The 2018 NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will be held over a four-day period at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Franklin College will serve as the hosts for the event that will run from Wednesday, March 21, through Saturday, March 24. Preliminary events will begin each morning at 10:00 a.m., while final sessions are set for 6:00 p.m. The North Coast Athletic Conference will be represented in both the men's and women's meets by 75 total student-athletes from Denison, DePauw, Kenyon and Wabash.
While the Kenyon Ladies lead all NCAA Div. III teams with 23 national titles all-time, the NCAC's dominance on the men's side has been unprecedented across the nation as either Kenyon or Denison have topped the team standings at the national meet in 37 of the last 38 years, interrupted only once by Emory's title last spring. The Lords own 34 national titles all-time, which includes their remarkable streak of 31-straight from 1980-2010. KC's 34 team titles is nearly double the amount of Wisconsin-La Crosse's 18 Div. III men's indoor track & field crowns and tied with Div. I Oklahoma State's wrestling program for the most team titles in NCAA history. Denison, which won the men's title in 2016, owns three total team championships after posting back-to-back titles in 2011 and '12, while the DU women won their lone national title in 2001.
|2018 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships Links|
|Indiana Sports Corp Host Site|
|Order of Events||Live Video||Live Results||Men's Psych Sheet||Women's Psych Sheet|
|IU Natatorium||NCAA Digital Program||Men's NCAA Records||Women's NCAA Records|
|NCAC Nightly Recaps, Photo Galleries & Interviews
|Day One||Day Two||Day Three||Day Four|
|Video Recap||Video Recap||Video Recap||Video Recap|
|Photo Gallery||Photo Gallery||Photo Gallery||Photo Gallery|
|2018 NCAC All-Americans (Top-8)|
WOMEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS
DENISON will rely on one of the youngest rosters at this year's national meet to keep its string of 26 consecutive top-six finishes at nationals alive. During the Big Red's current stretch of consecutive top-six finishes, they have won one national title and finished as the national runner-up on eight different occasions. Of the 16 Big Red swimmers that qualified this season, there is just one senior, 11 sophomores and four first-year athletes.
Sophomore KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/Insight School), who collected six All-American certificates in her debut at the national meet last year, will be aiming to collect her first-career national title this season with the nation's top seed time in the 100 breast at 1:00.50. Kustritz also ranks second nationally in the 200 breast (2:14.33) and 200 IM (2:01.66). She is also expected to swim key legs on several of the Big Red's relay teams, including the 200 medley squad that enters the meet with the nation's top time to date in the event at 1:40.96.
In addition to Kustritz, four additional DU swimmers enter the meet with top-five seed times in an individual event, highlighted by sophomore Casey Kirby (Long Grove, IL/Stevenson) owning the third-fastest time in the 100 back at 55.41 seconds. The final three swimmers all rank fourth overall in their respective events, including senior Halli Garza (Stockton, CA/Brookside Christian) in the 200 fly (2:02.57), sophomore Hannah Rusinko (Pittsburgh, PA/Norwin) in the 500 free (4:53.10) and sophomore Kate Mesaros (Ann Arbor, MI/Dexter) in the 100 breast (1:02.40).
While Denison's deep roster has at least one national qualifier in every event, the individual medley events are where the Big Red expects to score key team points. Kustritz is followed in the 200 IM by four additional swimmers with top-25 seed times, including sophomore Natalie Zaravella (Victor, NY/Victor) at 13th (2:05.15), Garza at 14th (2:05.17), freshman Bridget Horton (Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) at 21st (2:06.19) and sophomore Erica Hsu (Iowa City, IA/Iowa) at 23rd (2:06.25). In the 400 IM, Hsu ranks sixth overall with a time of 4:25.40, followed by Zaravella in seventh (4:25.42) and Garza owning the ninth-fastest time at 4:25.75.
After finishing second on the three-meter board at the University of Chicago's Diving Regional, sophomore Allison Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids, MI/Forest Hills Central) booked her ticket to Indianapolis to represent the Big Red in both diving events. At last year's meet, Fitzgerald placed seventh on the one-meter board and ninth overall in the three-meter competition.
Rounding out DU's roster for the national meet are sophomores Jacquelyn Kurkjian (Aurora, IL/Metea Valley), Angela Le (Eagan, MN/Burnsville), Gabriella Nutter (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. Mary's School) and Zoe Whalen (Memphis, TN/St. Agnes Acad.), as well as freshmen Mia Chiappe (Hinsdale, IL/Central), Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico) and Logan Wickman (Chapel Hill, NC/Emerson Waldorf).
KENYON is in excellent position to dethrone eight-time defending NCAA Div. III women's champion, Emory, and pick up its first national title since 2009 as the Ladies and the Eagles are the only two women's teams traveling to Indianapolis with the maximum number of 18 national qualifiers this spring.
