2019 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championship Central

2019 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championship Central

The 2019 NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will be held over a four-day period at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the Greensboro Aquatic Center will serve as co-hosts for the event that will run from Wednesday, March 20, through Saturday, March 23. 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 70 total student-athletes from Denison, Kenyon and Wooster.

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 38 of the last 39 years, interrupted only once by Emory's title in 2017. 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. The Denison men, who are the defending national champions, own four total team championships after claiming the 2016 title and posting back-to-back titles in 2011 and '12, while the Big Red women won their lone national title in 2001.

2019 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships Links
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2019 NCAC All-Americans (Top-8)

 

NCAC Team-by-Team Previews

WOMEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS

DENISON enters the meet in the hunt for a national title as the top team in the final TYR/CSCAA Division III Top-25 rankings. The Big Red looks to continue their string of 27 consecutive top-six finishes at nationals. Over that stretch, Denison has won one national title and finished as the national runner-up on seven different occasions.

Of the 16 Big Red athletes making the trip to Greensboro, there are 13 juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. Junior KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul College), who has collected 13 All-American certificates over the last two seasons, aims to defend her national championships in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. She enters the 2019 meet with the nation's top seed time in the 100 at 59.84 and ranks second nationally in the 200 (2:13.72). Kustritz also holds the second fastest time in the 200 IM at 1:59.68 and is expected to swim key legs on several of Denison's relay teams. The Big Red enter the meet with the nation's top time to date in the 400 (3:22.30) and 200 (1:31.28) freestyle relays, as well as in the 400 medley relay (3:40.75). Denison also holds the second fastest time in the 200 medley relay at 1:40.52.

Sophomore Maddie Hopkins (Chico, CA/Chico) will likely join Kustritz as a leg on all four top-seeded relays, while also entering the meet with top-five times in three individual events. Hopkins owns the fastest time in the 50 free at 22.85, while also holding the second-best time in the 100 free (50.12) and third-fastest time in the 100 butterfly (54.63). Junior Natalie Zaravella (Victor, NY/Victor) also enters the national meet with a top-five time, as she is seeded fifth in the 400 IM (4:21.74).

While Denison's roster has at least one national qualifier in every event, the Big Red will look to score key team points in the individual medleys. Kustritz is followed in the 200 IM by three additional swimmers with top-20 seed times, including Zaravella seeded 11th (2:03.79), junior Michaela Morrison (Arlington, VA/Yorktown) in 16th (2:05.50) and junior Erica Hsu (Iowa City, IA/West) in 19th (2:05.75). Hsu also joins Zaravella in the 400 IM, as she ranks seventh overall with a time of 4:24.68.

Other Denison swimmers with top-10 seeds going into the national meet include junior Kate Mesaros (Ann Arbor, MI/Dexter) in the 100 (6th; 1:02.40) and 200 (7th; 2:17.36) breaststroke events, sophomore Mia Chiappe (Hinsdale, IL/Hinsdale Central) in the 100 (10th; 51.00) and 200 (8th; 1:50.33) freestyles, and junior Hannah Rusinko (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) in the 500 free (10th; 4:56.75).

Juniors Naomi Clayton (Lexington, KY/Sayre) and Allison Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids, MI/Forest Hills Central) will represent the Big Red in both diving events. In the one-meter competition at regionals, Fitzgerald finished third out of 28 divers totaling 424.05 points, while Clayton took seventh (404.65). On the three-meter board, Clayton placed seventh out of 27 divers with 416.80 points and Fitzgerald followed in eighth (412.70). This will be Clayton's first trip to the national meet, while Fitzgerald, a four-time All-American, placed fifth on the one-meter board and eighth overall in the three-meter competition a season ago. The upcoming meet is Fitzgerald's third-straight appearance on the national stage.

Rounding out DU's roster for the national meet are five juniors, Caroline Colville (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side Academy), Casey Kirby (Long Grove, IL/Stevenson), Angela Le (Eagan, MN/Burnsville), Gabriella Nutter (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. Mary's School) and Zoe Whelan (Memphis, TN/St. Agnes Academy). Olivia Lantry (Glencoe, IL/New Trier Township) will finish her rookie campaign on the national stage. 

KENYON is in excellent position to dethrone nine-time defending Division III women's champion, Emory, and pick up its first NCAA title since 2009 as the team will travel to Greensboro with 17 national qualifiers this spring. Heading into the championship, the Ladies and the Eagles tied for the No. 2 spot in the final TYR/CSCAA Division III Top-25 rankings.

Kenyon will compete with five seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores and two freshmen. The Ladies will be represented by at least one national qualifier in every event and will look to score significant team points having 16 different swimmers seeded in the top-25 in eight individual events. Nine athletes are top-21 in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 backstroke, while 12 Ladies hold top-25 times in the 500 free, 100 fly and 200 back.

