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Drury Athletics | March 14, 2014

Defending champion Drury leads at halfway point of championship

GENEVA, Ohio -- Sparked by record-setting relay efforts, defending national champion Drury extended its lead at the halfway point Thursday of the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships at the Spire Institute.

Qualification Lists
Drury, trying to claim its 10th consecutive national title, extended its lead to nearly 100 points, 276.5 to 182 against second-place Wayne State (Mich.), with Florida Southern (165) in third through the first two days of four days of competition.

The Panthers got things started quickly in the evening, with DU quartet of freshman Daniel Rzadkowski, junior Sean Feher, junior Samuel Olson and senior Nick McCarthy, with a big kick at the end winning the 200 free relay in an NCAA-record time of 1:19.00, breaking the old mark of 1:19.25 set by Limestone in 2009.

For Olson -- who suffered a broken collarbone on the team's annual Hawaii training trip and was thought to possibly be lost for the remainder of the season -- it was a second consecutive victory in the event, and a third consecutive for McCarthy, who followed up his championship in the 50 free on Wednesday with another winning effort.

"Nick's split was 18.9, which is just an amazing time, and he came from behind to pull us through to the end," Reynolds said. "Nick walked out of last year's nationals saying 'I want to be the [anchor] guy,' and it's great to see him coming through and getting it done like this."

The men would follow that up with a seventh from Kacper Pelczynski in the 400 IM, a third from Stanislav Kuzmin in the 100 fly, a fifth from Albert Lloyd in the 200 free and a fourth in the 400 free relay.