While the bulk of the Ladies' national team roster is comprised of underclassmen, the senior duo of Julia Wilson (Bethesda, MD/Sidwell Friends) and Kanchi Desai (Mumbia, India/Lilavatibai Podar) both have their eyes set on climbing the All-American podium in individual events this year. Wilson's best bet for a national title will come in the breaststroke events as she enters the meet with the nation's top time in the 200 (2:14.09) and the second-fastest time in the 100 at 1:01.35, while Desai ranks third in the 200 fly (2:02.51) and fourth overall in the 400 IM with a time of 4:24.59. Wilson will also be vying for a podium spot in the 200 IM, ranking eighth on the psych sheet with a time of 2:04.06.
Wilson will most likely have familiar company in the 200 IM as freshman standout Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken) owns the nation's top time in the event this season after winning the title at the 2018 NCAC Championships with a time of 1:59.70, making her the only swimmer in Div. III to post a sub two-minute time in the event this season. Crile will also be a serious contender for the national title in both backstroke events, ranking second nationally in both events with seed times of 55.01 (100) and 1:56.86 (200), while junior Delaney Ambrosen (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka) will challenge Hart in the 200 back with the nation's third-quickest time this year at 1:59.96.
The Ladies are also in line to secure key team points in the individual freestyle events, led by junior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) who holds the nation's second-fastest time this year in both the 100 (50.14) and 200 (1:48.43). Three additional KC swimmers rank in the top-24 in both the 100 and 200 events, led by classmate Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Acad.) sitting third in the 200 (1:48.94) and 12th overall in the 100 with a time of 51.08.
In the distance freestyle events, the Ladies have six swimmers that hold top-24 seed times in both the 500 and 1,650, led by junior Marysol Arce (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) ranking fifth in the 1,650 (16:57.67) and freshman Alexis Vetrano (Raleigh, NC/Leesville) owning the fifth-best time this season in the 500 at 4:53.77. Other Kenyon swimmers slated to compete in the 500 free include Orbach-Mandel, Ambrosen and the sophomore trio of Scout Wilkins (Gilbert, AZ/Chandler), Kendall Vanderhoof (Glenwood Springs, CO/Glenwood Springs) and Gail Anderson (Silver Spring, MD/Albert Einstein), while the additional 1,650 freestyle swimmers in the top-24 include Vetrano, Wilkins, Vanderhoof, Anderson and freshman Claire Murray (Iowa City, IA/West).
In addition to their anticipated success in the individual events, the Ladies also enter the national meet with the top time in Div. III this season in both the 400 medley relay (3:41.97) and 800 free relay (7:19.33), while also owning the second spot overall in both the 200 medley (1:41.18) and 400 free (3:22.53) relays.
Six additional swimmers have posted national qualifying marks for the Ladies this season, including junior Caitlin Foley (Lewisburg, PA/Lewisburg Area), sophomores Princess Vilan Ferguson-Nguyen (Newport Beach, CA/University), Micha Otazu (Pasadena, CA/Maranatha) and Zoe Toscos (Fort Wayne, IN/Carroll), as well as the freshmen duo of Makena Markert (Greensboro, NC/Southwest Guilford) and Emmerson Mirus (Madison, WI/West).
MEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS
DENISON is primed to make a run back to the top of the team podium at the 2018 NCAA Championships as the Big Red are the only team arriving in Indianapolis with the maximum number of 18 competitors on their roster. While the main goal is to win its fourth national title since 2011, the Big Red will also look to keep their 12-year streak of top-three finishes at the national meet alive.
DU enters the 2018 meet with a pair of swimmers holding the nation's top seed time in individual events, including senior Kenny Fox (Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain) in the 100 fly (48.15) and junior Carson Clear (Fort Collins, CO/Fossil Ridge) in the 100 back (47.87). Fox is also a member of the top qualifying 400 medley relay team that owns a seed time of 3:15.47, while the duo of Clear and Fox are also expected to display their specialty strokes as members the 200 medley relay squad that enters the meet with the nation's second-fastest seed time at 1:28.74.
Nine additional Big Red swimmers enter the meet with a top-five seed time in 10 different events, highlighted by junior Matt Hedman (Anoka, MN/Anoka) owning the nation's second-fastest time in the 1,650 free (15:27.93) and the third-best clocking in the 400 IM at 3:54.00. In addition to Hedman, classmate Jake Ball (Stafford, VA/Colonial Forge) posted the second-quickest time this season in Div. III in the 200 breast with a time of 2:00.22. Fellow junior Ryan Stevenson (Madeira, OH/Madeira) will compete with Ball in the 200 breast, ranking third overall at 2:00.35, while sophomore James Baker (Honeoye Falls, NY/Lima) will challenge Hedman in the 1,650 with the nation's third-fastest seed time of 15:35.95.
Sophomore Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) and freshman Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial) enter the meet as the fourth seed in separate events, with Wang owning the distinction in the 200 IM (1:48.87) and Horton in the 200 free (1:38.11).
Finally, senior Jason Wesseling (Hudsonville, MI/Jenison) along with the sophomore duo of Kymani Senior (White Plains, NY/Woodlands) and Mitch Williams (Columbus, OH/Loyola Blakefield) own the nation's fifth-best times in their respective events, including Wesseling in the 200 back (1:47.35), Senior in the 50 free (20.06) and Williams in the 200 fly (1:47.91).
