside of Division I. To clarify, I ranked these swimmers based on their versatility and event ranking across all divisions. This list was not as clear-cut as my men’s rankings, as I felt the talent gap was much smaller between swimmers.

#12 Bryn Greenwaldt: Division II, Augustana University

In her freshman year for the Vikings, Greenwaldt was a breakout star. She posted a 22.50 in the 50 free, the second fastest among swimmers outside Division I, and posted a 22.56 in a second-place finish at the Division II National Championships.

However, the craziest thing may not be her 22.50 or that she’s now only in her second year of collegiate swimming but rather that Greenwaldt is a dual sport athlete for Augustana.

Outside of swimming, Greenwaldt competes for the Augustana track and field team, where she is a high jumper for the Vikings. The fact that Greenwaldt’s only focus hasn’t been swimming and that she’s in her sophomore year makes me think there’s a lot left in the tank.

#11: Kiara Pózvai: Division II, Henderson State

Last season, Pózvai posted a 22.59 in the 50 free and a 49.01 in the 100 free. At the Division II NCAAs, Pózvai finished second in the 100 free and fourth in the 50 Free. Pózvai’s best times in 50 and 100 would have been good enough to score at ACCs this past season. Outside of freestyle, Pózvai is also a 54.19 100 backstroker.

Henderson State is making a name for itself in the sprint group now on both the men’s and women’s side, and it seems like an excellent place for any sprinter to visit.

#10 Kristin Cornish: Division III, John Hopkins

The junior for the Blue Jays comes in at No. 8. Cornish was the Division III champion in the 1650 and 500 last year. Cornish went 16:29.52 in the 1650, which was the fastest outside Division I, and ranked 83rd collegiately in that event. Cornish also went a personal best of 4:48.37 in the 500.

In the 1650 next season, Cornish will look for her third national title in three years.

#9 Edenna Chen: Division III, MIT

Chen’s performances last year makes her a bit of a wildcard for the 2023-2024 season, but her 59.79 100 breaststroke she swam in 2021-2022 solidifies her spot on the list. Clocking 59.79 is arguably the most impressive time swum by any of the swimmers ranked, and in 2022, it ranked 41st nationally.

However, Chen was a bit off her time last season, as she posted a best time of 1:01.09 at the MIT midseason invitational, which is why you find her at No. 9 and not in the top three.

The 2023-2024 campaign is a new year, though, and Chen could challenge for the 100 breaststroke title.

#8 Aurora Duncan: Division II, Drury

Duncan earns her spot on the list with her IMs and 200 butterfly. At the 2023 Division II National Championships, Duncan went 1:59.42 in the 200 IM, 4:15.43 in 400 IM, and 1:59.30 in the 200 fly in an outstanding effort in which she captured three runnerup finishes.

Duncan’s 400 IM ranked in the top-100 nationally last season across all divisions, while her 200 IM and 200 fly ranked in the top-150. Duncan, now in her junior year for the Panthers, will look to lead a strong Drury team which finished third at NCAAs last season.

#7 Lexie Waller: Division II, Drury

Another Panther joins this list—this time at No. 7. Waller is an incredible backstroke talent and went 1:55.20 in the 200 back en route to a Division II title last season. Waller also is a 54.26 in the 100 back.

Waller’s 200 back ranked 70th in the country last year and would be considered a valuable asset on any team nationwide, regardless of division. A 1:55.20 would be many Division I school’s top 200 backstroker. A prime example is Michigan, a top-25 program, where the best Wolverine 200 backstroker posted a time of 1:55.58.

#6 Agata Naskret: Division II, Colorado Mesa

Naskret, like Chen, is a wildcard on this list. This year, Naskret is in her first year of collegiate swimming and was ranked as the 66th overall recruit in the class of 2023. Naskret is from Poland and enters the 2023-2024 season as a 24-year-old.

Naskret is an outstanding backstroker. In short-course meters, her best times are 57.99 in the 100 back and 2:07.95 in the 200 back. Those times roughly convert to 52.24 and 1:55.24 in short-course yards.

