South Charlotte

Men, women place in top 5 at swimming competition

Queens swimmer Patricia Castro-Ortega (shown swimming at the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championships) won two events, women’s 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley, during the All-North Carolina Invitational collegiate swim meet.
Queens swimmer Patricia Castro-Ortega (shown swimming at the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championships) won two events, women’s 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley, during the All-North Carolina Invitational collegiate swim meet. COURTESY OF QUEENS SPORTS INFORMATION

Queens University men’s and women’s swimming teams got off to a strong start this season by posting a pair of top-five team finishes at the All-North Carolina Invitational meet Oct. 3 in Greensboro.

The Royals’ women finished fourth in the team standings, behind N.C. State, East Carolina and Davidson, while Queens’ men came in fifth behind N.C. State, East Carolina, Davidson and Gardner-Webb.

Despite swimming only one day, both Queens teams – the defending NCAA Division II national champions – were the highest-finishing Division II teams in the two-day meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Between the two teams, the Royals came home with seven individual wins (four men, three women), 10 other top-three finishes and 30 more top 10s.

Nicholas Arakelian and Patricia Castro-Ortega each had two individual wins. Arakelian won the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle in 15 minutes, 55.16 seconds, and the men’s 200-yard breaststroke in 2:03.33. Castro-Ortega, the most valuable women’s swimmer in last year’s NCAA D-II Nationals, won the women’s 400-yard individual medley in 4:21.44, and the women’s 100-yard freestyle in 51.08 seconds.

Other individual event winners for the Royals were Dion Dreesens in the men’s 200-yard freestyle (1:36.58), Rostyslav Fedyna in the men’s 100-yard backstroke (55.24), and Shelly Prayson in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.78).

In addition, former Royals swimmer Matthew Josa – the most valuable men’s swimmer in the past two D-II Nationals – won two events swimming unattached. Josa, taking a year off from school to train for the U.S. Olympic Trials, won the men’s 100-yard individual medley in 49.03, and the men’s 200-yard butterfly in 1:47.07.

Other medal finishes by Royals swimmers came from Arakelian (second in men’s 400-yard individual medley), Fedyna (second in men’s 200 breaststroke), and Dreesens (second in men’s 100 freestyle), Caroline Arakelian (second in women’s 200-yard individual medley, third in women’s 100-yard backstroke), Amanda Tipton (third in women’s 200 individual medley), and Brittney Phelan (third in women’s 200-yard breaststroke).

Queens also picked up third-place finishes from three of its relay teams: the men’s 200-yard medley relay, men’s 400-yard freestyle relay and women’s 400-yard freestyle relay.

Royals win

Queens’ men’s golf team won its first tournament of the fall season, taking a six-stroke victory at the Mercyhurst Fall Invitational in North East, Pa., on Sept. 27-28.

The Royals finished the two-day tournament, played at the Lake View Country Club, at 18-over-par 594, shooting identical rounds of 9-over 297 each day. That put them ahead of Charleston and Indiana (Pa.) University, which tied for second at 24-over 600.

Senior Mike Downey and sophomore Jonathan Noble tied for second in individual play, with both shooting 3-over-par 147, one stroke behind medalist Victor Pustwo of Charleston’s 2-over 146.

Other scorers for Queens were junior John Carter McFayden (tied 11th, 6-over 150), freshman Nicholas French (tied 21st, 9-over 153), and senior Evan Ruhling (tied 35th, 12-over 156).

Sand Shark Shootout

Queens’ women’s golf team finished third at the Sand Shark Shootout tournament, played Sept. 28-29 in Bluffton, S.C.

The Royals shot 48-over-par 624 during the two-day tournament, played at the Hampton Hall Country Club. That put them 12 strokes behind winner USC-Beauford’s 36-over 612 and five shots behind runner-up Coastal Georgia’s 43-over 619.

Senior Grace Glaze and sophomore Caitlin Gilchrist were Queens’ top individuals, tying for fourth overall with 7-under 151, seven strokes behind medalist Sarah Gilliard of Coastal Georgia.

Other scorers for the Royals were freshman Cameryn Smith (15th, 15-over 159), senior Taylor Penzer (tied 19th, 19-over 163), and freshman Natalie Pleyerova (22nd, 21-over 165). Sophomore Kylie Nizolek, playing as an individual, was 14th overall at 14-over 158.

SAC Player of the Week

Senior goalkeeper Tori Danchak was named the South Atlantic Conference’s women’s soccer player of the week for the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4.

Danchak had four saves and recorded her fourth career shutout in the Royals’ 1-0 conference victory over Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked fourth in the South region among NCAA Division II teams by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The win over the Bears was Queens’ first since joining the SAC.

Danchak has 53 saves this season, third best in the conference. She is also second in save percentage (84.1 percent), and fourth in both goals allowed per game (1.06) and total goals allowed (10).

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer: