College Sports

Queens insider: East Meck’s Fairman the 1st signee for Royals’ triathlon team

East Mecklenburg High senior Andrew Fairman competes in a cross country bicycle race last year. Fairman, a senior, is the first signee by Queens’ new triathlon program, which begins competition in the fall of 2015.
East Mecklenburg High senior Andrew Fairman competes in a cross country bicycle race last year. Fairman, a senior, is the first signee by Queens’ new triathlon program, which begins competition in the fall of 2015. COURTESY OF ANDREW FAIRMAN

When Andrew Fairman was thinking over his college choices he visited plenty of schools, but didn’t find one that he felt comfortable with.

Then Fairman visited Queens University of Charlotte, and found a perfect fit in two areas: academics and athletics.

Fairman, a senior at East Mecklenburg High School, became the first signee of the Royals’ fledgling triathlon program, which will begin competition this fall.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Fairman said. “The whole reason I decided to pursue this was basically academics, but it’s great that we’re starting this program. I have no doubt that we’ll be winning championships in the near future.”

Fairman, who has only competed in a couple of triathlons, has the competitive background for a triathlete. He swam full time for a club-level program at Charlotte Christian while in middle school, and ran on East Mecklenburg’s cross country and track teams as a freshman and sophomore.

But Fairman’s strong suit is in the second of the triathlon’s three legs: cycling.

After injuries forced him to curtail his running, Fairman took up cycling to stay in shape. He became a national-level junior cyclist, finishing 62nd at the 2014 Junior Nationals Criterium, and was fourth in his division at the Giordana Crossroads Classic, held over a six-day span with races in Mocksville, Kannapolis, Salisbury, Statesville and Asheboro.

“I’ve raced all over the country,” Fairman said.

In fact, Fairman’s success on a bicycle got him noticed by colleges that have competitive cycling programs.

“I got some offers,” Fairman said. “But the more I looked – and it was dozens of schools – I never seemed to fall in love with them.

“That’s when I decided to step back and just look more at schools strictly for academics. I want to go into business, and I wanted the best business school I could find.”

That’s what led Fairman to Queens, which has the highly-regarded McColl School of Business. It wasn’t until later that he found out about the Royals’ new triathlon team.

“I was on their website a week or two later, just looking around,” Fairman said. “That’s when I found out about their new team. I emailed the coach and said ‘I hear you’re putting together a triathlon team.’

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got the cardio part of it down. I’ll need to get back into running and swimming, but luckily at Queens they’ve got some real good swim coaches there.”

Royals swim teams sweep BMC meet titles

Queens’ men’s and women’s swim teams swept the team and individual honors during the Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet, held Feb. 11-14 in Charlotte.

The Royals dominated both meets in beating Wingate for team honors, taking the men’s title by 452.5 points (1,548-1,095.5) and the women’s title by 247 points (1,518-1,271).

Queens swimmers Patricia Castro-Ortega and Nicholas Arakelian were named the BMC championships’ swimmers of the meet for their performances, while Royals coach Jeff Dugdale was named the BMC’s coach of the year for both men and women.

The Royals won a combined 24 of 38 individual event titles – 14 by the men’s team, 10 by the women’s – setting BMC meet records in 15 of those.

Castro-Ortega, a freshman, won three individual event titles – the women’s 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 100-yard freestyle – setting meet records in the 500 free and 400 IM. She also swam a leg on four of Queens’ winning relay teams.

Arakelian, also a freshman, also won three men’s individual event titles – the 50-yard freestyle, 400 individual medley and 1,650-yard freestyle – setting records in the 50 free and 400 IM. He also swam on the Royals’ winning 800-yard freestyle relay team, which also set a meet record.

Matt Josa, the most outstanding swimmer in last year’s NCAA Division II national championships, also won three event titles: the men’s 200-yard individual medley, and 100- and 200-yard butterfly. He set meet records in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.

Senior Niclas Eriksson won two events, the men’s 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, while two-time NCAA champion Caroline Arakelian, a junior, won the women’s 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke.

Also winning titles for Queens were Alex Menke (men’s 1,000-yard freestyle), Ben Taylor (men’s 200 backstroke), and Hannah Peiffer (women’s 200 butterfly).

Cross country teams named academic All-Americans

Queens’ men’s and women’s cross country teams have both been named among the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s NCAA Division II academic All-American teams for the 2014 season.

The Royals’ men’s team made the list with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.16, while Queens’ women’s team had a GPA of 3.02. They were among 128 women’s teams and 93 men’s teams to earn academic All-American honors.

Grand Valley State’s women’s team and Adams State’s men’s team were named the USTFCCCA’s NCAA D-II Scholar Teams of the Year, based on a combination of GPA and performance at the D-II nationals. It was the third straight award for both teams.

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bill? Email him at bkisercltobs@gmail.com.

Upcoming events

Wednesday, March 4

▪ Women’s basketball: at South Atlantic Conference Tournament quarterfinals, site and time TBD.

▪ Men’s basketball: at South Atlantic Conference tournament quarterfinals, site and time TBD.

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at Belmont Abbey, Belmont, 3 p.m.

Friday, March 6

▪ Softball: vs. West Virginia Wesleyan at Shaw Challenge, Raleigh, 1 p.m.; vs. Gannon at Shaw Challenge, Raleigh, 5 p.m.

Saturday, March 7

▪ Women’s basketball: at South Atlantic Conference Tournament semifinals, Greenville, S.C.

▪ Men’s basketball: at South Atlantic Conference Tournament semifinals, Greenville, S.C.

▪ Softball: vs. Chowan at Shaw Challenge, Raleigh, 11 a.m.; vs. Mansfeld at Shaw Challenge, Raleigh, 5 p.m.

▪ Men’s lacrosse: at Mars Hill, Mars Hill, 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 8

▪ Women’s basketball: at South Atlantic Conference Tournament finals, Greenville, S.C., 1 p.m.

▪ Softball: vs. Millersville at Shaw Challenge, Raleigh, 1 p.m.

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at Tampa, Tampa, Fla., 2 p.m.

▪ Men’s basketball: at South Atlantic Conference Tournament finals, Greenville, S.C., 4 p.m.

Monday, March 9

▪ Women’s golf: at Hilton Head Lakes Invitational, Hilton Head, S.C.

Tuesday, March 10

▪ Women’s golf: at Hilton Head Lakes Invitational, Hilton Head, S.C.

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at Florida Southern, Lakeland, Fla., 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 11

▪ Men’s swimming and diving: at NCAA Division II National Championships, Indianapolis, Ind.

▪ Women’s swimming and diving: at NCAA Division II National Championships, Indianapolis, Ind.

Source: www.queensathletics.com

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