Sophomore Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken School), who owns seven All-American certificates, will look to defend her national champion titles in the 200 IM and both the 100 and 200 backstroke events. She enters the meet with the nation's top seed time in all three events clocking in at 1:58.63 in the 200 IM, 54.53 in the 100 back, and 1:57.35 in the 200 back. Hart is expected to swim key legs on several of Kenyon's relay teams, as the Ladies enter the national meet with the top time in the 200 medley (1:40.48) and 800 free (7:19.77), while also holding the second-fastest times in the 200 free (1:32.02) and 400 medley (3:42.75).

Fourteen-time All-American senior Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) will likely join Hart on several relays, while also entering the meet with top-five times in two individual events. Wilson owns the fourth-fastest time in both the 100 (50.43) and 200 (1:49.26) freestyles, while also earning the No. 8 seed in the 50 free (23.31). Kenyon holds the fourth through sixth seeds in the 200 free, as 18-time All-American senior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills) holds the fifth-fastest time (1:49.91) and junior Kendall Vanderhoof (Glenwood Springs, CO/Glenwood Springs) is the No. 6 seed (1:50.16).

Other top-five seeds for the Ladies include sophomore Emmerson Mirus (Madison, WI/West) who enters the 50 free as the third seed (23.07), freshman Andrea Perttula (Idaho Falls, ID/Idaho Falls) who holds the fourth-fastest time in both the 100 (1:02.14) and 200 (2:15.27) breaststroke events, and sophomore Makena Markert (Greensboro, NC/Southwest Guilford) who follows right behind the rookie with the fifth-fastest 100-breast time (1:02.30).

Additional top-10 seeded times include: Vanderhoof as the six seed in the 500 free (4:54.52) and the seventh seed in the 1650 free (17:01.40), senior Delaney Ambrosen (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka), an 11-time All-American, is the seventh seed in the 200 back (2:01.16) and Orbach-Mandelis will compete in the 500 as the No. 8 seed (4:55.12). 

Senior Madeline Carlson (Wayzata, MN/Blake School) will represent Kenyon in the diving well after placing in the top-10 on both boards at regionals. The senior recorded 417.35 points for fourth out of 28 divers on the one-meter board and 10th out of 27 divers in the three-meter competition with 396.25 points.

Eight additional swimmers have posted national qualifying marks for the Ladies this season, including senior Caitlin Foley (Lewisburg, PA/Lewisburg Area), juniors Gail Anderson (Silver Sping, MD/Albert Einstein) and Summer Otazu (Pasadena, CA/Maranatha), the sophomore quartet of Celina German (Bloomington, IN/Bloomington South), Kaitlyn Griffith (Monument, CO/Palmer Ridge), Caylee Hamilton (Wadsworth, IL/Woodlands Academy Sacred Heart) and Alexis Vetrano (Raleigh, NC/Leesville), and freshman Racine Ross (Tamarac, FL/Florida Virtual School)

MEN'S TEAM PREVIEWS 

DENISON enters the national meet as the top team in the final TYR/CSCAA Division III Top-25 rankings and is primed to defend its national title at the 2019 NCAA Championships. The Big Red join Kenyon as the only two teams arriving in Greensboro with the maximum number of 18 competitors on their roster. While the main goal is to win back-to-back national titles, and their fifth overall, the Big Red will also look to keep their 13-year streak of top-three finishes at the national meet alive. Of the 18 Big Red swimmers that qualified this season, there are six seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. 

DU enters the 2019 meet with a quartet of swimmers holding the nation's top seed time in five individual events, including senior Matthew Hedman (Anoka, MN/Anoka) in the 500 (4:26.22) and 1650 (15:18.98) freestyles, senior Ryan Stevenson (Madeira, OH/Madeira) in the 200 breaststroke (1:59.43), junior Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) in the 200 IM (1:47.85) and junior Mitch Williams (Columbus, OH/Loyola Blakefield) in the 200 butterfly (1:46.65). Hedman also has the second-fastest time in the 400 IM (3:53.56), while Wang will look to defend his national title in the 200 back as he holds the third-best time this season (1:45.47) and is the No. 4 seed in the 400 IM (3:54.79). Williams will join Hedman and Wang in the 400 IM with the fifth-fastest time (3:55.45), while Stevenson has the ninth-best time in the 200 IM (1:49.87).

Three of the Big Red's relay squads hold top seeds going into the national meet. Junior Matthew McHugh (Charlottesville, VA/St. Anne's Belfield) will likely join the defending champions, sophomore Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial), Stevenson and Wang, in the 800 free relay (6:33.89). Junior Eric Gerlach (Naperville, IL/Naperville Central) could race in the 400 free relay (2:57.52) with Horton, McHugh and Wang, while seniors, Carson Clear (Fort Collins, CO/Fossil Ridge) and Kenny Fox (Juneau, AK/Thunder Mountain), will likely race with junior Kymani Senior (White Plains, NY/Woodlands) and freshman Colin MacMillan (Bay Village, OH/Bay) in the 200 medley relay (1:27.99). Clear, Senior and seniors Tiernan Foster-Smith (Edina, MN/The Blake School) and Brett Weicht (Edina, MN/Edina) may race as the No. 2 seed in the 400 medley relay (3:15.71).

