Conover & Levy Win Titles On Night 4

Kenyon senior Arthur Conover {left} & Denison senior Max Levy {right}
Kenyon senior Arthur Conover {left} & Denison senior Max Levy {right}

While the NCAC’s 34-year championship run at the national meet was snapped this year, several league squads still found themselves high in the final team standings at the 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships, led by the Kenyon Lords finishing second in the men’s standings for the second year in a row with 384 points and the Kenyon Ladies checking in at third in the women’s standings with 381 points. The Emory Eagles won their eighth-straight national crown on the women’s side with 645.5 points, while Emory is now the first non-NCAC men’s team to win the Div. III national crown since Johns Hopkins in 1979 after the Eagles accumulated 438 total points over the four-day meet in Shenandoah, Texas. Kenyon won the first three of its NCAA-record 34 men's national titles before the NCAC was formed.

Williams finished second in the women’s field with 445 points, while Denison posted its 27th top-five finish in history in fourth-place with 272 points and DePauw finished in a four-way tie for 34th with 16 total points. 

Following Emory and Kenyon in the men’s standings was Denison in third with 371 points, Johns Hopkins in fourth with 295 and NYU in fifth-place with 243.5 points. DePauw also cracked the top-30 in the team standings in 28th with 23 total points. 

Following the four days of competition in Texas, NCAC student-athletes won six national titles, logged 64 All-American performances and posted 45 Honorable-Mention All-American Performances. 

In addition, Denison senior Max Levy (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) was named the NCAA Div. III Men’s Diver of the Year for the second time in his career after sweeping both diving events this year in Texas. DU diving coach Russ Bertram was also recognized as the 2017 NCAA Div. III Men’s Diving Coach of the Year.

Women’s 1,650 Free

A pair of NCAC swimmers collected top-8 All-American honors in the women’s 1,650 freestyle, led by Kenyon sophomore Marysol Arce (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) finishing second overall with a time of 16:39.11. Arce was the national champion in the event a year ago. Denison senior Campbell Costley (Glencoe, IL/New Trier) earned All-American honors in the event for the fourth year in a row, posting a career-best fifth-place finish in 16:54.14. Kenyon freshman Gail Anderson (Silver Springs, MD/Albert Einstein), who was seeded 19th in the event and thus swam in one of the early afternoon heats, checked in at seventh overall with a time of 16:58.68, which was nearly 16 seconds faster than her seed time. Emory sophomore Julia Durmer took home gold in the event with a winning time of 16:27.82. 

Men’s 1,650 Free

Kenyon senior Arthur Conover (Oakland, ME/Messalonskee) completed the sweep of the distance freestyle events on Saturday night with his second-career national title in the 1,650. Conover once again went toe-to-toe with Johns Hopkins senior Andrew Greenhalgh in the event, eventually pulling away and setting the meet record with the first-ever sub-15 minute time in the event at nationals with a mark of 14:59.56. Greenhalgh, the 2016 champion in the event, finished second in 15:02.34. In addition, Conover was joined on the awards stand by a pair of teammates, with junior David Perez (Orlando, FL/Lake Highland Prep) finishing seventh (15:32.41) and freshman Connor Rumpit (Brookfield, WI/Central) placing eighth overall in 15:35.06.

Women’s 100 Free

Despite NCAC swimmers being shutout of the championship heat of the women’s 100 freestyle, league athletes performed strong in the consolation finals with three swimmers in the heat, led by Kenyon sophomore Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) reaching the wall first in 50.67. Her teammate and classmate Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Acad.) was right on her heels in second with a time of 50.75, while Denison senior Carolyn Kane (Deephaven, MN/Minnetonka) finished fifth overall in the “B” finals in 50.93. Emory sophomore Fiona Muir topped the field in the championship heat with a time of 49.28. 

Men’s 100 Free

Denison junior Zach Wagner (Seattle, WA/Lakeside) picked up his first-career top-eight All-American award in an individual event in the men’s 100 freestyle after finishing fifth overall in 44.38. Rowan senior Jesse Novak won his second national title in the event in the last three years after outpacing the field with a time of 43.29.  