Naskret’s best times in the 100 and 200 back are from 2018 and 2019, but she has been 58.68 in 100 back and 2:11.57 in the 200 back as recently as 2022. Naskret looks to be a title contender in both the 100 and 200 back for Colorado Mesa this year.

#5 May Lowy: Division II, Nova Southeastern

The junior from Israel comes in at No. 5, primarily because of Lowy’s 400 IM time of 4:12.74.

A 4:12.74 400IM is a standout time in D-II swimming and is very competitive across all divisions. It ranked 58th nationally last season and would have narrowly missed the cutline for D-I NCAAs. A 4:12.74 would have qualified for the A final at Big Tens, Pac 12s, ACCs, and Big 12s.

Outside of the IM, Lowy is 1:59.58 in the 200 fly and 2:00.62 in the 200 IM.

#4 Emilia Ronningdal: Divison II, Nova Southeastern

The 2022-2023 Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year joins the list at No. 4. Ronningdal won two Division II NCAA titles last season, winning the 200IM in 1:57.78 and the 200 free in 1:47.11, narrowly off her best time of 1:47.04. She also finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke in 2:14.26.

Ronningdal’s 1:57.78 200 IM is undoubtedly her most impressive event. Ronningdal’s IM ranked 66th nationally last season, and her IM ability, paired with her 200 free, makes her one of the best swimmers outside of Division I.

#3 Luna Mertins: Division II, Lynn University

Luna Mertins’ complete body of work gets her the spot at No. 3. Mertins is a 52.19 100 flyer, a 1:57.79 200 flyer, and a 1:56.14 in the 200 back. To top it off, Mertins is 22.72 in the 50 free. Mertins’ 100 fly and event versatility skyrockets her to the near top of this list.

Mertins is the only swimmer on the list who has swum a time that could qualify for 2023 Division I NCAAs (100 Fly 52.19). All four of Mertins’ times listed above were all swum in the 2021-2022 season. This past season, Mertins was a 53.19 100 fly, a 1:56.56 200 back, a 1:58.43 200 fly, and a 22.83 50 Free.

Though Mertins was off from her personal records last season, she looks to be the most proven swimmer on this list. If this list was comprised of the same swimmers but in a 2022-2023 version, Mertins would be a lock at No. 1.

#2 Emily Trieschmann: Division II, Nova Southeastern

The junior from Lake Worth, Florida, rounds out the trio of Nova Southeastern Sharks at No. 2. Trieschmann was the Division II Women’s Swimmer of the Year last season, and with her performances at Division II NCAAs, it makes sense. Trieschmann gets the spot at No. 2 due to her versatility.

At the 2023 Division II NCAA Championships, as a sophomore, Trieschmann went 3-for-4. Trieschmann won the 500 free in 4:45.56, just off her best time of 4:44.97. In the 1000, Trieschmann won in 9:43.25, and in the 1650, she was victorious in 16:30.11. Trieschmann also finished third in the 200 free in 1:47.88, just off her best time of 1:47.53.

Last season, Trieschmann was the only swimmer on this list to have recorded top-90 times in three different events. Last season, she ranked 83rd in the 500, 88th in the 1650, and 28th in the 1000. The 1000 looks to be her best event. Last season, she broke the Division II national record.

The 1000 is only swum at the championship level in Division II Swimming and in JUCO, so it is hard to judge where Trieschmann’s 1000 would be ranked if everyone had swum it in March. Regardless, a 9:43.25 is still the fastest in Division II history.

#1 Jennah Fadely: Divison III, Kenyon

The junior breaststroker for Kenyon tops off the list. Fadely was last year’s Division III national champ in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. In the 100, Fadely went 59.94, and in the 200, she went 2:11.22. Her 59.94 was ranked 51st collegiately last season while her 2:11.22 was ranked 69th.

To put this in perspective, a 2:11.22 would have been good enough for eighth at Big Tens last season, and a 59.94 would have been good enough for sixth. Both of those performances would have combined for 46 individual points, a point total that every team in the Big Ten or anyone in the Power 5 would want.

Fadely will look to continue her success in her junior year for the Owls and maybe even take a crack at the Division III records.

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