Indianapolis, Ind. - Queens extended its gap on Friday to move one step closer to reclaiming the NCAA Division II titles. The Royals concluded the night with three national records as the team broke both sides of the 500 yard freestyle before capping the night with a record in the men's 800 yard freestyle relay event.
"We had a very big day of courageous swims," said head coach Jeff Dugdale. "Our athletes absolutely love representing Queens. I am so impressed with how our program has embraced a year of change and the willingness to do something different in order to achieve similar or better results. We are blessed with great leaders."
The women's team would hold a 124-point gap as they head into the last day of competition. Queens totaled 424 points followed by Wingate with 300 points. UC San Diego rounded out the top three with 243.
The men's team found space in the team rankings reaching 327 points after the third day of competition. Lindenwood held second place with 262.5 points as Florida Southern tabbed 233.5.
MORE: DII Men's Swimming and Diving hub
Patricia Castro-Ortega and Dion Dreesens added to their remarkable week, claiming the NCAA Division II 500 yard freestyle as a Queens' event. Castro-Ortega cruised into the wall with a 4:39.28 to lead the pool by over eight seconds. Dreesens broke a 4:17.09 for the night to drop three seconds from his morning swim.
Additionally, the men's 800 yard freestyle relay team set a new standard time knockingoff three seconds to take the first place finish. Dreesens, Ben Taylor, Nicholas Arakelian, and Parker Cook-Weeks combined for a 3:23.62 as they took the race with a five second gap.
The Royals would add another two first-place touches to the night as Hannah Peiffer claimed the gold in the women's 100-yard backstroke. Driving through the pool, Peiffer grabbed a 53.51 to claim her top spot.
The women's 800 yard freestyle relay team of Castro-Ortega, Caroline Arakelian, Josefina Lorda-Taylor and McKenzie Stevens, respectively, went 7:16.21 for the top time of the night.
MORE: DII Women's Swimming and Diving hub
Zachary Phelps stood in third place in the men's 100 yard backstroke seeing his way to the wall with a time of 46.76. He would fall just five one-hundredths of a second shy of second place in the race.
Meridith Boudreaux followed Castro-Ortega to place another Royal in the top heat. She extended her way to the wall to secure the sixth fastest time of the night with a 4:55.33. On the men's side, N. Arakelian dropped almost a full second off his preliminary time to finish in fourth with a time of 4:22.34.
Both sides of competition in the 100 yard breaststroke placed two athletes in the top heat. Brittney Phelan led the women's team seeing her way to the wall with a time of 1:01.13. Shelly Prayson clocked a time of 1:01.83 for fifth overall.
On the men's side of the 100 yard breaststroke, Rostyslav Fedyna found his way to the wall with a 53.41 for fifth place. Ben Mayes rounded out the top eight to find a time of 54.32.
The individual events for the Royals concluded in with the 200 yard butterfly. Stevens went 1:59.92 to claim fourth place. Lorda-Taylor clocked a time of 2:02.54 for the sixth overall finish.
The team concludes the meet tomorrow with the preliminary races beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by finals at 6 p.m.