Women’s 200 Back

Kenyon sophomore Delaney Ambrosen (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka) climbed the All-American awards podium for the first time in her career in an individual event after finishing fifth overall in 1:59.57. Williams senior Olivia Jackson set the meet record in the event with a winning time of 1:55.83. 

Men’s 200 Back

A pair of Denison swimmers paced the NCAC in the championship finals of the men’s 200 backstroke, led by senior Jack Lindell (Edina, MN/Edina) in second-place with a time of 1:45.32. Big Red junior Jason Wesseling (Hudsonville, MI/Jenison) checked in eighth in the “A” finals in 1:50.12, while Williams senior Ben Lin completed the sweep of the backstroke events at the 2017 national meet with a time of 1:44.00. 

Women’s 200 Breast

Kenyon junior Julia Wilson (Bethesda, MD/Sidwell Friends) was the league’s top finisher in the championship heat of the women’s 200 breaststroke, finishing third overall in 2:15.30 for her second-straight All-American finish in the event. In addition, Denison freshman KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/Insight School of MN) posted her second top-eight All-American swim of the meet in an individual event in seventh with a time of 2:17.64. Connecticut College rookie Mary Erb was the champion in the event with a time of 2:14.61. 

Men’s 200 Breast

While Emory senior Andrew Wilson stole the show in the championship heat of the men’s 200 breaststroke with an eye-popping time of 1:50.80, three NCAC swimmers found themselves in the top-eight, led by Kenyon senior Ian Reardon (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington) in second with a time of 1:58.04. KC senior Trevor Manz (Eau Claire, WI/Eau Claire) returned to the top-eight in the event for the first time since 2014 in sixth-place (1:59.25), while DePauw junior Sam McManus (Terrace Park, OH/Mariemont) finished seventh overall in 1:59.46.

Men’s Three-Meter Diving
Denison’s Max Levy accomplished a rare feat after winning the final individual event of the national meet with a score of 588.20 on the three-meter board. Levy is now just the third diver in NCAA Div. III history to sweep the boards at the national meet on two separate occasions after he also swept the boards in 2015. Jeff Stabile of UC San Diego was the first diver to accomplish the feat in back in 1985 and ’86, while Nicholas Halbach of Merchant Marine sweep the events in 2009 and again in 2011. In addition, Levy was joined on the award stands in the three-meter event by classmate Brian Allen (Flagstaff, AZ/Flagstaff), who finished sixth overall with 516.25 points for his third-career top-eight All-American finish. 

Women’s 400 Free Relay

In the final women’s event of the meet, the Kenyon Ladies team of Orbach-Mandel, Ambrosen, A. Wilson and sophomore Sophia Kuvan (Encinitas, CA/Winter Park) combined for a time of 3:23.37 in the championship heat of the women’s 400 freestyle relay to finish third overall. Emory won the national title in the event with yet another meet-record time of 3:19.56, while Denison finished 15th overall and seventh in the consolation finals with a time of 3:27.30 as Carolyn Kane and KT Kustrtiz were joined on the relay team by the freshman tandem of Gabriella Nutter (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. Mary’s School) and Angela Le (Eagan, MN/Burnsville)

Women’s 400 Free Relay

The 2017 NCAA Div. III Swimming & Diving Championships officially came to a close with the Emory Eagles winning the men’s 400 freestyle relay in a time of 2:56.68. Denison was the top NCAC team in the event in second with a time of 2:57.11 with the team of sophomore Walt Dauksher (Ft. Collins, CO/Fossil Ridge), senior Max Howes (Chapel Hill, NC/East), sophomore Kenny Fox (Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain) and Zach Wagner. Kenyon finished eighth in the championship heat in a time of 3:02.01 with a team comprised of senior Austin Pu (Forest Hills, NY/Trevor Day), sophomore Weston Carpenter (Lafayette, CA/Acalanes), senior Ambert Sawaya (Chula Vista, CA/Bishop’s School) and sophomore Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mt. Vernon).