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2015 NCAA S&D Championships Central

2015 NCAA S&D Championships Central

NCAC Team-By-Team Recap

The 2015 NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will be held over a four-day period at the CISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas. The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) and the City of Shenandoah will serve as co-hosts for the event that will run from Wednesday, March 18, through Saturday, March 21. Preliminary events will begin each morning at 10:00 a.m. CT, while final sessions are set for 6:00 p.m. CT. The North Coast Athletic Conference will be represented in the women's meet by student-athletes from Denison, DePauw and Kenyon, while Denison, DePauw, Kenyon and Wabash will represent the conference on the men's side.

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NCAC Team-by-Team Previews

WOMEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS


DENISON, which finished fourth overall in 2014 with 374 points to post its eighth-straight, top-five finish at the national meet, is sending 17 student-athletes to Texas this spring, led by the senior duo of Michelle Howell (Albuquerque, NM/Albuquerque Acad.) and Molly Willingham (Simpsonville, SC/Woomont), who are both 12-time All-American performers.

Howell, who is in search of her first-career national title, is poised to climb to the top of the All-American podium in the individual medley events as she enters the meet with the nation's third-best time in the 400 (4:23.84) and the 10th-fastest effort in the 200 (2:04.58), while Willingham is among the top backstroke specialists in the country, owning the 12th-quickest time in the 200 (2:01.83) and the 13th-fastest time in the 100 (55.82).

In addition to Howell and Willingham, the senior duo of Elizabeth Flaherty (Carmel, IN/Carmel) and Rima Jurjus (Shaker Hts., OH/Shaker Hts.) will also close out their DU careers at the national meet. Flaherty booked her ticket to Texas after posting the nation's ninth-best time in the 1,650 (17:02.40) at the Kenyon Fast Chance Meet on February 21st, while Jurjus will compete individually in the sprint freestyle events, ranking 17th in the nation in the 50 (23.47) and 18th in the 100 (51.49).

The Big Red is also expecting to secure key points in the distance freestyle events from the duo of junior Taylor Johns (Bloomingdale, IL/Lake Park) and sophomore Campbell Costley (Glencoe, IL/New Trier). The duo currently sit one-two in the nation in both the 500 and 1650 free, with seed times of 4:49.85 (Costley) and 4:50.43 (Johns) in the 500 and 16:43.71 (Costley) and 16:44.13 (Johns) in the 1,650.  Johns, a six-time All-American performer, will also compete with Howell in the 400 IM as she enters the meet with the nation's fourth-best time at 4:24.48.

After collecting four All-American performances in her inaugural NCAA Championship meet last year, sophomore Carolyn Kane (Deephaven, MN/Minnetonka) returns to the fold this season aiming for her first-career national title. Individually, she owns top-10 seed times in three different events, including the 50 free (23.25 - 6th), 100 free (50.45 - 5th) and 100 fly (55.29 - 6th).

The Big Red also boast a junior trio that enters the meet with top-10 seed times in individual events, including Marissa Bednarek (Madison, WI/West) in the 200 breast (2:18.72 - 7th), Krysta Garbarino (Raleigh, NC/Leesville Road) in the 200 fly (2:02.84 - 7th) and 10-time All-American Ashley Yearwood (Hamilton Parish, Bermuda/Baylor School) in the 50 free (23.33 - 8th) and 100 free (51.00 - 6th).

DU, which owns the nation's top seed in the 400 free relay (3:22.77), will also be represented at the meet by juniors Mary Van Leuven (Madison, WI/Memorial) and Kate Wright (Apple Valley, MN/Apple Valley); sophomore Alex Elizeus (Ardara, PA/Oakland Catholic); and the freshman quad of Halli Garza (Stockton, CA/Brookside Christian), Leigh Hartog (Freeport, IL/Freeport), Ellen Higdon (Alton, IL/Alton) and Stephanie Munoz (Tucson, AZ/Ironwood Ridge).

DEPAUW sophomore Angela Newlon (O'Fallon, IL/O'Fallon Twp.) highlights a list of four Tiger swimmers that will be making the trip to Shenandoah, Texas.

Newlon, who finished ninth overall in the 500 free at the national meet a year ago, ranks third in the nation this season in the event with a seed time of 4:51.62, to go along with owning the fifth-best time to date in the 400 IM (4:24.49).

DPU senior Emily Weber (Cincinnati, OH/Princeton) also qualified to compete at the national meet in an individual event with the nation's 18th-fastest time in the 1,650 free (17:13.73).

