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Paul Bowker | NCAA.com | March 13, 2015

Learning on the fly

  Armony Dumur set a Division II record in the 100 butterfly on Thursday.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Armony Dumur had waited a year for her fist pump.

So when she blasted through the pool Thursday night in the women‘s 100-yard butterfly at the DII Swimming and Diving Championships and checked the clock after touching the wall, her fist came flying out of the water.

All it took was a year’s wait, a school transfer and three national records.

“It was,” she said happily afterward with her French accent, “my motivation.”

At the 2014 national championships, then swimming for Bridgeport, Dumur broke the national record in the 100 fly the first time. Trouble was, her time of 53.51 seconds was .06 slower than Hannah Peiffer of Queens (N.C.).

A national record and she didn’t even win the race.

Thursday at the IUPUI Natatorium, after a year of training and transferring to Wingate after her former coach was fired at Bridgeport, Dumur left nothing to chance. She broke Peiffer’s record in the preliminaries with a time of 52.44 seconds, more than a second faster than the DII finals in 2014.

Then Thursday night, facing Peiffer again in the finals, Dumur broke her own record with a time of 52.42 seconds.

Thus, the fist pump.

“I’m really so glad,” she said. “I thought about enjoying my race. That’s it. Just like, enjoy.”

Peiffer finished fourth this time. Joyce Kwok of LIU Post, the runner-up, pulled in at 53.59.

It was a race that Dumur’s new coaching staff at Wingate had worked on with her.

“I think that’s one of the things we worked on the most with her is trying to race your competition, but also stick to your game plan and not allow it to be altered too much,” Wingate coach Kirk Sanocki said. “I think she had a tunnel vision about what she wanted to come back and accomplish. When it works out the way you planned it, it’s always nice.”

But the night went on. After winning the 100 fly in record time, an hour later Dumur was back in the pool with three Russian teammates to help Wingate win the 400-yard medley relay in a school-record time of 3:40.28. Her splits included a time of 51.99 seconds in the fly, which topped her national record in the individual 100 fly. That made it two national records in one day (technically, three), and two national titles.

Oh, and she began the night by swimming the anchor leg on the Bulldogs’ third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Dumur is just the second female swimmer in Wingate history to win an individual national title. Until Thursday, Wingate had never won a national title in a women’s relay race.

A year ago all this didn’t seem possible. Dumur reached All-America status in the 100 fly and two relay events last year, but then she lost her coach. She chose then to change schools.

“My coach was fired. I thought about just a new beginning,” she said.

At Wingate, she had to learn a new team, a new training method and a new school. Wingate is located just south of Charlotte, North Carolina, more than 700 miles from Bridgeport and thousands of miles from her home of Amiens, France.

She didn‘t win the 100 fly at the Bluegrass Mountain Conference championships, settling for a third-place finish but making the DII national qualifying cutoff with a time of 53.82 seconds.

“She had to adjust to our style of training and it was a struggle early on,” Sanocki said. “But we set out a plan to get to this point and she actually delivered it. I’m just ecstatic for her.”

Not only did Dumur adapt to the new training styles, but she became a leader on Wingate’s team. As Dumur’s already strong butterfly strokes improved, so did those of her teammates.

“I think that obviously being a senior has brought along our [butter]flyers,” Sanocki said. “We have some younger flyers that had some tremendous strides and I think she’s really obviously elevated her game, but she’s elevated the other girl flyers on the team, as well.”