CANTON, Ohio, February 14. AFTER 12 events, the Denison men and Kenyon women have swum out to early leads in the 2008 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships. The Big Red won three of six events and also earned 12 top-five finishes overall on their way to the top of the leaderboard with 557 points. On the women's side, the Ladies reached the wall first in two of six events, and also turned in 11 top-five finishes overall to conclude the first day of competition with 539 points.
In the men's field, defending champion Kenyon finished the day in second with 452 points, followed by Wabash (304) in third and Wooster (241) in fourth. Wittenberg (207) was fifth. The Big Red women finished second. They compiled 495 points. Allegheny (264.5) followed in third; Wooster (220.5) was fourth and Oberlin (186) was fifth.
The Denison women opened the meet with a win in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:35.53, meeting the NCAA Division III automatic qualifying standard. They also qualified for the national championships in the final event of the evening, the 400 medley relay (3:52.37).
Allegheny's Kati Meirs (4:58.71) and Kenyon's Danielle Arad (5:01.38) touched first and second in the women's 500 free and each qualified for the national championship.
Other national cuts were achieved by: Kenyon's Tina Ertel in the women's 200 IM (2:06.49) and Denison's Kristen Hohl (23.63) and Liv Zaleski (23.66) in the women's 50 free. The Kenyon men's 400 medley relay met the national qualifying standard with their winning time of 3:23.25. Individually, Joshua Mitchell, of Kenyon, qualified in the 50 free with a time of 20.61.
Special thanks to NCAC for contributing this report.