PHOENIX, Arizona, January 9. TWO invitationals, a three-meet schedule for Denison and a New England Small College Athletic Conference matchup between Amherst and Williams will provide plenty of fireworks this weekend in Division III swimming. Here's a preview of the key meets going on this Friday and Saturday.
Denison vs. Ohio; Denison vs. Eastern Michigan; Denison vs. Wittenberg
The Denison men's and women's swimming and diving teams have a busy weekend of racing ahead, as the Big Red will host Eastern Michigan on Friday afternoon, and the women's team will face Ohio on Saturday afternoon. Denison will also send a partial squad to Wittenberg on Friday night. It will mark the team's first competitions since the Miami Invitational last month, where the men finished first and the women third. Junior Damon Rosenburg set an NCAA Division III record in the 100 breast at the Miami Invite, becoming the first Division III swimmer in history to break 54.00 in the 100 breast with a 53.61. Both Denison teams have been on a tear this season, and will look to keep their NCAA championship hopes alive with strong performances this weekend.
Washington University Invite
Washington University will compete for the first time since early December this season as the Bears host the Washington University Invitational in St. Louis. Both teams were scheduled to compete on Wednesday at Wabash, but the meet was postponed. Both the men's and women's squads have had good luck at invitationals this season, as both teams finished first at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational in November and the Wheaton Invitational last month. At Wheaton, freshman Michael Lagieski set a school record in the 100 breast and posted an NCAA B cut in the 200 breast, while teammate Sophie Gan took down a school record of her own in the women's 200 breast. A solid showing this weekend could bump the women's team into the top five nationally and the men into the top 10.
University of Chicago Invite
The University of Chicago will host Olivet Nazarene, Augustana, Monmouth, Lawrence, Lincoln, UW-Whitewater and North Central College beginning tomorrow at the University of Chicago Invitational. It's shaping up to be a highly competitive meet with swimmers bunched together in multiple events on the meet psych sheet. The men should face stiff competition from Olivet Nazarene, while the women will have their hands full with UW-Whitewater. In the December College Swim Coaches Association of America poll, the Chicago men were ranked 12th and the women 10th; both teams will be looking to break into the top 10 with a solid start to the second semester.
Williams vs. Amherst
After their meet against Boston University last weekend was cancelled, Williams College will take to the pool against Amherst on Saturday in the team's first meet since December. The Ephs competed in only three meets during the fall semester, but completely dominated all three of them on the women's side, beating Springfield, Union and Boston College by more than 100 points in each of the three meets. The Williams men won two of their three duals, falling to Boston College. Williams' dual at Amherst on Saturday will jumpstart a busy month of January in which the team has four meets in three weekends. Amherst has a similar story, having competed in four dual meets in the fall and come away with four wins on the women's side and four on the men's. Something has to give in this New England Small College Conference matchup.