Three more individual event national titles and another national record highlighted Thursday’s action by NCAC student-athlete at the 2019 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships.
Through 20 total events at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, NCAC athletes have combined for four individual event national titles, two national titles in relay events, 48 total Top-8 All-American performances and 20 additional Honorable-Mention All-American efforts.
With 10 men’s events in the books, Denison holds a 33.5-point lead in the team standings with 305.5 total points, followed by Kenyon in second (272), Emory in third (259.5), Johns Hopkins in fourth (169) and MIT in fifth with 109 total points.
Emory took the women's lead after scoring 153 points Thursday night for a two-day total of 254 points, followed by Kenyon in second (230), Denison in third (223), Williams in fourth (181) and NYU in fifth with 119 points.
Women's 200 Freestyle Relay
It came down to just four one-hundredths of a second, but Emory was able to outreach Kenyon at the wall to earn the national title in the women’s 200 free relay with a time of 1:31.73 compared to 1:31.77 for the Ladies. The Kenyon squad included sophomores Emmerson Mirus (Madison, WI/West) and Caylee Hamilton (Wadsworth, IL/Woodlands Academy Sacred Heart) and seniors Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) and Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills). The Denison team of sophomore Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico) and juniors Casey Kirby (Long Grove, IL/Stevenson), Gabriella Nutter (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. Mary's School) and KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul College) took third in the championship heat with a time of 1:31.95.
Men's 200 Freestyle Relay
In the first men's event on Thursday night, the Kenyon Lords finished third overall in the championship final of the 200 free relay with a time of 1:20.67, while Denison also climbed the All-American podium in fourth with a time of 1:20.73. KC’s quartet included sophomore David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton), freshman Joe Black (Kingston, Jamaica/The Peddie School), junior Tommy Weiss (St. Paul, MN/St. Thomas Academy) and senior AJ Reid (North Bay Village, FL/Design & Architecture), while the Denison team included junior Kymani Senior (White Plains, NY/Woodlands), sophomore Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial), freshman Liam Picozzi (Ballston Spa, NY/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) and junior Matthew McHugh (Charlottesville, VA/St. Anne's Belfield). Emory won the national title in the event for the fourth year in a row with a winning time of 1:19.99.
Women's 400 IM
A pair of Denison juniors represented the NCAC in the “A” finals of the women’s 400 IM, with Natalie Zaravella (Victor, NY/Victor) leading the duo by finishing fourth overall in 4:19.89. Classmate Erica Hsu (Iowa City, IA/West) finished eighth overall with a time of 4:26.23, while NYU junior Honore Collins took first in a time of 4:15.17.
Men's 400 IM
Denison and Kenyon earned key team points as each squad had four swimmers competing in the 400 IM consolation and championship finals, as the Lords picked up 49 points and the Big Red posted 48.5 points. NCAC swimmers were led by Kenyon junior Mick Bartholomew (Boulder, CO/Boulder) who touched the wall first in 3:50.66 to claim the Lords 300th national championship title. Freshman teammate Bryan Fitzgerald (West Bend, WI/West Bend East) took second in 3:51.12, while Denison junior teammates Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) and Mitch Williams (Columbus, OH/Loyola Blakefield) placed fourth (3:51.46) and fifth (3:51.70). Denison senior Matthew Hedman (Anoka, MN/Anoka) tied for sixth with Emory freshman Jason Hamilton in a time of 3:53.07 and Kenyon junior Colin Reardon (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington) touched the wall in 3:58.23 for a top-8 finish.
Women's 100 Butterfly
Denison continued its successful evening in the 100 butterfly as a pair of Big Red swimmers collected Top-8 All-American awards and moved the team into first in the standings after earning 29 points in the event. Denison was led by sophomore Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico), who finished eighth a season ago, placed second overall with a time of 54.75. Junior teammate Zoe Whelan (Memphis, TN/St. Agnes Academy) placed seventh 55.51, while Williams senior Maia Hare earned the national title after outpacing the field with a time of 54.58
Men's 100 Butterfly
Kenyon saw its second national champion crowned on the night in the men’s 100 fly as sophomore David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton)
broke the NCAA record by touching the wall in 46.92 for the national title. Senior teammate Jon Zimdars (Whitewater, WI/Whitewater) took third with a time of 47.86, while Denison senior Kenny Fox (Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain) placed seventh overall in 48.39. The Lords gained 49 crucial team points in the event with three other swimmers placing in the consolation finals which closed the gap on Denison as the Lords pulled within 4.5 points of the Big Red.
Women's 200 Freestyle
The Kenyon Ladies had a strong showing in the “A” finals of the 200 freestyle with three swimmers finishing in the top-eight, led by senior Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) reaching the wall fifth overall with a time of 1:50.24. KC senior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) finished sixth in 1:50.27 and junior teammate Kendall Vanderhoof (Glenwood Springs, CO/Glenwood Springs) was seventh overall with a time of 1:50.61, while Emory senior Fiona Muir took gold in the event touching the wall in 1:47.70.
Men's 200 Freestyle
Denison was able to extend its lead as sophomore Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial) won the 200 free national championship in a time of 1:37.75, after finishing fifth a season ago. Kenyon senior Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mount Vernon) clocked in at 1:38.51 for fourth place, while Denison senior Ryan Stevenson (Madeira, OH/Madeira) took sixth with a time of 1:38.76. In the 200 freestyle prelims, Wooster senior Cameron Gelwicks (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville Community) finished in 26th place with a time of 1:41.25, which was about three-tenths of a second back of a top-25 placement in the 37-competitor event.
Women's 400 Medley Relay
The Denison quartet of juniors Casey Kirby (Long Grove, IL/Stevenson) and KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul College), sophomore Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico) and junior Gabriella Nutter (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. Mary's School) took second in the 400 medley relay touching in a time of 3:40.77, while the Kenyon team of sophomore Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken School), freshmen Andrea Perttula (Idaho Falls, ID/Idaho Falls), and Racine Ross (Tamarac, FL/Florida Virtual School) and senior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) placed third in 3:42.22. Emory took first in 3:40.66 for the national title.
Men's 400 Medley Relay
Denison padded its lead in the team's final event on Thursday night by finishing second overall in the men’s 400 medley relay with a time of 3:14.29 with the team of seniors Carson Clear (Fort Collins, CO/Fossil Ridge), Tiernan Foster-Smith (Edina, MN/The Blake School), and Kenny Fox (Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain) and sophomore Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial). The Kenyon squad of sophomore David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton), seniors AJ Reid (North Bay Village, FL/Design & Architecture) and Jon Zimdars (Whitewater, WI/Whitewater) and freshman Joe Black (Kingston, Jamaica/The Peddie School) touched the wall in 3:14.97 for fourth overall. The Washington University (MO) squad touched the wall in 3:14.17 for the national title.
The 2019 national meet continues through Saturday evening at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., with prelim sessions beginning each morning at 10:00 a.m. (EST) and final sessions starting nightly at 6:00 p.m. (EST).