2017 NCAA Division III National Championships: Pierce, Emory At It Again in Day 3 Prelims

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At the halfway point, Emory leads the way for the women’s meet with 330 points. Highlighted by two NCAA relay records and a one-two finish in the 200 freestyle last night, it does not look like the Eagles plan on slowing down anytime soon.

But the main storyline to watch so far is the Williams Ephs who currently sit in second place. Last year they took third overall with 386 points. Two days in this time around they already have secured 225 points good enough for second place. They are seventeen points ahead of third-place Kenyon. While Emma Waddell has already swam (and won) two events, 400 IM Champion Megan Pierce still has two individual events left as well as freshman breaststroker Caroline White. This would be the team’s fifth second-place title and first since 2012.

While Emory will walk away with this one, the men’s race is not so clear. Emory currently leads with 244 points followed by Kenyon (214.5) and Denison (193). Emory has only four individual races this morning compared to Kenyon’s six. They will be fine in the sprint back and breast but will certainly lose some ground in the 200 fly. Today, as always, morning swims matter.

You can find our individual pre-meet predictions for the women’s meet here and the men’s predictions are available as well. Stay updated throughout the meet via our 2016-17 Division III Landing Page and live results.

Women’s 200 Fly

NCAA Record: 1:55.66 – Logan Todhunter, Williams (2012)
2016 Top 8: 2:03.77
2016 Top 16: 2:05.30

Last night’s 400 IM National Champion Megan Pierce of Williams made a statement by racing to the top seed in 2:00.68 in heat four. She came in to the meet as the eleventh seed at 2:03.87 and used an opposing approach to that of her IM. While she brought a patient force last night, Pierce went after this race right from that start splitting a 57.19 at the 100. She definitely has even more room to improve as well as her fourth 50 was a 32.58.

Freshman Anne Dassow claimed heat three in 2:02.61 which was just off her seed but exactly what she needed to do to make it back in the top eight for tonight. She sits seventh headed into tonight. St. Thomas sophomore Katelyn Strauss claimed heat five this morning in 2:02.00, a big time drop for her. She went out similarly to Pierce but could not hang on in the back half.

Also in the mix tonight will be RPI’s Shanny Lin who swam a more typical 200 fly race and certainly has the race experience in this event to be well-prepared. She definitely has more left in the tank for tonight after going a 2:02.18 this morning.

Junior MIT Engineer Mary Thielking kicked things off early racing to a 2:04.04 out of the early heats of this event. Her efforts were good enough to secure a spot in tonight’s consolation final. This was nearly a two second drop for Thielking. She will be joined by Denison’s Halli Garza in this heat who came in as the top seed but fell to ninth this morning.

                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Pierce, Megan          SR Williams          2:03.87    2:00.68  
                 27.07        57.19 (30.12)
        1:28.10 (30.91)     2:00.68 (32.58)
  2 Strauss, Katelyn       SO St. Thomas        2:03.61    2:02.00  
                 27.17        57.31 (30.14)
        1:28.90 (31.59)     2:02.00 (33.10)
  3 Lin, Shanny            JR RPI               2:01.82    2:02.18  
                 27.43        58.13 (30.70)
        1:29.79 (31.66)     2:02.18 (32.39)
  4 Wolff, Veronica        FR Williams          2:03.04    2:02.20  
                 28.02        59.24 (31.22)
        1:30.28 (31.04)     2:02.20 (31.92)
  5 Campbell, Megan        JR Emory             2:04.17    2:02.25  
                 27.57        58.30 (30.73)
        1:30.61 (32.31)     2:02.25 (31.64)
  6 Leitz, Meggie          JR Ursinus           2:03.72    2:02.49  
                 27.06        57.93 (30.87)
        1:29.73 (31.80)     2:02.49 (32.76)
  7 Dassow, Anne           FR Grove City        2:01.91    2:02.61  
                 27.45        58.50 (31.05)
        1:30.01 (31.51)     2:02.61 (32.60)
  8 Brown, Abigail         SR Johns Hopkins     2:04.14    2:03.13  
                 28.04        59.48 (31.44)
        1:31.35 (31.87)     2:03.13 (31.78)

Men’s 200 Fly

NCAA Record: 1:44.93 – Alex Anderson, Mary Washington (2015)
2016 Top 8: 1:49.12
2016 Top 16: 1:50.34

Just a sophomore, Brandon Lum of Washington University will be tonight’s top seed in this event. Out a 50.43, Lum can still work on his second 100 to go even faster tonight. His time was a best by over two seconds.

