As promised with the prior recruiting year the season promised to be filled with excitement and end of year movement towards the top. Throughout the season the Royals Men and Women ranked second in the Nation based on schedule strength and performance. Our mid season performances led to a National Record in the 200 Backstroke at the US Nationals by freshman Matt Josa and many school records along with national leading times. Both teams once again claimed mid-season academic All-American status continuing our streak.
Both the men's and women's programs had record setting performances and both finished second with the men leading up to the final event and the women moving from third to second, both programs setting a school record in points scored. Matt Josa was named swimmer of the meet and Coach Dugdale accepted the Bob Busby Award for Men's Coach of the Year in the BMC. The men swept all relays and the women won two for the first time in Royals young history. When all said and done twenty two student / athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships in Geneva, OH at the Spire Institute.
The NCAA Championships proved to be exciting as the Royals finished third in the Women and fourth in the Men, the highest finishes to date and brought home the Universities first ever NCAA trophies. Kristin Diemer (JR) made the first statement by winning the Elite 89 for the highest GPA at the meet another first for the University. She also became our second CoSIDA All American and All District. Freshman Matt Josa made a statement by winning three individual events, was a member of two winning relays, and set four National Records on his way to earning NCAA DII Swimmer of the Year and NCAA (All Divisions) Breakout Swimmer of the Year. Meridith Boudreaux (SO) continued our distance tradition in winning the mile. Hannah Peiffer (FR) won the 100 Fly in record breaking time, Caroline Arakelian won the 200 Back in the NCAA record breaking fashion. In All the Royals own National Records in both the Men's and Women's 100 Butterfly & 200 Backstroke as well as the Men's 400 Medley Relay. The men were under the National Record in the 200 Med. Relay and 400 Free Relay however finishing second. The 800 Free Relay finished first just missing the record. In total the Royals proudly displayed hardware representing nine National Champions, eight National records, 19 school records, 15 academic Scholar All Americans, two academic All American programs, and momentum going into next season.
The summer of 2012 was one for the books for Jeff Dugdale. Dugdale, who is also Director of High Performance for SwimMAC Team Elite, assisted in placing five athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team that returned to Charlotte with three gold medals and three silver. He also watched his mentor David Marsh once again assist in leading Team USA in its best ever games to date. Coach Dugdale was not going to sit back and be content knowing that he had recruited a very talented freshman class to join a program that was hungry to move into the top ten.
The Dugdale led program leveraged the momentum from the 2012 Olympic year to accomplish the following:
In his second season at the helm of the Royals, Dugdale saw a great deal of success. There were 42 school record swims, six conference records, 54 all-conference swims, 15 All-American swims and 25 All-American Honorable Mention swims. In addition, John Long was named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Co-Swimmer of the Year. Long, along with Joe Skuba and Nic Eriksson, qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials. To cap off the season, Dugdale was voted by his peers to serve as President of the Bluegrass Mountain Conference.
A native of Kenosha, Wis., Dugdale joined the Royals in the summer of 2010 from the SwimMAC Carolina, where he assists Head Coach David Marsh in all aspects of running Team Elite whose members include Olympian Cullen Jones and record holders Nick Brunelli, Nick Thoman and Josh Schneider.
Prior to joining SwimMAC Carolina, Dugdale was an assistant coach at Duke University, where he helped lead recruiting and leadership development. While at Duke, Dugdale had a hand in seeing both the men and women break all but three school records while moving up the ACC and NCAA ranks. In 2008, he spearheaded the merger of two club programs, Tar Heel Aquatic Team and Blue Devil Aquatic into Duke Aquatics, currently a Silver Medal program.
“Jeff is not only an exceptional on-deck coach, but a dynamic individual with a wealth of knowledge in how to develop and grow a program to an elite level,” said Dan Colella, head men’s and women’s coach at Duke. “He is a great recruiter of not only potential student athletes, but supporters for the program. He knows how to inspire and bring out the best in everyone, swimmers, alumni, and staff. We miss having him with us here at Duke, but Queens is fortunate to have one of the best as a member of their staff.”
David Marsh has worked with Dugdale for more than 20 years, dating back to the time when both were at Auburn University together.
“His enthusiasm and passion coupled with his desire to make a positive impact in the sport of swimming make him a tremendous leader,” Marsh said.
Dugdale was a member of the men’s swim team from three year letter-winner, 1989-1991, before getting his start in collegiate coaching at his alma mater in 1992. Like many of the Queens swimmers have done in this first year, Dugdale helped to transition the Tigers’ program into the one it is today with countless NCAA and SEC Championships.
As a junior, Dugdale was tapped as Marsh’s first recruiting coordinator and helped Marsh recruit the university’s first SEC and NCAA Championship Team. He assisted in coaching 218 All-American honorees, 16 Academic All-Americans, and one Olympian, Yoav Bruck of Israel.
Dugdale earned a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance at Auburn in 1995. Dugdale has two children, Sydney and Colby.
Lau is starting with the Royals after successfully serving with the Lions of Lindenwood University for nine seasons, most recently as the top assistant for both the men's and women's programs.