A trio of seniors are also set to close out their careers at the 2018 NCAA Championships, including Stuart Hohm (Springfield, IL/Glenwood), Aaron Saccurato (Cross River, NY/Horace Greeley) and Zach Wagner (Seattle, WA/Lakeside). Hohm is the eighth seed in the 500 free (4:28.08), while Wagner owns the ninth-fastest time in the 50 free (20.33) and Saccurato ranks 10th in the 200 fly at 1:48.81.
While the Big Red is loaded in the individual events, it will be the relays where they are expected to rack up key team points with a top-three seed time in all five events. In addition to sitting one-two in the 400 medley and 200 medley events, respectively, DU ranks second overall in both the 800 free (6:33.03) and 400 free (2:58.89), and third in the nation in the 200 free at 1:20.57.
DU's national team roster will also include juniors Tiernan Foster-Smith (Edina, MN/The Blake School) and Brett Weicht (Edina, MN/Edina), along with the sophomore duo of Francis Biagioli (Allendale, NJ/Northern Highland) and Matt McHugh (Charlottesville, VA/St. Anne's Belfield).
DEPAUW senior Sam McManus (Terrace Park, OH/Mariemont) has put himself in great position throughout the regular season to become the school's first male athlete in history to win an individual event national title as he enters his final collegiate competition with the nation's top seed time in the 200 breast (1:59.86) and the second-fastest time to date in the 100 breast (54.31). His time in the 200 breast logged at the Phoenix Fall Classic in late November is the only sub two-minute time posted by a Div. III men's swimmer in the event this season.
McManus will be joined in Indianapolis by a trio of relay swimmers with the nation's 11th-fastest time in the 800 free relay (6:42.92), including senior Kurt Swieter (East Grand Rapids, MI/East), junior Adam Pircon (Hinsdale, IL/Central) and sophomore Will Serf (Plymouth, IN/Bermen).
KENYON, which won its most recent national title in 2015, will battle toe-to-toe with Denison for the Division III men's crown this year as the Lords are just one short of the roster maximum with 17 athletes slated to compete over the four-day meet.
The Lords embark to Indianapolis with eight swimmers holding a top-five seed time in seven different individual events, led by junior Jon Zimdars (Whitewater, WI/Whitewater) owning the top time in the nation this season in the 200 fly at 1:46.43. Zimdars will also contend in the 100 fly, ranking 12th overall with a time of 48.71 seconds.
Senior Matt Leenhouts (Blandon, PA/Fleetwood Area), who returns to the national meet after missing out a year ago, will be looking to close out his season with a bang as he ranks second nationally in two different events, including the 200 IM (1:48.72) and 200 free (1:37.41). Junior Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mt. Vernon) joins Leenhouts in the 200 free with Div. III's fifth-fastest seed time in the event at 1:38.15.
Two additional Lords enter the meet with the nation's second-best seed time in an individual event, including sophomore Mick Bartholomew (Boulder, CO/Boulder) in the 400 IM (3:53.36) and classmate Ben Baturka (Drexel Hill, PA/Episcopal Acad.) in the 100 back with a time of 48.15. KC is also in position to have a pair of athletes on the All-American podium in the 500 freestyle event, with sophomore Connor Rumpit (Brookfield, WI/Brookfield Central) and freshman Tim Hagemeister (Mason, OH/Seven Hills) ranking fourth (4:27.33) and fifth (4:27.39), respectively, in the event.
Junior Humphrey Pruett (Minneapolis, MN/Blake School) rounds our the list of Kenyon swimmers with a top-five seed time in an individual event as he ranks fifth overall in the 200 breast with a time of 2:00.65.
While the Lords' relay teams haven't been as strong as years past this season, they still enter the meet with a top-five seed time in three of the five events, which includes owning the top time in Div. III this season in the 800 free relay at 6:32.38. KC also ranks third overall in the 400 medley relay (3:16.56) and fifth in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:21.02.
Nine additional Lords are set to compete at the 2018 NCAA Championships, including senior Matthew Cooper (Charlotte, NC/South Mecklenberg), junior Weston Carpenter (Lafayette, CA/Acalanes), sophomores Kieran Allsop (Eastleigh, England/King Edward VI), Alexander Law (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul Highland Park), Colin Reardon (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington), Reilly Shields (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius Prep) and Tommy Weiss (St. Paul, MN/St. Thomas Academy), along with the freshman duo of Fielding Fischer (Chevy Chase, MD/Bethesda Chevy Chase) and David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton).
WABASH sophomore Chris Dabrowski (Highland, IN/Highland) will be making the short jaunt to Indianapolis for the first time in his career with the nation's 17th-best time to date in the 1,650 freestyle. He is aiming to become the program's first All-American performer in a distance freestyle event since John Murphy '80 finished seventh overall in the 500 free in 1979. Dabrowski is also expected to compete in both the 500 and 200 freestyle events, with seed times of 4:38.15 and 1:52.15, respectively.