Theresa Michalak of West Florida won her third event of the meet to highlight day three of the Division II Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The meet is being conducted as part of the 10th Division II National Championships Festival.
Michalak, a senior, outdueled Drury freshman Bailee Nunn in what turned out to be the fastest 100-yard breaststroke in Division II history. Nunn had set a record of 1:00.54 in the preliminaries earlier, but Michalak topped that in the final with a blistering 59.51. Nunn also beat the 1-minute mark at 59.69.
It was Michalak’s second meet record after setting one in the 100-yard butterfly on Thursday. She also won the 50-yard freestyle on Wednesday.
Michalak said she didn’t anticipate such a dramatic outcome in the breaststroke race.
“I didn’t expect to win today or yesterday since Bailee is a really strong swimmer,” she said. “I feel really excited. I knew I could do it and swim under my record. I don’t know how I did it today.”
Hannah Kastigar of Northern State also became a multiple event winner on Friday after edging Oksana Marchuk of Bridgeport in the 200-yard butterfly. Kastigar won the 400- yard individual medley in dominating fashion on Thursday.
“I was planning to win – that was my goal – but I did well considering the awesome competition here,” Kastigar said.
In the first race of the evening, Leonie Van Noort of Grand Valley State overtook Emma Wahlstrom of Nova Southeastern in the last few strokes to win the 500-yard freestyle. Van Noort, who finished second in this event last year, posted a time of 4:46.62, just ahead of Wahlstrom’s 4:46.87.
Wahlstrom was fresh off of winning the 200-yard freestyle on Thursday but couldn’t stave off Van Noort down the stretch on Friday.
For Van Noort, it was her second stellar performance in a distance freestyle. She placed second in the 1,000 on Wednesday. The Lakers’ senior said she was “very determined” to win a championship.
“You always expect to win, and that was the goal today,” Van Noort said.
Freshman Rachel Helm of Northern Michigan won in her first championship final appearance, touching out Drury’s Yekaterina Rudenko and defending champion Hannah Peiffer of Queens (North Carolina) in the 100-yard backstroke.
In the team standings, Queens continues to lead. Drury occupied first place briefly after the 100-yard breaststroke, but Queens regained control by outscoring the Panthers 39-0 in the next event, the 200-yard butterfly.
Team Standings (Top 5)
- 1. Queens (North Carolina), 349
- 2. Drury, 305
- 3. Wingate, 253
- 4. Nova Southeastern, 182
- 5. Lindenwood, 179
Day Three Event Champions
500-yard freestyle: Leonie Van Noort, Grand Valley State, 4:46.62.
100-yard backstroke: Rachel Helm, Northern Michigan, 53.79.
100-yard breaststroke: Theresa Michalak, West Florida, 59.51 [meet record; old record 1:00.54, Bailee Nunn, Drury, 3/10/2017 (preliminaries)].
200-yard butterfly: Hannah Kastigar, Northern State, 1:58.36.
800-yard freestyle relay: Wingate (Hanna Van Horen, Abby Kosic, Maria Madsen, Alexis Divelbiss), 7:16.37.