INDIANAPOLIS -- Ten-time defending champion Drury regained the lead on the men's side in an ultra-tight competition, and the two-time defending champion DU women are in a new "chasing" mode in second place at the halfway point of the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday night at the IU Natatorium.
The DU men have 206 points for a narrow lead on second-place Queens (N.C.) (202.5), with Wayne State (166), Grand Valley State (161) and Lindenwood (153) all still within striking distance after day two of four in the competition.Meanwhile, Queens used a big Thursday night to grab the women's lead with 280 points to second-place Drury's 257.5. Wingate is a distance third at 173 in what has essentially become a two-team battle through Saturday night for the women's title.
"I thought our kids fought really hard tonight," Drury coach Brian Reynolds said. "With two days to go, it's still kind of up in the air on both sides. We're going to have to swim really well the next two days."
Highlighting the day for DU was a new national record by (Arial) Wen Xu with her leadoff 50 meters (22.46) of Drury's winning 200 free relay effort, which also set a national mark with a time of 1:30.57, for the Panthers' only victory of the day. Xu teammed with Vera Johansson, Katya Rudenko and Wai Ting Yu for the win.
The DU women got a sixth from Gretchen Stein in the 400 IM and an eighth from Sarah Pullen in the 200 free before finishing the night with a second place finish in the 400 Medley Relay with Rudenko, Zuzanna Chwadeczko, Johannson and Xu.
Top finishes for the Drury men on Thursday were a fifth in the 200 free relay (Daniel Rzadkowski, Samuel Olson, Walter Ross and Rodrigo Caceres Acosta), a sixth from Kacper Pelczynski in the 400 IM, a 5-6 finish from Olson and Stanislav Kuzmin in the 100 fly and a third in the 400 medley relay with Jordi Montseny, Pelczynski, Kuzmin and Olson.
Drury's biggest victory might be when Queens sophomore star Matthew Josa finally runs out of events to compete in this week. He shattered the 100 fly national record with his 44.89 time, and later, turned a Queens deficit to the Panthers into a runaway victory with his fly leg on on the 400 medley relay.
"He just went the fifth fastest time in the history of the Butterfly tonight ... that 44.89 he put up is Michael Phelps-type, world class," Reynolds said.
On the women's side, Reynolds says, "We're 23 points down right now, and we're going to have to try to wash it tomorrow as best we can, which means not lose any more points [to Queens]."