DII Swimming and Diving Championships: Queens men and women claim titles
Indianapolis, Ind. - Queens University left the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championship as the top men's and women's teams in the nation for the second year in a row. The meet which concluded on March 12, 2016, saw the Royals grab 13 first place finishes in addition to breaking seven total NCAA Division II records over the four day event.
The last day of competition added a national record from Patricia Castro-Ortega as she created four new individual NCAA marks for the meet. Her lead swim in the night's 100 yard freestyle took a time of 48.54 for a new standard. The team also saw Zachary Phelps stand atop the podium in the 200 backstroke as he helped to affirm the team's hold at the top. Phelps swam a 1:43.87 for the gold medal.
Castro-Ortega reclaimed her title as Swimmer of the Meet after breaking four individual national records and taking two additional first place finishes with the 800 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay. Dion Dreesens capture the award on the men's side after breaking two NCAA records. He also claimed the first place spot in the 1000 yard freestyle and took a national record with the men's 800 yard freestyle relay.
"I could not be more proud of our men and women," said Head Coach Jeff Dugdale. "They showed Royals pride all the way through, from the very first event to the very last event. I am very proud of the spirit they had throughout the meet. The consistency and great swims (they had). Again, I think a great correlation to how fast we swam is how proud our athletes are to represent our school. I would like to thank all of our sponsors. They really help us. All the way from Chick-Fil-A on Woodlawn, to Under Armor, to Speedo. To all of the sponsors that are helping us. I would like to thank Don and Frances Evans because they are huge supporters of ours. I would like to thank our administration from our acting athletic director in Cherie Swarthout, all the way to President Davies and James Bullock. They have all helped us in their support. It is good to win back-to-back."
The women finished the meet with a team score of 567, leading throughout all four days. Wingate took the silver placement as the team tallied 364.5 to nudge out UC San Diego who had 345 points for third.
Although the men's team concluded each night with the top point score, the Royals battled throughout the week, finally gaining space after Friday night's competition. The team concluded the meet with 449 to top Lindenwood in second place with 382.5. Florida Southern took third place with 299.5 points.
Nicholas Arakelian dropped 13 seconds in the mile race to lead the team. His time of 15:23.43 ranked him the third fastest in the meet.
Two additional Royals reached the top heat in the women's 100 yard freestyle to join Castro Ortega. Kyrie Dobson placed fifth on the podium with a time of 50.30 while Josefina Lorda-Taylor reached the wall with a 51.08 for eighth place. Ben Taylor joined Phelps in the 200 yard backstroke to take seventh in the race with a time of 1:46.66.
Dion Dreesens and Ben Mayes both posted times in the final heat of the men's 100 yard freestyle. Dreesens found his way to a third place touch with a time of 43.25 as Mayes reached the wall in a 44.52 for eighth place.
The women's 200 yard backstroke saw two athletes place in the top heat. Caroline Arakelian led the way on the women's side driving to the wall for a 1:57.66 third place finish. Hannah Peiffer followed close behind to touch the wall in a time of 2:00.41 for seventh overall.
Brittney Phelan landed a second place finish in the women's 200 yard breaststroke. She reached the wall with a time of 2:14.48.
The meet concluded with a first place finish in the women's 400 yard freestyle relay as Castro-Ortega, Kyrie Dobson, C. Arakelian, and Shelly Prayson, respectively, out touched the pool for a time of 3:20.27 to claim the gold.
The men's 400 freestyle relay narrowly missed the first place swim, as they secured the second fastest time of the night. Dreesens, Phelps, Ben Taylor, and Ben Mayes, respectively, found the wall with a time of 2:54.58.