The Denison men won their fifth national title in program history after the Big Red accumulated 562.5 points over the course of the four days of action at the 2019 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C.
In the final women's standings, Emory captured its tenth-straight national crown with 488 points, while Kenyon finished second overall in the standings just nine points behind the Eagles (479) and Denison posted its 29th top-five finish at the national meet in program history with a third-place showing (419).
The Emory men, the 2017 national champions, finished as the runner-up for the second-consecutive year with 447.5 points, while Kenyon, which has won an NCAA-record 34 men's national titles, finished a half-point behind the Eagles in third (447).
At the completion of the four days of action in Greensboro, NCAC student-athletes won 15 national titles, logged 88 Top-8 All-American performances and posted 44 additional Honorable-Mention All-American efforts.
In addition, Kenyon sophomore David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton) was named the 2019 Division III Men's National Swimmer of the Year after winning two individual event titles, setting the national record in the 100 butterfly (46.92) and just missing out on the national record in the 100 backstroke by four one-hundredths of a second (46.66). Kenyon head coach Jess Book was also named the national Women's Coach of the Year after guiding his team to a second-place finish, 21 Top-8 All-American performances and four national championship titles.
Women's 1,650 Free
Two NCAC student-athletes posted Top-8 All-American times in the women's 1,650 free, led by Kenyon junior Kendall Vanderhoof (Glenwood Springs, CO/Glenwood Springs) finishing fourth overall in 16:52.66. Denison junior Natalie Zaravella (Victor, NY/Victor) finished in sixth with a time of 16:56.15, while Williams sophomore Laura Westphal claimed her second-consecutive national title in the 1,650 with a winning time of 16:35.50.
Men's 1,650 Free
The NCAC was represented by four student-athletes in the men's 1,650 free, led by Denison senior Matthew Hedman (Anoka, MN/Anoka) who placed second in 15:19.60. Kenyon freshman Bryan Fitzgerald (West Bend, WI/West Bend East) clocked in at 15:28.56 for fifth followed by junior teammate Connor Rumpit (Brookfield, WI/Brookfield Central) in sixth in 15:29.34 and Denison junior James Baker (Honeoye Falls, NY/Honeoye Falls-Lima) in seventh in a time of 15.32.77. Emory senior Thomas Gordon earned gold for the second-straight year in the 1,650 with a winning time of 15:14.84.
Women's 100 Free
The NCAC had three swimmers representing the league in the "A" finals of the women's 100 free, led by Denison sophomore Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico) who clocked in with a time of 49.97 for second place. Kenyon senior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) took sixth in 51:03 and classmate Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) rounded out the Top-8 All-American finishers with an eighth-place showing with a time of 51.39. Emory senior Fiona Muir reached the wall first in the championship heat in 49.37 seconds for her third-straight title in the event.
Men's 100 Free
Denison junior Kymani Senior (White Plains, NY/Woodlands) was the NCAC's lone representative in the men's 100 free "A" finals, finishing fifth overall in the championship heat with a time of 44.63. Emory senior Trey Kolleck took home gold in the event with a winning time of 43.31. In the 100 free prelims, Wooster senior Cameron Gelwicks (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville Community) finished in a time of 46.20 which was right there with his career-best time of 46.15 set in 2018, and a slight improvement over his seed time of 46.36.
Women's 200 Backstroke
Kenyon picked up 48 crucial team points with four swimmers competing in the 200 backstroke consolation and championship finals, as the Ladies took the lead from Emory, 433-426. In the championship finals, Kenyon sophomore Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken School) claimed the national championship title for the second-consecutive year in a time of 1:56.62, while senior teammate Delaney Ambrosen (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka) placed third in 1:59.58.
Men's 200 Backstroke
Three NCAC swimmers competed in the "A" Finals of the 200 back, led by Denison junior Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) taking second in a time of 1:44.93. Kenyon junior Mick Bartholomew (Boulder, CO/Boulder) finished in fourth in the championship heat with a time of 1:46.65, while Denison freshman Liam Picozzi (Ballston Spa, NY/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) clocked in at 1:46.93 for fifth overall. Chicago junior Byrne Litschgi earned the 200 back national title in 1:44.04.
Women's 200 Breaststroke
Denison junior KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul College) completed the clean sweep of the breaststroke events at the 2019 national meet with a time of 2:12.33 for gold in the 200 on Saturday night. She is DU's second swimmer to win back-to-back gold in the 200 breast since Alison Begg won the event in 1994 and '95. Junior teammate Kate Mesaros (Ann Arbor, MI/Dexter) finished sixth in a time of 2:16.92.
Men's 200 Breaststroke
Denison freshman Richie Kurlich (Kent, OH/Walsh Jesuit) was the NCAC's lone representative in the men's 200 breaststroke "A" finals, finishing sixth in a time of 1:59.45. Emory freshman Jason Hamilton took gold in the event with a time of 1:57.34.
Women's 400 Free Relay
In the final women's event of the evening, Kenyon seniors Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) and Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) and sophomores Emmerson Mirus (Madison, WI/West) and Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken School) took gold in the 400 free relay for the first time since 2007 in a time of 3:20.05. Emory secured the team title by placing second in the event (3:21.18), while the Denison quartet of sophomore Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico) and juniors Gabriella Nutter (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. Mary's School), Casey Kirby (Long Grove, IL/Stevenson) and KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul College) followed the Eagles with a third-place finish in a time of 3:22.24.
Men's 400 Free Relay
Denison put an exclamation point on earning the team title in the final event of the night by claiming gold in the 400 free relay for only the second time in program history. The Big Red quartet of juniors Kymani Senior (White Plains, NY/Woodlands) and Eric Gerlach (Naperville, IL/Naperville Central), sophomore Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial) and junior Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) clocked in with a winning time of 2:57.52. The Kenyon squad of freshman Joe Black (Kingston, Jamaica/The Peddie School), senior AJ Reid (North Bay Village, FL/Design & Architecture), junior Tommy Weiss (St. Paul, MN/St. Thomas Academy) and senior Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mount Vernon) took third overall in the championship heat in 3:00.00.