Five national titles highlighted Friday night’s action by NCAC student-athletes at the 2019 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C.
Through 29 total events, NCAC student-athletes have collected 11 national titles overall, 66 Top-8 All-American performances and 31 additional Honorable-Mention All-American efforts.
Through the first three nights of competition, Denison holds a commanding lead in the men’s team standings with 426.5 points, followed by Kenyon in second (347), Emory in third (303.5), Johns Hopkins in fourth (237) and Washington University (MO) in fifth with 174 points.
On the women’s side, Emory still holds the top spot in the team standings with 351 points, followed closely by Kenyon, as the Ladies are just 11 points behind the Eagles (340). Denison holds third with 319 points, while Williams sits in fourth (245) and NYU is in fifth (177).
Women's 200 Butterfly
In the championship heat of the women’s 200 butterfly, Denison junior Zoe Whelan (Memphis, TN/St. Agnes Academy) was the NCAC’s lone representative, placing fifth overall with a time of 2:02.60. NYU junior Honore Collins outpaced the field in the “A” finals for the national title with a time of 2:00.40.
Men's 200 Butterfly
The Big Red continued to pull away from the pack in the men's team standings with three swimmers finishing in the top-eight, led by junior Mitch Williams (Columbus, OH/Loyola Blakefield) finishing second in 1:45.62 and freshman Noah Houskeeper (North Brunswick, NJ/Peddie School) taking third in a time of 1:47.35. Freshman teammate Richie Kurlich (Kent, OH/Walsh Jesuit) placed eighth in a time of 1:48.49, while Washington University (MO) senior Brandon Lum won the national title in the event in 1:45.68.
Women's 100 Backstroke
Kenyon picked up 44 points in the 100 backstroke with four swimmers scoring in the consolation and championship finals, led by sophomore Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken School) taking gold in the event for the second-consecutive year after finishing in a time of 53.81. Junior teammate Summer Otazu (Pasadena, CA/Maranatha) placed fourth touching the wall in 55.50.
Men's 100 Backstroke
Kenyon sophomore David Fitch (Conway, MA/Williston Northampton) picked up his second national championship at the 2019 meet after touching first in the 100 backstroke in a time of 46.66, just four one-hundredths of a second off of the national record. Denison freshman Liam Picozzi (Ballston Spa, NY/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) earned a Top-8 All-American finish for the Big Red placing seventh in a time of 48.95.
Women's 100 Breaststroke
Denison junior KT Kustritz (St. Paul, MN/St. Paul College) repeated as the national champion in the 100 breaststroke finishing in a time of 1:00.60. Junior teammate Kate Mesaros (Ann Arbor, MI/Dexter) took fourth in 1:01.38, while Kenyon sophomore Makena Markert (Greensboro, NC/Southwest Guilford) placed sixth touching in a time of 1:02.26 and freshman teammate Andrea Perttula (Idaho Falls, ID/Idaho Falls) rounded out the “A” finals field with an eighth-place finish in 1:03.07.
Men's 100 Breaststroke
Denison senior Tiernan Foster-Smith (Edina, MN/The Blake School) was the NCAC’s lone representative, placing third overall with a time of 54.30 in the 100 breaststroke. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire junior Collin Miller outpaced the field in the “A” finals for the national title with a time of 53.38.
Women's One-Meter Diving
Amherst sophomore Lindsey Ruderman claimed the sweep in the diving events with the one-meter title totaling 493.75 points in the championship finals. The NCAC was represented by Denison junior Allison Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids, MI/Forest Hills Central) who finished fifth overall in the championship finals with a score of 444.20. In the consolation finals, Kenyon senior Madeline Carlson (Wayzata, MN/Blake School) posted 385.25 points to place 15th, while Denison junior Naomi Clayton (Lexington, KY/Sayre) tallied an 11-dive score of 365.90 to place her 20th in the preliminary round.
Women's 800 Free Relay
Two NCAC teams earned top-eight All-American times in the women’s 800 free relay, led by Kenyon earning the national title in 7:17.43 with the team of senior Delaney Ambrosen (Excelsior, MN/Minnetonka), senior Abby Wilson (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy), sophomore Crile Hart (Pepper Pike, OH/Hawken School) and senior Hannah Orbach-Mandel (Tucson, AZ/Catalina Foothills). Denison finished fourth overall in the final event with a time of 7:25.64 with the quartet of sophomore Mia Chiappe (Hinsdale, IL/Hinsdale Central) and juniors Hannah Rusinko (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin), Erica Hsu (Iowa City, IA/West) and Natalie Zaravella (Victor, NY/Victor).
Men’s 800 Free Relay
In the final event on Friday night, the Denison relay squad of sophomore Drake Horton (Madison, WI/James Madison Memorial), juniors Bebe Wang (Naperville, IL/Metea Valley) and Eric Gerlach (Naperville, IL/Naperville Central) and senior Ryan Stevenson (Madeira, OH/Madeira) captured their fourth-straight 800 free relay national title stopping the clock in the championship heat with a winning time of 6:30.57. The Kenyon team of freshman Nicholas Tong (Taichung, Taiwan/Morrison Academy), senior Robert Williams (Gambier, OH/Mount Vernon), junior Mick Bartholomew (Boulder, CO/Boulder) and freshman Bryan Fitzgerald (West Bend, WI/West Bend East) finished in third with a time of 6:34.19.
The 2019 national meet continues through Saturday evening at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., with prelim sessions beginning each morning at 10:00 a.m. (EST) and final sessions starting nightly at 6:00 p.m. (EST).