Drury Men, Women Post Strong Days En Route to Likely Successful NCAA D2 Title Defenses Tonight

GENEVA, Ohio, March 15. THE final day of qualifying is put to bed at the NCAA Division II Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio with a strong day from both the Drury men and women. The two teams look to have engineered another NCAA D2 team title sweep.

Women’s 100 free
Drury will look to keep its lead against Wayne State in an exciting finish down the final day of competition, and helped itself by qualifying two swimmers into the finale against Wayne State’s NCAA title contender Ana Azambuja, who led the way in 49.66. Drury’s Wai Ting Yu (49.89) and Tinsley Andrews (50.70) qualified third and eighth to pick up some points against the Warriors.

Simon Fraser’s Nicole Cossey qualified second in 49.86, while NMU’s Deborah Lawrence and Bridgeport’s Tatiana Shepel tied for fourth with 50.30s. Florida Southern’s Kelsey Gouge (50.44) and Queens’ Lillian Gordy (50.68) also made the championship finale.

Men’s 100 free
Andrey Seryy’s NCAA D2 record of 42.61 could be in trouble with Bridgeport’s Ruben Gimenez (43.61) and Drury’s Nicholas McCarthy (43.95) chasing down the top two spots in qualifying. They will have familiar company in the finale with Bridgeport’s Oscar Pereiro (44.20) and Drury’s Daniel Rzadkowski (44.33) taking third and fourth out of prelims.

Limestone’s Sean Gunn (44.39), Wayne State’s Till Barthel (44.40), Florida Southern’s Robert Swan (44.43) and Tampa’s Martin Hammer (44.44) also made the finale. Meanwhile, Drury will continue to add to its already insurmountable team lead with two up (McCarthy, Rzadkowski) and two down (Albert Lloyd, 44.46, 9th; and Samuel Olson, 44.50, 10th).

Women’s 200 back
Drury will continue to add to its lead after the 200-yard backstroke finale with Yakaterina Rudenko qualifying fourth overall in 1:57.97. No one from Wayne State made an A or B final in qualifying.

Delta State’s Anastasia Klyarovskaya (1:57.62) and Wingate’s Kathryn Pheil (1:57.71) qualified first and second, while Queens’ Carolina Arakelian took third in 1:57.90, who along with Rudenko all could challenge Mary O’Sullivan’s NCAA D2 record of 1:56.90 from 2011 for Florida Southern.

Florida Southern’s Lauren Reynolds (1:58.41), Wingate’s Viktoriya Arkhipova (2:00.27), Cal Baptist’s Mary Hanson (2:00.87) and Limestone’s Rachel Hickey (2:00.88) comprised the rest of the championship heat.

Men’s 200 back
Queens’ Matt Josa, a shoo-in for Swimmer of the Meet with three NCAA D2 records already to his credit individually, cruised in prelims of the distance dorsal with a 1:44.07. He’s already broken the NCAA D2 record this season with a 1:43.03 in December. There’s little doubt he’s on his way to another record tonight with a title trifecta in his hands.

Florida Southern’s Thomas Nguyen (1:44.42) and Luis Rojas (1:45.42) will try to play the role of spoiler in the finale, while Cal Baptist’s Nolan Brown wound up qualifying fourth in 1:45.86.

Drury’s Sean Feher (1:46.18), Wingate’s Tim Kniffler (1:46.31), Drury’s Igor Kowal (1:46.45) and Tampa’s Karl Burdis (1:46.63) grabbed the other transfer spots into the finale.

It was another strong event for Drury as it steamrolls to the team title with two up (Feher, Kowal) and one down (Jordi Montseny Diez (1:47.22, 12th).

Women’s 200 breast
Drury began to leave little doubt that it would defend its team title with another strong event as Agnieszka Ostrowska qualified first in 2:13.46. No one from Wayne State even made finals, giving Drury another double-digit bump in its advantage. To add insult to injury, Ostrowska will be vying for Wayne State’s Ana Gonzalez Pena’s NCAA D2 record of 2:12.89 from 2011.

West Chester’s Katharina Fischer (2:14.71) and Ashland’s Hannah Mattar (2:14.98) posted 2:14s to qualify second and third, while Saint Leo’s Nicole Weber (2:15.25) and Bridgeport’s Adeline Martin (2:15.37) earned fourth and fifth.

Cal Baptist’s Alena Rumiantceva (2:15.54), IUP’s Allyson Mitidieri (2:16.46) and UC San Diego’s Jaimie Bryan (2:16.67) also picked up lanes in the A final.

Men’s 200 breast
Queens’ Niclas Eriksson put himself well ahead of the pack in qualifying with a 1:55.58. Tonight, he’ll challenge Eetu Karvonen’s NCAA D2 record of 1:54.57 set a year ago for Grand Canyon before it left for Division I.

UC San Diego’s Nicholas Korth (1:57.38) and Drury’s Banjo Borja (1:57.47) took second and third with Bridgeport’s Vyacheslav Fattakhov (1:58.44) qualifying fourth.

Two ties occurred in the A final ranks with Wayne State’s Piotr Jachowicz and Lake Erire’s Julian Milinkovskyi touching fifth in 1:58.55, while Lindenwood’s Mateusz Pacholczyk and Missouri S&T’s Ethan Goldfarb set up a swimoff with 1:58.72s for eighth.

Sandwiched in between the ties, Wayne State’s Jayson Hansen made the finale with a seventh-place 1:58.58.

Women’s 400 free relay
Drury closed out a championship-winning day of prelims with a top seed in the 400 free relay. Yakaterina Rudenko (52.12), Tinsley Andrews (49.94), Leah Reed (51.56) and Wai Ting Yu (49.74) posted a 3:23.36 for the top seed, while Wayne State wound up sixth in 3:25.35.

Bridgeport’s Armony Dumur (50.78), Tatiana Shepel (50.19), Adelina Martin (51.33) and Alina Sotnikova (51.88) took second in 3:24.18 with Queens’ Caroline Arakelian (50.69), Lillian Gordy (50.05), Lara Marshall (51.91) and Kristin Diemer (51.70) placing third in 3:24.35.

CSU East Bay (3:24.85), UC San Diego (3:25.26), Wingate (3:25.40) and West Chester (3:26.53) also earned spots in the A final.

Men’s 400 free relay
Florida Southern’s Allan Gutierrez (44.65), Luis Rojas (43.75), Jesus Marin (44.84) and Robert Swan (43.62) took home the top seed in 2:56.86, while Queens’ Hayden Kosater (44.56), Harry Traystman (44.57), Matt Josa (43.49) and Zachary Phelps (44.62) touched second with a 2:57.24. Drury’s Daniel Rzadkowski (44.78), David Wong (44.92), Albert Lloyd (43.94) and Nicholas McCarthy (43.74) closed out the top three with a 2:57.38.

Wingate (2:58.07), Bridgeport (2:58.21), Wayne State (2:58.30), Tampa (2:58.35) and Saint Leo (2:58.70) rounded out the championship finale.