Newlon and Weber will be joined at the national meet by junior Erin Horne (Arlington Hts., IL/John Hersey) and sophomore Kirsten Olson (Medina, MN/Wayzata) as the foursome combined to register the fifth-best time in the nation in the 800 free relay at the 2015 NCAC Championships with a time of 7:29.17.

KENYON finished as the national runner-up in 2014 for the second year in a row with 456.5 points to mark the 34th-straight year that the Ladies posted a top-five finish at the national meet. KC, which will be sending 18 student-athletes to Texas this season, leads Div. III with 23 national titles all-time, including a string of 17-straight from 1984-2000.

While the Ladies have a history of dominance in swimming events over the last three decades, junior diver Maria Zarka (Kanoehe, HI/Kalaheo) has put the KC diving program on the map in her first two year's with the program. Zarka was named the 2014 National Women's Diver of the Year last season after she defended her 2013 national title in the three-meter diving competition and also finished as the runner-up on the one-meter board. She secured her spot in the 2015 national meet after finishing first on both boards at the NCAA Div. III Region I Diving Regional, held at the University of Chicago's McLoraine Pool in late February.

Celia Oberlholzer (Wyoming, OH/Wyoming), the two-time defending national champion in the 100 back and eight-time All-American performer, headlines a list of four senior swimmers set to compete in Texas this spring. Oberholzer, who currently own's the nation's sixth-fastest time in the 100 back (55.30), is expected to swim the backstroke legs on both medley relay teams. KC enters the meet with the nation's top time in the 200 (1:42.29) and the second-best time in the 400 (3:45.37) relays.

Senior Hannah Cooper (Houston, TX/Memorial) will compete in her home state for the final collegiate meet of her career with the seventh-fastest time in the 100 fly at 55.34, while Jacque Garcia (Sarasota, FL/Cardinal Mooney) earned her invitation to the national meet with the 14th-quickest time in the 200 fly (2:04.11). In addition, 14-time All-American performer Jourdan Cline (Charlotte, NC/Country Day) qualified to compete at the national meet for the fourth year in a row as a member of the 200 free relay squad that own's the fourth-fastest time at 1:33.78.

Junior Mariah Williamson (Bothell, WA/Bothell Sr.), an eight-time All-American performer, aims for her first-career individual event national title as she ranks fourth in the nation in the 500 free (4:51.97) and third overall in the 1,650 free (16:48.07). Classmate Katie Kaestner (Anacortes, WA/Anacortes), who owns 10 career All-American certificates, enters her third-straight national meet as one of the top breaststroke specialists in the country, owning the fourth-fastest time in both the 100 (1:03.00) and 200 (2:17.52). Kaestner will be joined in the 100 breast by a pair of KC swimmers with top-10 seed times in the event: freshman Julia Wilson (Bethesda, MD/Sidwell Friends) (1:03.37 - 8th) and sophomore Laura Duncan (Fremont, OH/Ross) (1:03.77 - 10th).

Sophomore Jenner McLeod (Madison, WI/Deerfield), who logged five All-American citations in 2014, will lead the Ladies this season in the sprint freestyle events as she ranks in the top-10 in both the 50 and 100, with seed times of 23.36 (10th) and 51.14 (7th), respectively. In addition, freshman Kanchi Desai (Mumbai, India/Lilavatibai Podar) makes her debut at the national meet with the nation's fifth-best time in the 200 fly at 2:02.66.

The Ladies, who own top-five seed times in four of the five relay events, will also be represented at the national meet by the junior trio of Hannah Lobb (Auckland, New Zealand/Epsom Girls Grammar), Megan Morris (Napa, CA/Napa) and 12-time All-American performer Haley Townsend (Greenwood, IN/Center Grove); the sophomore trio of Ellie Crawford (Las Vegas, NV/Meadows School), Alexa Korsberg (Andover, MA/Andover) and Sarah Lloyd (Hightstown, NJ/Peddie); and freshman Julie Dierker (Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington).


MEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS

DENISON, which has posted back-to-back national runner-up finishes behind conference-rival Kenyon, will be sending a total of 19 student-athletes to Texas this spring, led by the senior duo of diver Connor Dignan (Phoenix, AZ/Desert Vista) and swimmer Damon Rosenburg (Leesburg, VA/Heritage). The Big Red have logged nine-straight top-three finishes and 32-consecutive top-10 finishes at nationals dating back to 1983.

