The 2017 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships return to the Trumbull Aquatics Center on the campus of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, for the fourth year in a row. The nation's top Division III conference meet begins on Wednesday, February 8th, and runs through Saturday, February 11th.
The Denison men’s team is the eight-time defending champions, while the Kenyon Ladies regained their spot at the top of the conference last year for the first time since 2008 and the 24th time overall. The Denison men are the only team to defeat Kenyon at the NCAC meet, claiming titles in 1997, and from 2009-2016. The Denison women snapped the Ladies’ 19-year hold on the league crown in 2004, with KC regaining control of the title from 2005-08. DU then reeled off seven-straight championships from 2009-15, with KC regaining the crown last winter. Overall, Kenyon has won 24 of the 32 NCAC titles contested in women’s competition and 23 total titles on the men's side.
Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference consists of 10 academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster along with affiliate member Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.
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|FINAL Team Standings|
WOMEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS
KENYON, which enters the 2017 meet as the defending NCAC champions for the first time since 2009, brings back a wealth of talent from last year's squad that edged out Denison for the title by a 1,957.5-1,787.5 margin. While KC swimmers hold the leagues' top time to date in only three individual events, the Ladies have outpaced the competition in relays with the NCAC's top time in all five events. Individually, sophomore Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Acad.) holds the top time in the 200 free (1:49.00), freshman Summer Otazu (Pasadena, CA/Maranatha) leads the way in the 100 back (55.78) and sophomore Delaney Ambrosen (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka) has posted the league's best time to date in the 200 back at 2:02.00. Abby Wilson and Ambrosen are both the defending league champions in their respective events, while the duo of junior Julia Wilson (Bethesda, MD/Sidwell Friends) and sophomore Marysol Arce (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) also return as defending conference champions. Julia Wilson was a triple winner a year ago in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM, and currently holds the league's second-best effort in all three events this season with times of 1:01.47, 2:26.27 and 2:05.83, respectively. Arce, who claimed the top spot in the 400 IM last winter, ranks third in a pair of individual events this season, including the 400 IM (4:25.45) and the 1,650 free (17:09.96). In addition, the Ladies will be expecting to get production from sophomore Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) in the sprint freestyle events as she currently ranks second in the league in the 50 (23.50), 100 (50.66) and 200 (1:49.19), while junior Kanchi Desai (Mumbai, India/Lilavatibai Podar) will pace KC in the butterfly events with the third-best time in the 100 (56.58) and the fourth-fastest time stamp in the 200 (2:06.70).
DENISON will look to reclaim its spot at the top of the league standings this year with an extremely young roster that features seven seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and 20 freshmen. The senior duo of Campbell Costley (Glencoe, IL/New Trier) and Carolyn Kane (Deephaven, MN/Minnetonka) will be expected to be the veteran leaders of the squad this year as the two have combined to win six individual conference titles over the past three seasons. Campbell, who was the 2015 NCAC Swimmer of the Year after sweeping the distance freestyle events, looks to return to the top of the podium in those events this year, ranking second in both the 500 (4:52.65) and 1,650 (16:57.85), to go along with holding the league's third-best time in the 200 (1:50.56). Kane, who is looking to become just the second NCAC women's swimmer to win three-straight titles in the 100 fly, currently holds the league's top times in three different events, including the 100 fly (54.67), 50 free (23.18) and 100 free (50.49). Junior Halli Garza (Stockton, CA/Brookside Christian), who is aiming for her third-straight title in the 200 fly, currently owns the NCAC's top time in both the 200 fly (2:02.48) and 400 IM (4:25.17). Rookie standout KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/Insight School of MN)highlights the large freshman class with the league's top time to date in four different events, including the 100 breast (1:01.46), 200 breast (2:15.90), 100 IM (58.67) and the 200 IM (2:03.73). The Big Red will also look to score key points in the diving well over the four-day meet from the duo of sophomore Emma Weber (Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming) and freshman Allison Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids, MI/Forest Hills Central). Weber posted the league's top score this season on the three-meter board with 441.23 points, while Fitzgerald posted the league's best showing on the one-meter board with a score of 459.23 points.