NYU junior Ian Rainey threw everyone for a bit of a loop this morning by claiming the second seed out of lane one in heat one. The second to last seed coming in, Rainey swam a time faster than the winner of this event last year. After earning runner-up honors in last night’s 400 IM, Rainey will be looking to earn his first D-3 National Title tonight.

Bouke Edskes of MIT took the third seed at 1:47.64, another best time out of this field. Emory and Kenyon each put one swimmer in the A final in Christian Baker (1:48.14-5th) and Jonathon Zimdars (1:48.67). The Lords also have junior David Perez in the fourteenth seed.

                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Lum, Brandon           SO Wash U. MO        1:48.59    1:46.33  
                 24.08        50.43 (26.35)
        1:17.68 (27.25)     1:46.33 (28.65)
  2 Rainey, Ian            JR NYU               1:53.68    1:47.02  
                 24.25        51.37 (27.12)
        1:18.83 (27.46)     1:47.02 (28.19)
  3 Edskes, Bouke          FR MIT               1:49.01    1:47.64  
                 24.45        51.54 (27.09)
        1:19.48 (27.94)     1:47.64 (28.16)
  4 Colmenares, Carlos     FR NYU               1:49.45    1:47.76  
                 24.03        51.28 (27.25)
        1:18.92 (27.64)     1:47.76 (28.84)
  5 Baker, Christian       SR Emory             1:48.48    1:48.14  
                 24.53        52.05 (27.52)
        1:20.13 (28.08)     1:48.14 (28.01)
  6 Spurrell, Samuel       JR Amherst           1:50.68    1:48.56  
                 24.21        51.77 (27.56)
        1:19.65 (27.88)     1:48.56 (28.91)
  7 Zimdars, Jonathon      SO Kenyon            1:48.50    1:48.67  
                 24.21        51.41 (27.20)
        1:19.43 (28.02)     1:48.67 (29.24)
  8 Riek, Mitchell         SO Carnegie Mellon   1:49.53    1:48.77  
                 24.61        52.38 (27.77)
        1:20.44 (28.06)     1:48.77 (28.33)

Women’s 100 Back

NCAA Record: 53.46 – Celia Oberholzer, Kenyon (2013)
2016 Top 8: 55.70
2016 Top 16: 56.40

No, this isn’t a replay of last night’s 200 freestyle. Once again, Emory has taken the top two seeds in an event; Freshman Caroline Olson had a true breakout swim racing to 54.94. A couple heats later, teammate Cindy Cheng swam a 54.89. These were the only two women under 55 this morning. Olson came in as the ninth seed and

Defending champion in this event Emma Paulson will be the third seed with a very solid 55.07 this morning. Paulson was out fast enough this morning but fell off on the last lap. Despite falling short to Olson this morning, Williams’ Olivia Jackson swam a 55.35 to qualify fourth out of heat three. She will faster tonight for sure.

Emory will have a third swimmer in this final as Claire Liu had the fastest first 50 in the field this morning and the sixth time overall. Emily Rollo of Washington and Lee will round out the top heat tonight after finishing in a best time of 55.75. Union’s Christina Belforti took the sixteenth seed with a 56.25.

                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Cheng, Cindy           JR Emory               54.86      54.89  
                 26.58        54.89 (28.31)
  2 Olson, Caroline        FR Emory               55.93      54.94  
                 26.67        54.94 (28.27)
  3 Paulson, Emma          SR St. Thomas          55.39      55.07  
                 26.57        55.07 (28.50)
  4 Jackson, Olivia        SR Williams            55.56      55.35  
                 27.12        55.35 (28.23)
  5 Daher, Sara            SR Bates               56.42      55.49  
                 27.20        55.49 (28.29)
  6 Liu, Claire            SR Emory               56.14      55.56  
                 26.48        55.56 (29.08)
  7 Hong, Eleanore         SR Rose-Hulman         56.51      55.72  
                 27.14        55.72 (28.58)
  8 Rollo, Emily           SR W & L               55.78      55.75  
                 26.80        55.75 (28.95)

Men’s 100 Back

NCAA Record: 46.93 – Ben Lin, Williams (2017)
2016 Top 8: 49.32
2016 Top 16: 49.57

NCAA record holder in this event Ben Lin cruised to a 47.75 top seed this morning. Clearly using a relaxed approach, the men’s 100 back will be on record watch later on tonight. Lin split 23.00-24.75.

