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NCAC Weekly Release (2-16-15) - Swimming & Diving

NCAC Weekly Release (2-16-15) - Swimming & Diving

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The Denison men and women successfully won their seventh-straight North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships on Saturday night at the 31st annual event, held at DU’s own Trumbull Aquatics Center, February 11-14.

The Big Red men, who captured the title with 1,966.5 points, won seven total events, set one meet record and totaled 20 additional All-NCAC finishes to edge Kenyon for the seventh year in a row. The Lords totaled 1758.5 points after touching first in 12 races, logging an impressive four NCAC records and tallying an additional 11 All-NCAC performances. DePauw finished third in the men’s standings with 1,074 points, followed by Wabash (1,041), Wittenberg (725.5), Wooster (690), Ohio Wesleyan (573), Oberlin (547), Allegheny (491.5) and Hiram (249).

The Denison women won 12 events and tallied 1,930 points to edge the Kenyon Ladies for the seventh-straight year. In addition, the Big Red earned 17 additional All-NCAC finishes and set four conference records. Kenyon earned second place with 1,740 points after winning eight races and posting 12 additional All-NCAC efforts. DePauw checked in at third with 1,176 points, followed by Oberlin (913), Wittenberg (883.5), Wooster (757.5), Allegheny (687), Ohio Wesleyan (496) and Hiram (295).

On the men’s side, senior Austin Caldwell (Loveland, OH/Loveland) became the fourth-straight Kenyon swimmer to take home the NCAC Swimmer of the Year Award after he swept the sprint freestyle events with winning times of 20.43 in the 50, 44.06 in the 100 and 1:36.91 in the 200. His 200 time was the only NCAA “A” cut achieved at the 2015 championship meet and also topped the previous NCAC record of 1:37.33 set by Denison’s Jon Geissinger in 2009. In addition, Caldwell also swam legs on four winning relay teams, including the 200 free (1:19.92), 400 medley (3:15.83), 800 free (6:37.24) and 400 free (2:56.64). The times in both the 400 medley and 800 free are new meet record standards.

Denison senior Connor Dignan (Phoenix, AZ/Desert Vista) was also named the NCAC Men’s Diver of the Year for the second year in a row after finishing first on both the one-meter (564.25) and three-meter (588.00) boards with NCAA regional qualifying scores.

Denison sophomore Campbell Costley (Glencoe, IL/New Trier) was tabbed the 2015 NCAC Women’s Swimmer of the Year after she completed the clean sweep of the distance freestyle events. She won the 200 free in 1:50.15, before touching first in both the 500 and 1,650 with NCAC meet record times of 4:49.85 and 16:43.71, respectively. Costley also swam the lead leg on the winning 800 free relay that reached the wall first in 7:27.33.

In the diving well, Kenyon junior Maria Zarka (Kanoehe, HI/Kalaheo) earned the NCAC Women’s Diver of the Year Award for the second-straight year after logging NCAA regional qualifying scores of 456.90 (one-meter) and 439.20 (three-meter).

In addition, Denison freshmen Aaron Saccurato (Cross River, NY/Horace Greeley) and Halli Garza (Stockton, CA/Brookside Christian) were named the men’s and women’s Newcomers of the Year, respectively. Saccurato captured the men’s 1,650 free title in his conference meet debut with a winning time of 15:40.26, while Garza was a double winner for the DU women, touching first in both the 200 IM (2:04.33) and 200 fly (2:03.17).

A pair of second-year head coaches collected the NCAC Coach of the Year Awards, with Wabash’s Brent Noble claiming the men’s award and Oberlin’s Andrew Brabson earning the women’s award. Noble guided Wabash to a fourth-place finish at the event for the fourth year in a row; however, it marked the first time in league history that the fourth-place team cracked the 1,000-point plateau as the Little Giants accumulated 1,041 points. Brabson led Oberlin to its highest finish in program history, as the Yeowomen finished fourth overall with 913 points. Prior to this year’s meet, Oberlin had only cracked the top-five in the final team standings one other time in the 30-year history of the event, finishing fifth overall in 2008.

Denison’s Russ Bertram took home the NCAC Men’s Diving Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, while Kenyon’s Andy Scott was named the Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.