DEPAUW will enter the 2017 meet under the direction of first-year head coach Shea Davisson with a veteran roster that is comprised of eight seniors, five juniors, six sophomores and five freshmen. Senior Angela Newlon (O'Fallon, IL/O'Fallon Twp.), the 2016 NCAC Swimmer of the Year, will look to cap off her career at the NCAC Championships by defending her titles in both the 500 free and 1,650 free, with the conference's best time in both events at 4:51.88 and 16:52.33, respectively. A pair of DPU senior swimmers rank 11th in the league in both backstroke event, including Annie Graves (Parker, CO/Chaparral) in the 100 (58.94) and Kirsten Olson (Medina, MN/Wayzata) in the 200 (2:07.68), while sophomore Mary Woods (Carmel, IN/Carmel) sits eighth overall in the 100 breast (1:06.94), 10th in the 200 IM (2:10.69) and 11th in the 200 breast (2:27.99). The Tigers also have two swimmers in the top-10 of the NCAC's newest championship event, the 100 IM, including Woods in fourth (1:02.67) and freshman Oliva Neff (New Albany, OH/New Albany) in seventh (1:03.20).
WOOSTER junior Maggie Layde (Kennesaw, GA/Kennesaw Mountain) and sophomore Emma Fikse (Byron Center, MI/Byron Center) will lead the Scots at the conference meet this winter. Fikse holds top-25 seed times in the league in three freestyle events, including the 50 (25.00 - 25th), 100 (53.65 - 21st) and 200 (1:55.78 - 14th), while Layde ranks ninth in the league in the 100 fly (58.93) and 10th overall in the 200 fly (2:09.98). While Fikse also holds the team's top time in the 500 free at 5:13.08, junior Sarah Padrutt (Alexandria, VA/Annandale) has posted the Scots' top effort to date in the 1,650 free with a time of 18:12.08. In addition, freshman Allison Hsu (Iowa City, IA/West) enters her first championship meet with Wooster's top time in the 200 back (2:10.98), 100 IM (1:04.90), 200 IM (2:17.79) and the 400 IM (4:51.84).
OBERLIN boasts a decorated group of seniors that will close out their careers at the NCAC Championships this season, highlighted by the trio of Maddie Prangley (Fairfield, CT/Hopkins), Vera Hutchison (Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove) and Nora Cooper (Rochester, NY/Joseph C. Wilson Magnet). Prangley has displayed her versatility in the pool this year for the Yeowomen as she ranks among the top-25 in the league in several different events, including the 200 free (1:55.04 - 11th), 500 free (5:01.78 - 8th), 100 fly (59.75 - 18th), 100 IM (1:05.36 - 24th) and 200 IM (2:13.80 - 22nd). Hutchison joins Prangley with top-25 seed times in the 200 fly (2:13.96 - 16th), 100 IM (1:04.62 - 17th) and the 400 IM (4:51.52 - 21st), while Cooper will look to succeed in the sprint freestyle events with seed times of 25.76 in the 50 and 55.38 in the 100. Classmate Kathleen Falk (Riverside, IL/Brookfield) is the Yeowomen's top backstroke specialist, ranking 18th in the league in the 200 (2:11.69) and holding the squad's top time in the 100 at 1:02.53.
WITTENBERG first-year head coach Will Bernhardt has a solid nucleus of upperclassmen that will be charged to lead the Tigers in Granville. Senior Amy Schulz (Waterloo, IL/Waterloo) and junior Samantha Petruzzi (Medina, OH/Medina) will be expected to lead the squad in the pool, while junior Katie Black (Fort Wayne, IN/Homestead) is vying to add to her list of All-NCAC awards. Schulz enters the meet with the NCAC's ninth-best time in the 100 breast (1:07.38) and the 13th-quickest effort in the 200 breast (2:29.19), while Petruzzi will put her skills to test in the butterfly events with the league's 9th-best time in the 200 (2:09.93) and the 23rd-fastest time in the 100 (1:00.26). Black, who has earned four All-NCAC certificates in the diving well over the past two years, enters the meet with the conference's 11th-best effort on the three-meter board with a score of 221.30. In addition, freshman standout Marita Banta-Long (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Chesterton) will be called upon to lead Wittenberg in the freestyle events with the team's top time to date in the 50 (25.94), 100 (56.55), 200 (1:57.80) and 500 (5:21.83).
ALLEGHENY senior Megan Feeney (Phoenix, AZ/Xavier College Prep) will guide a young Gator squad at the NCAC Championships as the roster makeup includes three seniors, three juniors one sophomore and eight freshman. Feeney will enter her final championship meet with top-15 seed times in three different events, including the 200 back (2:07.94 - 12th), 200 fly (2:12.27 - 15th) and 100 IM (1:04.08 - 13th). Junior Amanda Carroll (Webster, NY/Webster-Schroeder) ranks in the top-25 in the league in both the 100 breast (1:12.10 - 24th) and 200 breast (2:36.74 - 22nd), while the Gators will also look for production from the freshmen duo of Miranda Farley (Cleveland, OH/North Royalton) and Brionna Litwin (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park). Farley leads the Gators in the sprint freestyle events with the squad's top time in the 50 (25.22), 100 (53.95) and 200 (1:56.37), while Litwin brings to the meet the league's third-best point totals in both the one-meter (423.85) and three-meter (414.65) diving competitions.
