Three national titles and one national record highlighted Friday night’s action by NCAC student-athletes at the 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Through 29 total events in downtown Indy, NCAC student-athletes have collected five national titles, 60 Top-8 All-American performances and 34 additional Honorable-Mention All-American efforts. PHOTOS - VIDEO RECAP
Through the first three nights of competition, Denison holds a commanding lead in the men’s team standings with 452.5 points, followed by Emory in second (250), Kenyon in third (243), Johns Hopkins in fourth (234) and NYU in fifth with 203 points.
On the women’s side, Emory holds the top spot in the team standings with 447 points, followed by Kenyon in second (330), Williams in third (319), Denison in fourth (288) and Johns Hopkins in fifth with 204 total points.
Men's 200 Butterfly
The Big Red men continued to pull away from the pack in the teams standings in the opening event on Friday night with a pair of swimmers finishing in the top-eight, led by sophomore Mitch Williams (Columbus, OH/Loyola Blakefield) finishing third in 1:46.67 and senior Aaron Saccurato (Cross River, NY/Horace Greeley) placing eighth overall with a time of 1:48.38. SUNY-New Paltz sophomore Cooper Knapp won the national title in the event with a time of 1:46.45.
Women's 200 Butterfly
In the championship heat of the women’s 200 butterfly, Denison senior Halli Garza (Stockton, CA/Brookside Christian) was the NCAC’s lone representative, placing third overall with a time of 2:01.48. Grove City College sophomore Anne Shirley Dassow outpaced the field in the “A” finals for the national title with a time of 2:00.29.
Men's 100 Backstroke
Denison added to its lead in the men’s 100 back with two more swimmers posting top-8 finishes in the “A” finals, including junior Carson Clear (Fort Collins, CO/Fossil Ridge) in fourth with a time of 48.60 and senior Jason Wessleing (Hudsonville, MI/Jenison) finishing sixth overall in 48.97. Emory sophomore Sage Ono picked up the individual title in the event with a time of 47.62.
Women's 100 Backstroke
After winning gold in the 200 IM on Wednesday night, Kenyon freshman Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken) continued her breakout rookie season at the national meet on Friday in the women’s 100 back by winning the national title in the event with a winning time of 53.61.
Men's 100 Breaststroke
While Pomona-Pitzer freshman Lukas Menkhoff picked up the national title in the race with a time of 53.39, two NCAC swimmers finished two-three in the championship heat, led by DePauw senior Sam McManus (Terrace Park, OH/Mariemont) finishing second behind Menkhoff with a time of 54.20. Denison junior Tiernan Foster-Smith (Edina, MN/The Blake School) finished third in the heat with a time of 54.33.
Women's 100 Breaststroke
Denison sophomore KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/Insight School) brought the crowd to their feet in the championship heat of the women’s 100 breaststroke as she did the unthinkable and posted a sub one-minute time in the event with a winning mark of 59.77. Her time not only easily set the Div. III national standard but was also faster than the eighth-place finisher at the 2018 NCAA Div. I Swimming & Diving Championships. In addition to Kustritz, Kenyon senior Julia Wilson (Bethesda, MD/Sidwell Friends) finished second overall in the “A” finals with a time of 1:01.92, while Denison sophomore Kate Mesaros (Ann Arbor, MI/Dexter) was finished fourth with a time of 1:02.40.
Men’s 800 Free Relay
Denison snapped Emory’s string of relay titles at the 2018 national meet in the last event on Friday night as the Big Red quartet of freshman Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial), senior Stuart Hohm (Springfield, IL/Glenwood), sophomore Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) and junior Ryan Stevenson (Madeira, OH/Madeira) stopped the clock in the championship heat with a winning time of 6:29.59. The Kenyon team of senior Matthew Leenhouts (Blandon, PA/Fleetwood Area), freshman Tim Hagemeister (Mason, OH/Seven Hills), sophomore Reilly Shields (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) and junior Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mt. Vernon) finished right behind DU in the evening finals in second-place with a time of 6:30.88, while DePauw finished 12th overall in the timed finals event after posting a time of 6:43.89 with the team of senior Kurt Swieter (East Grand Rapids, MI/East), junior Adam Pircon (Hinsdale, IL/Central), sophomore Will Serf (Plymouth, IN/Bremen) and senior Sam McManus.
Women's 800 Free Relay
In the final event on Friday night, two NCAC teams earned top-eight All-American times in the women’s 800 free relay, led by Kenyon finishing second overall in 7:15.99 with the team of junior Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Acad.), sophomore Kendall Vanderhoof (Glenwood Springs, CO/Glenwood Springs), freshman Crile Hart and junior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills). Denison finished seventh overall in the timed final event with a time of 7:28.29 with the quartet of freshman Mia Chiappe (Hinsdale, IL/Central), sophomore Hannah Rusinko (Pittsburgh, PA/Norwin), sophomore Erica Hsu (Iowa City, IA/West) and sophomore Natalie Zaravella (Victor, NY/Victor). Emory picked up the national title in the event with a meet record time of 7:13.51.
The 2018 national meet continues through Saturday evening at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana, with prelim sessions beginning each morning at 10:00 a.m. (EST) and final sessions starting nightly at 6:00 p.m. (EST).