He was instrumental in Lindenwood's climb to NCAA Division II national prowess after transitioning from the NAIA. Since Lindenwood's first season in Division II (2013-14), the Lions have collected 76 All-American recognitions, eight individual NCAA National Championships, and set four NCAA national records. The team has captured six conference team championships (men: 2017, 2015, 2014 and women: 2019, 2018, 2017) along with nine top-10 NCAA team finishes in that span.
During Lau's inaugural season with Lindenwood in 2011-12, the men's team won their third straight Liberal Arts Conference Championship. Lindenwood swept the four Swimmer and Diver of the Meet awards while setting 17 championship records.
From 2009 to 2011, Lau served as a graduate assistant at Lindenwood working with the I.M., middle-distance, and distance swimmers. During that time the men's team secured 3rd place NAIA National Championships finishes in 2010 and 2011. During this period, Lau's athletes set 64 school records, gathered nine NAIA All-American nods, captured three individual national championships (Sarah Billiamosa, Javier Hernandez, Sergio Molina), and set one NAIA national record. Lau began his collegiate coaching career as an undergraduate assistant coach training the I.M. athletes with Lindenwood during the 2008-09 season.
As a student-athlete for the Lions from 2004-08, Lau was a six-time NAIA All-American. He was a member of Lindenwood's first relay national championship in program history and in 2016, this relay was inducted into the Lindenwood Athletics Hall of Fame. Lau was the first athlete in program history to earn All-American recognitions during each of his four seasons. He served as the men's team captain from 2005 to 2008 and held school records in the 100 & 200 fly, 200 I.M., 200 & 400 Medley Relay, and 200 Free Relay.
"I am humbled and honored to join such a prestigious university and program that has been setting the standard for Division II the last five years," said Lau. "What impressed me most about Queens Swimming was their culture devoted to excellence and team accountability. I look forward to working with Jeff [Dugdale] and the rest of his staff to continue a tradition of high performance at the NCAA and world stage. I am ecstatic to be a part of the Queens family. Go Royals!"
Lau has also been an assistant coach at the University of Texas Longhorn Swim Camp (summer 2011 and 2013-2018). He has worked closely with Olympic Coach Eddie Reese and Carol Capitani, along with Olympic gold medalists and former world record holders Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ricky Berens, Garrett Weber-Gale, and Josh Davis.
Lau also has experience coaching at the Indiana University Swim Camp (summer 2018 & 2019) working with Olympic Coaches Ray Looze, and Coley Stickels.
In the summer of 2019, Lau served as a USA Swimming Sport Development Camp Assistant Manager at the Southern Zone Select Camp (University of Louisville).
Lau earned his bachelor's degree in Biology from Lindenwood in 2009. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Health Management from Lindenwood in 2010 and an MBA in 2012. Lau is a certified Level 4 Coach with the American Swimming Coaches Association.
An avid US Masters swimmer, Lau is a two-time national champion in the 400 IM (24-29 age group, 2013) & 100 fly (30-34, 2016). His wife Amanda is also a Lindenwood swimming alumnus and former assistant coach.
Julia Czentye joined the Queens swimming staff as an assistant swimming coach in the summer of 2017.
Czentye has worked for SwimMAC Carolina since 2012 as a division lead swim coach and a registration/placement/outreach coordinator. As a coach, she has led her age group to six NCS State and Sectional Championships in the past four years. In addition, members of Czentye's squad have won five individual state titles in multiple events, and her swimmers have placed in the top-16 consistently. Czentye was also instrumental in growing the program to its largest at the North site in the past three years as they increased membership to 376 swimmers from 305. Prior to joining SwimMAC Czentye was a swim coach for the Bolles School Sharks from 2007-2012.
"It is an honor to be part of the Queens staff and be able to work with such high-caliber athletes this upcoming year," said Czentye. My family couldn't be more thrilled to be part of the Royals family and we look forward to growing [professionally and personally] with Queens and its staff over the years."
As a student-athlete at West Virginia University Czentye competed on the swimming and diving team under Olympic Coach Sergio Lopez. During her time there she served as team captain and the programs SAAC representative for three seasons.
Czentye holds a bachelor's degree in communication studies from West Virginia. She and her husband, Alexander, have one daughter, Joanna.
Eriksson has served as a volunteer assistant swimming coach for the Royals during the last four seasons while also spending time as a coach for SwimMAC Carolina.
"It's an honor to be able to return to such a great program, this time as a coach instead of an athlete. Since I graduated in 2015, Queens has demonstrated continual success making this decision easy," said Eriksson. "I am excited to be able to give back to the school that has given me so much inside and outside the pool. The culture that Coach Dugdale has developed at Queens is unique, every person is focused on preparing for the world stage. I have learned that Coach Dugdale always has a plan in mind, I'm excited to be a part of it. Go Royals!"
During his time in the pool as a Royal, Eriksson was a two-time NCAA Division II National Champion in the 400-Medley Relay and helped guide Queens to its first national title as senior in 2015. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Eriksson was a 14-time CSCAA All-American and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012, 2016, and 2020.
Eriksson graduated from Queens in 2015 with a degree in Biology and currently resides in Charlotte.