OHIO WESLEYAN brings one of its strongest squads in recent years to the NCAC Championships with several different swimmers entering the meet with top-25 seed times. Senior Anne Edwards (Golf, IL/Glenbrook South) enters the final championship meet of her career with the NCAC's 14th-best time in the 1,650 free (18:03.20), the 25th-best time stamp in the 500 free (5:17.65) and the 22nd-quickest time in the 200 fly (2:21.94). The sophomore class boasts a trio of swimmers with top-25 seed times, including Shannon Bermingham (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park), Alicia Margello (Powell, OH/Bishop Watterson) and Beth Ward (Delaware, OH/Hayes). However, the Bishops' top swimmer heading into the meet is freshman standout Ty Mansfield (Columbus, OH/Bexley) who currently holds a top-15 seed time in the league in the 50 free (24.45 - 14th), 100 free (53.10 - 12th), 100 fly (58.59 - 8th) and the 100 IM (1:03.13 - 6th).
HIRAM seniors Meredith Fritschen-Brown (East Lansing, MI/East Lansing) and Emily Kelly (North Royalton, OH/North Royalton) will provide veteran leadership for the Terriers at the championship meet. Fritschen-Brown enters her final meet with the squad's best time this season in the 100 free (1:04.61) and 200 back (2:36.32), while Kelly has logged Hiram's best time to date in the 200 (2:21.63) and 500 free styles (6:09.20). Sophomore Sierra Daniels (Mesa, AZ/Dobson) leads the way for the Terriers in the butterfly events with seed times of 1:18.46 (100) and 2:51.87 (200), while freshman standout Jenna Nelson (Bellevue, WA/Homeschool) will make her debut at the championship meet with Hiram's top time this season in several different events, including the 1,650 free (20:23.53), 100 back (1:11.56), 100 breast (1:15.75), 200 breast (2:41.41), 100 IM (1:11.77), 200 IM (2:27.12) and the 400 IM (5:17.13).
MEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS
DENISON looks to extend its reign as NCAC champions for the ninth-straight year with a top-heavy roster that features the senior trio of Brian Allen (Flagstaff, AZ/Flagstaff), Max Levy (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) and Jack Lindell (Edina, MN/Edina). Lindell, who was the 2016 NCAC Swimmer of the Year, currently holds the league's top times in the same three events that he won league titles in a year ago, including the 200 back (1:46.68), 200 IM (1:48.66) and the 400 IM (3:51.56). In the diving well, Levy and Allen currently sit 1-2 in the conference rankings in both events heading into the meet. Levy, who was the 2016 NCAC Diver of the Year, ranks first in both the one-meter (566.03) and three-meter (553.05), while Allen is second in both events with scores of 504.38 and 517.20, respectively. Junior Stuart Hohm (Springfield, IL/Glenwood), who is the defending league champion in the 500 free, will again by vying for the top spot in mid-distance freestyle events with the second-fastest time in both the 200 (1:38.49) and 500 (4:28.04), while classmate Jason Wesseling (Hudsonville, MI/Jenison) looks to defend his crown in the 100 back with the league's top seed time of 49.47. The duo of sophomore Kenny Fox (Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain) and freshman Eric Gerlach (Naperville, IL/Central) lead the Big Red in the sprint freestyle events, with Fox ranking second in the league in the 50 (20.54) and fourth in the 100 (45.53), while Gerlach sits second in the 100 (45.47) and fourth in the 50 (20.68). Fox has also been one of the league's top butterfly specialists this season as he enters the meet with the top time in the 100 at 48.52. The Big Red's 15-member freshmen class will be anchored by Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley)who holds top-five seed times in three different events, including the 100 back (50.05 - 4th), 200 back (1:47.44 - 3rd) and 200 IM (1:49.81 - 3rd).
