Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
By Ben Safran
SHENANDOAH, Texas, March 21. PLENTY of strong swims occurred during day two of the NCAA Division III Championships held in Shenandoah, Texas.
Emory continued to overwhelm everyone with their amazing amount of depth with 312.5 points in the women's team title race. Kenyon began to close the gap in the second half the night and is less than 60 points behind with 254. Denison and Williams are battling for 3rd with 198 and 197.5 points respectively. Johns Hopkins has 148 points in 5th and Amherst has quietly amassed 142 points for 6th place.
With the big victory in the 400 medley relay, the Kenyon Lords were able to put almost 40 points between themselves and Denison heading into Day 3. They are at 286 while Denison has totaled 228 points. MIT (204), Johns Hopkins (179) and Emory (160) round out the rest of the top 5. Like their women, the Amherst men are in 6th place with 91 points.
200 Free Relay
Emory started Day 2 at D III Nationals off by earning its first gold in the meet in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Senior Anna Dobben was able to touch out Kenyon as the Lady Eagles won by less than a tenth, in a time of 1:32.93. Kenyon finished 2nd followed by Denison as Emory continued to stretch their lead.
Kenyon's men were able to put a handful of 19s together to win the men's 200 free relay. Stewart-Bates (20.21), Caldwell (19.94), Ramsey (19.57), and Richardson (19.24) combined to go 1:18.96 as Kenyon won the event again. Wyatt Ubellacker gave MIT the early lead when he split a 19.15 in the second spot of their relay, but Kenyon overpowered them coming home. Emory finished 3rd while The College of NJ out touched Johns Hopkins for 4th.
Caroline Wilson continued her hot streak winning the 400 IM and securing her 11th gold, tying the career meet record. She led from the start, outpacing everyone by over 2 seconds in the fly alone and finished in a time of 4:14.27. Michelle Howell of Denison came in 2nd with a 5 second drop from her morning swim touching at 4:22.67. The team story again went back to Emory, whose depth continued to show as they had 4 swimmers in the final heat led by Michelle York as they took 3, 4, 5, and 7th. Mia Michalak, also of Emory, won the consolation heat, putting them up by over 100 points at the conclusion of the event.
Unlike Wilson, who has dominated her event for the past few years, Hugh “Alex” Anderson from Mary Washington University, won his first NCAA Gold in record time. He smashed the record with a 3:50.55 while leading almost the entire race. Allen Weik repeated his 2nd place finish from a year ago in a time of 3:51.89. Last year's champion Paul Dyrkacz, Williams, won the consolation heat at 3:54.95 which would have placed him 5th if he was in the final.
Kirsten Nitz remains undefeated in individual events, winning the 100 fly after taking home the honors in the 50 free the night before. She took a second off her morning time posting a 53.08. Kenyon senior Hannah Saiz came in 2nd and sophomore Hannah Cooper 5th, as they tried to take advantage of one of Emory's off events. Another lesser known school, Widener University, had their first All-American of the decade, coming from junior, Laura Harris.
Like the women, the men's 100 fly had another 50 free, 100 fly champion when Wyatt Ubellacker won in a time of 47.41. This was after a prelim swim where he set the NCAA D III record, with the new mark being 47.34. Chapman of Kenyon and Gill of Connecticut rounded out the top 3.
Williams won their second gold of the evening when Sarah Thompson outswam the rest of the field on the second half. After being 6th at the 100 she split a 54.89 to finish with a time of 1:48.50. Anna Dobben represented Emory coming in 2nd, while both Johns Hopkins and Kenyon had two “A” finalists.
Kenyon men went 1st & 3rd and continued to build onto their overall team lead. Austin Caldwell barely missed the meet record with a time of 1:37.01 and Ian Stewart-Bates went 1:38.28. Remy Mock finished in between them for MIT at 1:37.85. Kenyon had two more swimmers place in the consolation heat and Denison and Johns Hopkins both had strong showings with 3 swimmers each.
400 Medley Relay
Kenyon's 400 medley blew everyone out of the water breaking the NCAA record by more than 2 seconds! Celia Oberholzer showed everyone she was ready for the 100 back tomorrow by going a 53.92 tonight. Katie Kaestner went a 1:02.82 in the breast, and Hannah Saiz dropped a bit time from her 100 fly earlier going 53.02. Haley Townsend anchored in a time of 50.37 to give the Kenyon Ladies a new record of 3:40.13. Hopkins and Emory went 2-3 finishing 4 seconds behind.
In the most exciting race of the night Kenyon's Ian Stewart-Bates pulled out a 43.14 to bring home another 400 Medley Relay gold for the Lords and Ladies. It looked as if the race was going to be between Hopkins' Coggin and MIT's Cheney heading into the last 50, but Stewart-Bates final split was nearly a second faster than both to pull out the victory in a total time of 3:15.39. Hopkins touched at 3:15.72 for 2nd and MIT was 3rd with a 3:15.89.