Men - Women
Edited: Feb. 13, 2010
Denison Men and Women Sweep Second Straight NCAC Men's
and Women's Championships
The Big Red women took home 18 of 20 events during the three-day championship to tie the record set by Kenyon in 1986 for most events won in a single meet. Denison won the first 16 straight events of the meet, before having their streak interrupted on the final day of competition by a Kenyon win in the 200 breaststroke. The Big Red finished with a team score of 1,766.0 after amassing 52 top-8 finishes and 20 ‘A’ cut swims to edge Kenyon for the second straight year. The Ladies tallied 1,520.0 points after touching first in two events. Wooster placed third after piling up 964 points, while Wittenberg (827.0) wound up fourth and Allegheny (768.0) was fifth. Oberlin (763.0), Hiram (384.0) and Ohio Wesleyan (366.0) round out places six through eight, respectively.
The Big Red men won 10 events en route to 1,678.0 points to also edge the Lords for the second straight year. The 10 victories ties the second-highest total in school history. Last winter Denison posted 16 victories which is tied with Kenyon’s 2003 squad for most team titles in one championship. In addition to the event wins, the Big Red chalked up 51 top-8 finishes and six NCAA ‘A’ cuts. Kenyon earned second place with 1,529.0 points followed by Wabash in third with 815.5 points. Allegheny was 16 points shy of third place, coming in fourth with a score of 799.0, while Wittenberg (789.5) finished fifth. Wooster (735), Oberlin (431), Ohio Wesleyan (352) and Hiram (320) closed out the standings in positions six through nine, respectively.
Denison senior Olivia Zaleski (Corry, PA/Corry Area) repeated as the Female Swimmer of the Year; she is the first to claim the award three straight years. For the second straight season, Zaleski won all seven events in which she competed. She posted meet records in two of those events, first as a member of the 400 medley relay team of Gail Blachly (Indianapolis, IN/North Central), Kate Rich (McMurray, PA/Peters Township) and Alyssa Swanson (Aurora, CO/Regis Jesuit) which posted an ‘A’ cut time of 3:44.62 and then in the 100 back (55.00). Individually, Zaleski also picked up wins in the 50 free (23.46) and the 100 butterfly (54.86). She was also a part of the winning 200 free relay (1:33.48), the 200 medley relay (1:42.59) and the 400 free relay (3:24.99). In 28 swims at the conference championship since 2007, Zaleski has posted an impressive 19 victories, which is second to only Kenyon’s Jennifer Carter’s 21 wins in terms of career conference titles.
Big Red junior Jake Lewing (Yardley, PA/Pennsbury) had never taken home an NCAC title. He more than made up for that history at the 2010 championship with three titles and two second-place finishes. He collected Male Swimmer of the Year honors after posting individual victories in the 200 breaststroke (2:03.01) and in the 200 IM (1:51.11), where he broke the meet record. Both times also met national championship qualifying standards. He was a member of the winning 400 medley relay (3:20.47) and became the seventh athlete from Denison to win the Swimmer of the Year award.
Denison junior Sammie Salas (Fairfax, VA/Robinson Secondary) swept both the one- (397.95) and three-meter (380.25) boards to pick up her second NCAC Diver of the Year Award. First-year Big Red diving coach Jason Glorius was named Female Diving Coach of the Year. The men’s diving awards belonged to Wooster. Luke Knezevic (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) captured the one-meter competition (449.70) and then won the three-meter board (455.95) to be voted Male Diver of the Year. The sophomore is the first male from Wooster to earn the award since it began in 1990 and joins Liz Helstein (1992, ‘96) as the only other in school history to achieve it. Fighting Scot men’s diving coach, Eric Haschke was named Diving Coach of the Year.
Denison’s Gregg Parini was honored with both the Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year honors by his peers for the second straight year and for the fourth time in his career. He wins the women’s award for the eighth time and the men’s for the fifth time in his Big Red career.