KENYON boasts a balanced roster for this year's meet that includes a strong senior class, led by the trio of Arthur Conover (Oakland, ME/Messalonskee),Trevor Manz (Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) and Ian Reardon (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington). Conover, who is in search of his first-career individual conference title, enters the meet with the NCAC's top time in three freestyle events, including the 200 (1:38.05), 500 (4:22.70) and the 1,650 (14:56.44). Manz and Reardon currently rank 1-2 in the NCAC in the 100 breast with times of 55.47 and 55.52, respectively, while Reardon also hold the top time in the 200 breast (1:59.27) and ranks second in both the 200 IM (1:49.22) and 400 IM (3:53.63). Sophomore Jon Zimdars (Whitewater, WI/Whitewater), who is the defending NCAC champion in the 200 fly, owns the league's top time to date in both butterfly events at 49.13 (100) and 1:48.50 (200). A pair of rookie swimmers look to pace the Lords in the backstroke events with Ben Baturka (Drexel Hill, PA/Episcopal Acad.) ranking second in the 100 (49.66) and Mick Bartholomew (Boulder, CO/Boulder) sitting second in the 200 (1:47.24). Senior Austin Pu (Forest Hills, NY/Trevor Day) and sophomore Weston Carpenter (Lafayette, CA/Acalanes) are KC's top sprint freestyle specialists heading into the meet, with Pu ranking third in both the 50 (20.62) and 100 (45.49), while Weston holds the top spot in the 100 (45.22) and ranks fifth overall in the 50 (20.75).
DEPAUW enters this year's championship meet looking for strong performances out of the senior and junior classes. Highlighting that group will be senior Brandon Sholtis (Evansville, IN/Francis J Reitz) who will be trying to become DPU's first individual champion at the meet since 2014 with the league's top time in the 50 free (20.52). The Tigers will also be looking for production in the pool from the junior trio of Mitchell Davis (St. Joseph, MI/St. Joseph), Sam McManus (Terrace Park, OH/Mariemont) and Kurt Swieter (East Grand Rapids, MI/East Grand Rapids). Davis currently ranks in the top-10 in the league in both the 100 breast (56.23 - 6th) and 100 IM (54.79 - 5th), while Swieter owns the league's ninth-best time in the 200 free (1:40.48) and the 12th-fastest effort in the 500 free (4:36.96). McManus, who earned All-NCAC accolades in both breaststroke events last year, enters this year's meet with seed times of 58.36 in the 100 and 2:07.37 in the 200. In addition, classmate Eric Addy (Grosse Pointe, MI/South) is vying to become the program's first All-NCAC performer in the diving well as he currently boasts the conference's third-highest score on the one-meter board (474.65) and the fourth-best effort on the three-meter (437.65).
WABASH will bring one of the youngest rosters to the meet this year as the Little Giants current team makeup includes three seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores and 11 freshmen. Leading the charge for the Little Giants over the course of the meet will be the sophomore diving duo of Aaron Embree (Springville, IN/Bedford North Lawrence) and Max Von Deylen (Indianapolis, IN/North Central). Von Deylen, who was named the NCAC Athlete of the Week on January 16th, has posted the league's third-best effort this season on the three-meter board with a score of 500.75, while Embree ranks fifth on the one-meter diving list with a score of 465.90. Sophomore Kyle Louks (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville) is the top butterfly specialist on the team with seed times of 51.61 (100) and 1:57.58 (200), while numerous freshmen will also be expected to contribute between the lane lines, including Joey Karczewski (Crown Point, IN/Crown Point) and Benny Liang (Whitewater, WI/Whitewater). Liang is in position to earn an All-NCAC certificate in his first championship meet with the league's second-fastest time in the 100 IM (52.93), while Karczewski ranks in the top-20 in both backstroke events with a seed time of 52.65 in the 100 and 1:57.25 in the 200.
WOOSTER will rely on the brother tandem of senior Conner Gelwicks (Zionsville, IN/Community) and sophomore Cameron Gelwicks (Zionsville, IN/Community) at this year's championship meet. Conner, who earned an All-NCAC citation in the 200 back last winter, is again one of the top backstroke swimmers in the NCAC this year as he currently ranks 12th in the 200 (1:54.45) and 16th in the 100 (52.11). The younger Cameron will look to score points for the Fighting Scots in freestyle events as he enters the meet with the 20th-fastest time in the 100 (47.08) and the 22nd-quickest time in the 200 (1:42.72). In addition, sophomore Garrett Layde (Kennesaw, GA/Kennesaw Mountain) ranks ninth in the 200 fly (1:53.27) and 18th in the NCAC in the 200 IM (1:57.09), while rookieTrey Schopen (McHenry, IL/Community) will join Layde in the butterfly events with seed times of 52.35 in the 100 and 1:54.56 in the 200. The Scots will also get production in the diving well from senior Aaron Salzman (Rochester, NY/Brighton) who posted an NCAA regional-qualifying score of 437.30 on the one-meter board earlier this season.