Denison swimmers have also recorded nine other top-10 times as individuals going into the national meet. Horton is the No. 2 seed in the 200 free (1:37.84), Weicht has posted the third-fastest time the 100 fly (48.08), while freshman Noah Houskeeper (North Brunswick, NJ/Peddie School) holds the No. 3 seed in the 200 fly (1:47.76) and Clear is seeded fourth in the 100 backstroke (48.40). Junior James Baker (Honeoye Falls, NY/Honeoye Falls-Lima) is the fifth seed in the 1650 free (15:31.71), Senior has the sixth-best time in the 50 free (20.18), sophomore John Stauffer (Skillman, NJ/Montgomery) is the No. 6 seed in the 400 IM (3:55.55), Foster-Smith holds the sixth-fastest time in the 100 breast (54.65) and freshman Richie Kurlich (Kent, OH/Walsh Jesuit) is seeded eighth in the 200 breast (2:00.44). Freshman Liam Picozzi (Ballston Spa, NY/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) will compete in his first national championship with the Big Red, as he is seeded 11th in the 100 back (48.92).

KENYON, which won its most recent national title in 2015, enters the national meet as the No. 2 team in the final TYR/CSCAA Division III Top-25 rankings. The Lords will battle with Denison for the 2019 title as the only other team competing in Greensboro with the maximum number of competitors on their roster. Of the 18 Kenyon swimmers that qualified this season, there are four seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen.

The Lords head into the national meet with the fastest squad in the 400-medley relay (3:15.23), while holding the No. 2 seed in both the 200 medley (1:28.19) and 200 freestyle (1:20.83) relays. Kenyon will also race in both the 400 (2:58.71) and 800 (6:35.94) freestyle relays, entering with the third-fastest seed times.

Five swimmers have earned top-five seed times in seven different individual events, led by sophomore David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton), who owns the nation's top time in the 100 butterfly at 47.74. The sophomore will contend in the 100 backstroke as the No. 2 seed (47.89) while freshman Luis Weekes (St. Thomas, Barbados/Baylor School) has the second-fastest time in the 200 IM (1:47.89). Senior Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mount Vernon) is the third seed in the 200 freestyle (1:38.06), while junior Connor Rumpit (Brookfield, WI/Brookfield Central) holds the fourth-best time in the 500 free (4:27.42) and senior Humphrey Pruett (Minneapolis, MN/Blake School) has the No. 5 seed in both the 100 (54.58) and 200 (1:59.84) breaststroke events.

In addition, Kenyon will have 10 swimmers enter the meet with top-10 seed times in nine individual events, including junior Tommy Weiss (St. Paul, MN/St. Thomas Academy), who is the No. 6 seed in the 100 fly (48.31) and the nine seed in the 100 back (48.63), while senior Jon Zimdars (Whitewater, WI/Whitewater) will join Weiss in the 100 fly with the eighth-fastest time (48.39). Williams has the sixth-best time in the 500 free (4:27.58), while junior Mick Bartholomew (Boulder, CO/Boulder) is the six seed in both the 200 back (1:46.65) and 200 breast (2:00.25) and Rumpit holds the seventh-fastest time in the 1650 free (15:34.43). The 400 IM will feature sophomore Grant Thompson (Austin, TX/Fusion Academy), freshman Mark Lang (Marshall, MI/Marshall) and junior Colin Reardon (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington), with Grant as the seven seed (3:55.62), Lang in the nine spot (3:55.88) and Reardon holding the 10th-fastest time (3:55.89). Fitch will compete in the 50 free with the ninth-best time (20.30) and freshman Joe Black (Kingston, Jamaica/The Peddie School) has the No. 9 seed in the 100 free (44.45).

Six additional Lords are set to compete at the 2019 NCAA Championships, including freshmen Bryan Fitzgerald (West Bend, WI/West Bend East) and Nicholas Tong (Taichung, Taiwan/Morrison Academy), sophomores Marcus Hong (Westlake, OH/St. Ignatius) and Cole McMahon-Gioeli (Charlottesville, VA/Charlottesville), junior Ben Baturka (Drexel Hill, PA/Episcopal Academy) and senior AJ Reid (North Bay Village, FL/Design & Architecture).

WOOSTER will have a representative at the national championship for the first time since 2014, as senior Cameron Gelwicks (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville Community) made the cut. Gelwicks, who qualified by virtue of his NCAA Division III "B" cut as the leadoff leg of Wooster's All-NCAC 800 freestyle relay, will compete in the 50 (56th; 22.39), 100 (45th; 46.36), and 200 (15th; 1:39.19) freestyle events. The senior's time in the 200 free is a Wooster record, while he also holds the current program-best in the 500 free (4:34.98) individually and was part of the top 400 (3:03.21) and 800 (6:49.56) freestyle relays.