Rosenburg, a 10-time All-American performer, is striving to close out his collegiate career by claiming his first individual event national title as he currently owns the third-fastest time in the 100 breast (54.79), while Dignan will be aiming to defend his national crown on the three-meter board. Dignan secured his spot in Texas after sweeping both boards at the NCAA Div. III Region I Diving Regional with scores of 557.75 (one-meter) and 638.35 (three-meter). Dan Hellman (Fair Haven, NJ/Christian Brothers Acad.), a two-time All-American, rounds out the list of DU seniors that will be competing for the last time in their collegiate careers at the 2015 national meet.

The Big Red also boast four junior swimmers that have their eyes set on making appearances on an All-American podium this spring. Ryan Fleming (Lincoln, MA/Sudbury Regional), a five-time All-American, and Conrad Wuorinen (Gahanna, OH/Columbus Acad.), a six-time All-American, will lead DU in the sprint freestyle events, with seed times of 20.38 (Fleming) and 20.43 (Wuorinen) in the 50 and 44.64 (Fleming) and 45.23 (Wuorinen) in the 100.

Additionally, eight-time All-American Joe Brunk (Raleigh, NC/Enloe) earned qualifying times in both the 200 free (1:39.46 - 16th) and 200 IM (1:49.35 - 5th), while Andrew Rich (McMurray, PA/Peters Twp.), a six-time All-American, owns the nation's sixth-fastest time in the 100 fly at 48.65.

Sophomore Jack Lindell (Edina, MA/Edina) enters his second national meet with top-10 seed times in three different events, including the 200 back (1:47.61 - 7th), 200 IM (1:49.48 - 6th) and 400 IM (3:52.81 - 3rd), while classmate Gus Evans (Bellingham, WA/Squalicum) is primed to earn an All-American citation in the 200 breast with the country's third-best time to date at 1:59.86.

The Big Red will turn to a pair of newcomers to lead them in the distance freestyle events. In the 500 free, Aaron Saccurato (Cross River, NY/Horace Greeley) and Stuart Hohm (Springfield, IL/Glenwood) rank seventh (4:27.55) and eighth (4:27.82), respectively, while Saccurato also owns the nation's 10th-fastest time in the 1,650 at 15:40.26.

Joining Dignan in the diving well in Texas will be the junior duo of Ben Lewis (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park-River Forest) and Nathan Lightman (Libertyville, IL/Vernon Hills), along with the sophomore tandem of Brian Allen (Flagstaff, AZ/Flagstaff) and Max Levy (Sammamish, WA/Skyline). Lewis will be vying for his second-career national title after climbing to the top of the podium in the one-meter competition in 2013, while Levy will be in the mix on both boards after placing second in the three-meter competition and fourth on the one-meter board in 2014.

DU's swimming lineup for nationals will be rounded out by sophomores Max Howes (Chapel Hill, NC/East Chapel Hill) and Alex Nennig (Grafton, WI/Grafton), and freshmen Ben Burdick (Carmel, IN/Carmel) and Jason Wesseling (Husonville, MI/Jenison).

DEPAUW, which has finished in the top-20 at the national meet in sixth of the last seven years, will be sending eight student-athletes to Shenandoah, led by 16-time All-American performer, senior Casey Hooker (Rensselaer, IN/Central).

Hooker will be a mainstay on all five DPU relay teams and will also be a player in several individual events, holding top-10 seed times in the 200 free (1:38.37 - 4th) and 200 fly (1:48.87 - 6th). Fellow senior Alex Alfonso (New Albany, OH/New Albany), a nine-time All-American  performer in relay events, will look to add to his collection in his final collegiate meet as he is expected to join Hooker on several relay squads.

Junior Blake Lehmann (Champaign, IL/Central), a seven-time All-American recipient, is the only other Tiger swimmer to earn a qualifying mark in an individual event, posting a time of 48.81 in the 100 fly at the 2015 NCAC Championships to rank 12th overall in the nation.

Five additional DPU swimmers will compete on relay teams and in select individual events at the national meet, including the junior duo of Alex Grissom (Franklin, IN/Franklin) and Stephen McMurtry (Fort Wright, KY/Covington Latin), sophomore Brandon Sholtis (Evansville, IN/Francis J Reitz) and the freshmen tandem of Mitchell Davis (St. Joseph, MI/St. Joseph) and Kurt Swieter (East Grand Rapids, MI/East Grand Rapids).

KENYON captured its NCAA Div. III-record 33rd national crown in 2014 after topping league-rival Denison for the second year in a row by a 480-472 margin. Prior to a pair of runner-up finishes behind Denison in 2011 and '12, the Lords strung together an unprecedented string of 31-straight national titles, which is the longest such streak in any sport across all three NCAA divisions.

