Queens (North Carolina) took the lead in the team standings of the Division II Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships during a finals session on Thursday evening that included several record-setting performances.
As was the case in the first day of the meet on Wednesday, a national record fell in the lead-off event, only this time it happened before the race was even completed.
In the opening leg of Drury’s winning 200-yard freestyle relay, the Panthers’ Bailee Nunn and West Florida’s Theresa Michalak posted sub-record splits for the 50 – Nunn in 22.20 and Michalak in 22.25, both of which bested the previous mark of 22.38 set last year by Drury’s Wen Xu in the actual 50-yard freestyle.
Michalak said after winning this year’s 50 free on Wednesday that the event wasn’t her specialty, but her performance in the relay on Thursday may have proved otherwise.
Nunn and Michalak squared off again later in the evening in the 100-yard butterfly, with Michalak getting the better of the duel this time, also in record fashion. Michalak’s 52.33 beat the 52.42 Wingate’s Armony Durmur posted in 2015. Nunn placed third.
In other event finals, Hannah Kastigar of Northern State dominated the 400-yard individual medley, posting a time of 4:12.99, more than five seconds faster than second- place Alexa Divelbiss of Wingate, who also finished second in the 200 IM Wednesday night.
Kastigar said the win was special, particularly since Northern State’s coach has a familiar surname.
“A big part of me coming to this school was because my mom (Elyce) is the coach, and she’s always been my best trainer,” Kastigar said. “For me, winning this event means just giving back to the team, and giving back to my mom for all the coaching she’s put into this and all the time she’s put into it. So just being able to give back to the school and to the team.”
Nova Southeastern’s Emma Wahlstrom touched out Bridgeport’s Oksana Marchuk in the 200-yard freestyle, 1:46.81 to 1:46.91. Wahlstrom was third in this event last year. Defending champion Leonie Van Noort of Grand Valley State finished fourth this year.
Wahlstrom said after the race that she was trying to manage expectations on the starting blocks. “I was feeling nervous to be honest, but I was trying not to pressure myself too much,” the Sharks’ senior said. “I decided that no matter how it went I would be proud of myself.”
In the 1-meter diving finals, West Florida’s Monica Amaral won her second straight title in the event, compiling 478.25 points to top second-place Christina Sather of Clarion.
The now two-time champion Amaral said, “Since last year’s finish I realized that I can (repeat). Today was the payoff from the entire year of work.”
Team Standings (Top 5)
1. Queens (North Carolina), 245
2. Drury, 223
3. Wingate, 173
4. Lindenwood, 119
5. Fresno Pacific, 114
Day Two Event Champions
200-yard freestyle relay: Drury (Bailee Nunn, Vera Johansson, Yekaterina Rudenko, Madeline Nelson), 1:31.03.
400-yard individual medley: Hannah Kastigar, Northern State, 4:12.99.
100-yard butterfly: Theresa Michalak, West Florida, 52.33 (meet record; old record 52.42, Armony Durmur, Wingate, 3/12/2015).
200-yard freestyle: Emma Wahlstrom, Nova Southeastern, 1:46.81. 1-meter diving: Monica Amaral, West Florida, 478.25.
400-yard medley relay: Queens (North Carolina) (Hannah Peiffer, Michelle Prayson, Georgia DaCruz, Kyrie Dobson), 3:38.35.