Swimming World Presents – All Systems Are Go…For Now: NCAA Division II Championships Still On

Swimming World March 2021 - Francesca Bains of Queens University
Francesca Bains of Queens University [PHOTO BY ZBJ PHOTOGRAPHY]

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All Systems Are Go…For Now: NCAA Division II Championships Still On

By Andy Ross

Although the NCAA Division III and NAIA had canceled their championship swimming and diving meets in early February, NCAA Division II was still a “go,” thereby preserving the possibility for Queens University of Charlotte to pursue its sixth straight men’s and women’s team titles.


NCAA DIVISION II

March 17-20
Alabama CrossPlex (Birmingham, Ala.)
Hosted by University of Montevallo
In a year like 2021, nothing is for certain. But in Division II swimming circles, one certainty remains: Queens will be a national title favorite in swimming and diving.

Heading into the 2021 championships, the Royals lead the nation in three of the five women’s relays, with Drury leading the other two. Queens has won the last five team titles, dating back to 2015, and had the lead last season when the meet was canceled after just three sessions because of COVID-19.

The Queens women are led by senior distance swimmer Francesca Bains, who leads the nation in the 500, 1000 and 1650 yard freestyles this season. The thing about Queens is that even when they seem to graduate a big class, they always bring in swimmers capable of scoring in the national A-final. And this year is no different.

Freshman Sophia Lange ranks right behind Bains in all three distance events, so when Bains graduates, Lange should be ready to take over as the new elite distance swimmer on Queens’ roster. But for now, the Bains-Lange duo provides a strong 1-2 punch for this year’s championships. Lange is also the top-ranked swimmer this season in the 200 butterfly

On the men’s side, Queens’ title run has been identical to the women, although last year, it looked to be in danger of ending when McKendree University jumped out to the lead after three sessions before the meet was halted.

This year, however, Drury, which had won 10 team titles in a row from 2005-14, looks to be the team to beat, with freshman Karol Ostrowski—who set the NCAA record in the 50 and 100 freestyle in December—leading the way. That speed has helped the Panthers lead the nation in all five relays—points that will be hard to overcome for Queens to capture a sixth straight title.

And it’s not all Ostrowski for the Panthers. Juniors Nathan Bighetti (200 back) and James Brown (200, 400 IM) lead the nation in their respective events, and their contributions could be what push Drury to the top.

Queens should still have a strong showing at the championships—especially with juniors Alex Kunert (200 fly) and Luke Erwee (500, 1000 free)—but their team winning streak looks to be in jeopardy.

To read more about each of the top prospects of the NCAA Division II Championships,
Click here to download the complete March 2021 issue, available now!

Swimming World March 2021 - Shane Casas - COVER[PHOTO CREDIT: CONNOR TRIMBLE]

 

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Swimming World March 2021 Issue

FEATURES

012 THIS SHOULD BE WELL WORTH THE WAIT
by Dan D’Addona
A year ago, all eyes were on Cal and Texas in what looked to be one of the greatest men’s NCAA Championship duels ever. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out that showdown, but spirits are running high one year later—not only for that much anticipated Cal-Texas confrontation, but for the simple fact that college swimmers will again be able to come together and compete at a national championship.

014 YES, VIRGINIA, NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR MOVE
by Dan D’Addona
For years, Stanford and Cal have been battling each other for national supremacy at women’s NCAAs, with the Cardinal and Golden Bears finishing 1-2 in the last three championships. Before that, Cal had put together four team titles since 2009. But in 2021, look for Virginia to make its move—not only as a new rival, but quite possibly as a new champion!

016 ALL SYSTEMS GO…FOR NOW!
by Andy Ross
Although the NCAA Division III and NAIA had canceled their championship swimming and diving meets in early February, NCAA  Division II was still a “go,” thereby preserving the possibility for Queens University of Charlotte to pursue its sixth straight men’s and women’s team titles.

018 DOC’S GUYS
by John Lohn
In the late 1960s into the early 1970s, Doc Counsilman’s Indiana University swimming program was a focal point of the sport. His legendary teams were a dominant presence not just on the collegiate scene, but also on the national—and international—stage.

021 THE “MOUNT RUSHMORE” OF NCAA DIVISION I SWIMMING
by Andy Ross
If there were a sculpture made of the top American NCAA Division I swimmers similar to the one depicting four U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore, Tracy Caulkins, Natalie Coughlin, Pablo Morales and John Naber would be worthy honorees. No other swimmer has won more NCAA D-I individual titles than those four.

024 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: OLYMPIC RIVALRIES OF YESTERYEAR
by John Lohn
Rivalries have always defined the sport. Michael Phelps vs. Ian Crocker. Gary Hall Jr. vs. Alexander Popov. Shirley Babashoff vs. East Germany. These are just a few rivalries that stand out and should long be remembered. But what about the rivalries from the early days of swimming? As our “Takeoff to Tokyo” series continues, Swimming World takes a look at some of these rivalries from yesteryear.

026 WHO IS THIS GUY?
by David Rieder
Before the summer of 2019, Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas had been swimming under the radar. But if his performances since then are any indication, the end results could be spectacular. His coaches see his potential as basically unlimited, and recent history makes it tough to disagree. As for Casas, he has similarly lofty expectations for himself.

029 ISHOF: THE VALUE OF SWIMMING IN WAR
by Bruce Wigo
In the early 1900s, there was scarcely an American alive who was unfamiliar with the name of Frederick Funston. He was the most decorated and celebrated hero of the Philippine-American War (1899-1902)—famous in military and swimming history for his willingness to have his men swim across rivers, under fire, when, according to press reports, “They couldn’t otherwise get at the enemy quickly enough to suit them.”

COACHING

041 SPECIAL SETS: BOWE KNOWS SWIMMING
by Michael J. Stott
Bowe Becker has trained with Sandpipers of Nevada coaches Ron Aitken and Cutter Haupt as well as Kelly Kremer at the University of Minnesota (2015-19). The eight-time NCAA All-American, Big Ten champion and conference record holder in the 50-100 free now swims with the ISL’s Cali Condors. Coach Haupt provides some sample workouts from November 2014, which were done prior to that year’s December sectionals.

043 Q&A WITH COACH MATT BARANY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN MAGGIE PURCELL
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

040 DRYSIDE TRAINING:  PULLING POWER
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: LIAM CUSTER
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT PRINCE DABULAMANZI & THE BATTLE OF ISANDLWANA?

011 THE OFFICIAL WORD

032 2021 SWIM CAMP DIRECTORY

047 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

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