One came from junior Nick Arakelian, who won the 400-yard individual medley for the third straight year, this time in dramatic fashion. He was last by about three seconds after the butterfly portion of the race but crept to third by the end of the backstroke and then blew the field away in the breaststroke and freestyle. Arakelian finished in 3:45.01, shy of the record 3:43.84 he swam in the 2015 championship meet.
“I really had a lot to prove after my freshman and sophomore years,” Arakelian said. “This year was a lot different because of how much I felt the love and support from my team. We are just enjoying this year so much. This year has been a lot of fun.”
The Royals also had fun finishing 1-2 in the 100-yard butterfly, with Paul Pijulet winning the event in 45.62 seconds, about two-tenths ahead of teammate Marius Kusch, who was gunning for his second title of the meet after winning the 200-yard individual medley on Wednesday.
Not to be outdone, Queens senior Dion Dreesens claimed his second straight 200-yard freestyle.
“It means a lot,” Dreesens said afterward. “Coming into college swimming I really didn’t know what to expect. I have a great team behind me. I’m kind of sad that it’s my last year.”
Queens capped off the evening by setting a meet record in the 400-yard medley relay. Pijulet, Kusch and Dreesens had their hands (and feet) in that win too, swimming the lead-off, third and anchor legs, respectively.
Other highlights of day two included Florida Tech winning its first event championship by capturing the session’s opening race – the 200-yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Nir Barnea, Victor Rocha Furtado, Matthew Gallene and Filip Dujmic edged teams from Bloomsburg and Florida Southern for the school’s first victory.
Team Standings (Top 5)
1. Queens (North Carolina), 296
2. Grand Valley State, 149
3. Drury, 187
4. Nova Southeastern, 137
5. Florida Southern, 127
Day Two Event Champions
200-yard freestyle relay: Florida Tech (Nir Barnea, Victor Rocha Furtado, Matthew Gallene, Filip Dujmic), 1:19.46.
400-yard individual medley: Nick Arakelian, Queens (North Carolina), 3:45.01. 100-yard butterfly: Paul Pijulet, Queens (North Carolina), 45.62.
200-yard freestyle: Dion Dreesens, Queens (North Carolina), 1:33.85.
400-yard medley relay: Queens (North Carolina) (Paul Pijulet, Rostyslav Fedyna, Marius Kusch, Dion Dreesens), 3:07.38 (meet record; old record 3:08.07, Queens (North Carolina) (John Suther, Nic Eriksson, Matthew Josa, Benjamin Taylor), 3/12/2015].