The Lords will bring a strong veteran presence to the 2015 national meet with an 18-man roster made up of five seniors, five juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen.

Leading the way in the senior class will be the duo of Austin Caldwell (Loveland, OH/Loveland) and Harrison Curley (Orlando, FL/Winter Park). Caldwell, a 13-time All-American, is in position to earn his third-straight national title in the 200 free after clocking the top time to date in the event (1:36.91) at the 2015 NCAC Championships. Caldwell, who also collected national titles as a member of both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams in 2013, also owns the second-fastest time this season in the 100 free at 44.06. Curley, the defending national champion in the 200 back, has arguably established himself as the top backstroke specialist in the country this season with the nation's top time in the 200 (1:45.61) and the second-best effort in the 100 (48.66). Curley, who is also expected to compete on several KC relay teams, will also be vying for the national title in the 400 IM with the fourth-fastest time in the nation at 3:53.18.

The remaining three seniors have combined for seven All-American performances in their careers, led by distance freestyle specialist Joe Guilfoyle (Pittstown, NJ/Delbarton/Peddie) with five. Kevin Magee (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East), who qualified for the national meet as a member of the 200 medley relay team, notched a pair of All-American swims in 2013, while Wes Manz (Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) is in search of his first-career All-American certificate this spring after earning individual qualifying marks in the 50 free (20.50 - 16th), 100 free (45.10 - 16th) and 100 fly (49.03 - 17th).

The Lords are in prime position to rack up key points in the distance freestyle events thanks to a pair of top-three seed times from sophomore Arthur Conover (Oakland, ME/Messalonskee). Conover, who collected three All-American certificates at his national meet debut in 2014, has posted the nation's top time to date in the 1,650 (15:09.48) and the third-best effort in the 500 (4:26.11). Classmate Alex Seaver (Eugene, OR/Marist) will also be in contention in both events with the fourth-fastest time in the 1,650 (15:27.80) and the 11th-best effort in the 500 (4:29.21).

Juniors Joey Duronio (Chapel Hill, NC/Chapel Hill) and Percy Gates (Greensboro, NC/Grimsley) will join Caldwell in the 200 free with seed times of 1:38.83 (7th) and 1:39.43 (15th), respectively, while classmate Christian Josephson (Lebanon, OH/Archbishop Moeller), a three-time All-American, will lead the Lords in the butterfly events with the 16th-fastest time in the nation in the 100 (49.02) and the eighth-best effort in the 200 (1:49.21).

Sophomore Trevor Manz (Eau Claire, WI/Memorial), who tallied an impressive six All-American swims a year ago, has put himself in position to contend for his first individual event national crown in several different events, including the 200 IM (1:48.81 - 4th), 400 IM (3:52.72 - 2nd) and 200 breast (2:00.12 - 4th). Sophomore Ian Reardon (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington), at three-time All-American, will join Manz as a contender in two of those three events, ranking sixth in both the 200 breast (2:00.37) and 400 IM (3:54.58).

Kenyon, which owns the nation's top time to date in four of the five relay events, will also be represented at the national meet by the junior duo of five-time All-American Ryan Funk (Pace, FL/Pace) and three-time All-American Mark Newell (Butler, PA/Agora Cyber Charter), to along with sophomore Austin Pu (Forest Hills, NY/Trevor Day), a member of the 2014 sixth-place 400 free relay squad, and the freshmen trio of Matthew Cooper (Charlotte, NC/South Mecklenberg), Matt Leenhouts (Blandon, PA/Fleetwood Area) and David Perez (Orlando, FL/Lake Highland Prep).

WABASH will be sending swimmers to the national meet for the first time since 2011 as six Little Giants have posted qualifying marks to compete this spring, led by junior Jack Belford (Carmel, IN/Carmel) who has qualified individually after posting the nation's 12th-fastest time in the 500 free (4:29.24) at the 2015 NCAC Championships.

The Little Giants have also posted qualifying times this season in both the 200 and 400 medley relay events with times of 1:31.36 (15th) and 3:20.24 (12th), respectively. Senior Carter Adams (Fairfield, OH/Fairfield) and Jake Childress (Pendleton, IN/Pendleton Hts.), along with junior Zechariah Banks (Carmel, IN/Carmel) will represent the Little Giants on both relay squads, while junior Elliot Johns (Carmel, IN/Carmel) will be a member of the 400 team and junior Christopher McGue (Chesterton, IN/Chesterton) was part of the 200 qualifying squad.