WITTENBERG will rely on youth to lead the Tigers over the course of the championship meet, led by the sophomore duo of Sam Bott (Des Moines, IA/Dowling)and Paul Salay (Glenview, IL/Glenbrook South). Bott currently ranks 17th in the league in the 1,650 free (16:58.61) and owns the Tigers' top time in the 200 free at 1:50.48, while Salay has posted Wittenberg's top time this season in four different events, including the 100 back (54.93), 200 back (2:03.47), 100 IM (57.92) and the 200 IM (2:05.80). In addition, junior Luke George (Brecksville, OH/Independence) will lead Wittenberg in the breaststroke events with seed times of 1:01.62 (100) and 2:17.32 (200), while rookie Brad Barren (West Chester, OH/Lakota East) is the squad's top sprint freestyle specialist with a seed time of 22.39 in the 50 and 49.45 in the 100.
OHIO WESLEYAN brings a youth-filled roster to the championship meet that features four seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and five freshman. Senior Greyson Goodwin (Littleton, CO/Heritage) highlights the upperclassmen group with the Bishops' top times this season in the 200 free (1:46.34) and 500 free (4:51.41), while sophomore Chris Ruiyantoro (San Jose, CA/Independence) and freshman Aman Ngqakayi (Yellow Springs, OH/Yellow Springs) both rank among the league's top swimmers in several different events. Ruiyantoro holds top-25 seed times in four different events, including the 100 back (53.08 - 25th), 200 back (1:57.67 - 21st), 200 fly (2:03.52 - 24th) and the 100 IM (55.62 - 12th), while Ngqakayi sits in the top-25 in both the 100 breast (59.03 - 22nd) and 200 breast (2:12.44 - 24th). Sophomore Ben Whitbourn (Norwich, United Kingdom/Wymondham College) will pace OWU in the sprint freestyle events with seed times of 22.01 (50) and 47.98 (100), while rookie Colin Hawes (Delaware, OH/Columbus St. Charles) has logged the squad's best time to date in the 1,650 free at 17:33.92.
ALLEGHENY has a healthy mix of veterans and underclassmen ready to compete against the league's best, headlined by senior Jack Bailey (Grove City, OH/Grove City) in his final championship meet. Bailey will be vying for a spot in the finals in the 50 free with the league's 12th-fastest time to date at 21.10, while classmate Danny Litwin (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) enters the meet with the NCAC's 24th-best time in the 100 IM (57.27). Sophomore Matthewe Nardozzi (Orlando, FL/Winter Park) highlights the list of underclassmen with the 11th-quickest seed time in the 1,650 free (16:17.70) and the 19th-best time in the 500 free (4:41.33). In addition, rookie Justin Katchur (Irwin, PA/Hempfield) will be getting his first championship experience with top-20 seed times in both the 100 breast (58.72 - 20th) and 200 breast (2:10.42 - 19th).
OBERLIN also enters the meet with a young, but talented squad as the Yeomen's roster currently consists of two seniors, one sophomore and six freshmen. SeniorJeremy Cooper (Phoenixville, PA/Woodlynde School) will provide veteran leadership for the team, while freshman Michael Lin (Sugar Land, TX/William P. Clements) is expected to be the top scorer for the team over the duration of the meet. Cooper will test his skills in the distance freestyle events, ranking 17th in the league in the 1,650 free (17:06.79) and owning the team's top time to date in the 500 free at 4:52.28. Lin, who owns the Yeomen's top time on the season in several different events, will be vying for a podium position in the breaststroke and individual medley events. He enters the meet with top-15 seed times in four of the five events, including the 100 breast (57.45 - 10th), 200 breast (2:05.76 - 13th), 100 IM (54.51 - 4th) and the 200 IM (1:55.22 - 14th).
HIRAM will be relying on the sophomore duo of Michael Barber (Greenfield, IN/Central) and Reeve Bowling (Minneapolis, MN/Thomas Jefferson) to lead the squad at the conference meet. Barber has found success this season in the distance freestyle events with seed times of 5:50.86 in the 500 and 20:31.49 in the 1,650, while Bowling has proved to be a versatile swimmer as he owns the Terriers' top time this season in several different events, including the 100 free (53.14), 200 free (2:02.39), 100 breast (1:11.60), 200 breast (2:43.98), 100 fly (59.20), 200 fly (2:23.92), 100 IM (1:02.02) and the 200 IM (2:17.00). In addition, freshman Alex Laird (Ashtabula, OH/Edgewood) enters his first championship meet with the team's top time in the 50 free (23.70), 100 back (1:03.53) and 200 back (2:28.69).