NYU’s Chad Moody blasted a 48.23 for the second seed out of heat four, and was followed by Kinglsey Bowen of Tufts and Emile Kuyl of Johns Hopkins. Emory’s Sage Ono was also out slower than usual splitting 23.49-25.18. Both fifty splits will be much faster tonight as he will be a contender for the top three.

Kenyon and Denison each placed a swimmer in the consolation final. Ben Baturka will swim for the Lords (49.21 – 11th) and Jason Wesseling will swim for the Big Red (49.32 – 12th). Taking sixteenth in this event was Christopher Szymczak of Wheaton (Il).

Women’s 100 Breast

NCAA Record: 1:00.54 – Lindsay Payne, Williams (2006)
2016 Top 8: 1:03.12
2016 Top 16: 1:04.19

Defending champion Samantha Senczyzszyn swam a great morning time of 1:01.88 with no one within a second of her in her heat. She will be given a run for her money tonight though, so you can expect an intense race to come.

She will be challenged by Denison freshman Kt Kustritz who has had a standout freshman season but will be looking to make up for a disqualification in her prelim heat of Wednesday’s 200 IM. Her 1:02.25 also looked smooth. Her splits were nearly identical to Senczyszyn’s so it appears that the two had similar strategies this morning.

Emory sophomore Hannah Lally made her mark in this event by going a 1:02.58 for a one second drop. Kenyon’s Julia Wilson was close behind in 1:02.69. Springfield senior Emily Medeiros has the most experience in this event at the NCAA level and will also be one to watch.

Caroline Conboy of William Smith took the sixteenth seed in 1:03.91.

  1 Senczyszyn, Sam        SO UW-Eau Claire     1:01.11    1:01.88  
                 29.12      1:01.88 (32.76)
  2 Kustritz, KT           FR Denison           1:01.46    1:02.25  
                 29.39      1:02.25 (32.86)
  3 Lally, Hannah          SO Emory             1:03.63    1:02.58  
                 29.61      1:02.58 (32.97)
  4 Wilson, Julia          JR Kenyon            1:01.47    1:02.69  
                 29.51      1:02.69 (33.18)
  5 Medeiros, Emily        SR Springfield       1:03.09    1:02.98  
                 29.92      1:02.98 (33.06)
  6 White, Caroline        FR Williams          1:02.62    1:03.05  
                 29.85      1:03.05 (33.20)
  7 Bagley, Erin           SR Wheaton IL        1:02.79    1:03.19  
                 29.39      1:03.19 (33.80)
  8 Mesaros, Katherine     FR Denison           1:03.10    1:03.22  
                 29.53      1:03.22 (33.69)

Men’s 100 Breast

NCAA Record: 51.14 – Andrew Wilson, Emory (2016)
2016 Top 8: 55.49
2016 Top 16: 56.06

Emory senior Andrew Wilson not only raced to a new Division-III NCAA record in the 100 breast this morning, he also achieved the fastest time out of any of the three divisions so far this year. While men’s D-1 NCAAs are still a week away, Wilson’s 51.02 was enough to top the rankings at this time, and this was only prelims.

Tonight could be the night we see Wilson drop below 51 seconds; he split 24.26-26.76 this morning. He came home 27.10 in last night’s 400 medley relay and was out 23.17. Obviously, he will not be out this fast without a relay start, but he should be a little more aggressive up front tonight.

The last time any NCAA swimmer dipped below the 51-second mark was when Kevin Cordes (50.25 – Arizona) and Chuck Katis (50.89 – Cal) did so at the 2015 NCAA Division I National Championships.

All Andrew Wilson talk aside, a handful of other swimmers had impressive prelim swims as well. NYU’s Timothy Kou raced to a best of 54.36 and Hopkins’ Evan Holder swam a 54.44 for third. Holder went 53.05 in last night’s 400 medley relay so expect him to earn second place honors tonight.

Washington University’s Michael Lagieski (54.64) and Coast Guard’s Chasse Sodemann (54.67) also swam under 55; Lagieski swam a 53.34 in last night’s relay so he could be in the mix as well.

                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Wilson, Andrew         SR Emory               51.14      51.02  
                 24.26        51.02 (26.76)
  2 Kou, Timothy           JR NYU                 54.88      54.36  
                 25.76        54.36 (28.60)
  3 Holder, Evan           SR Johns Hopkins       54.82      54.44  
                 25.42        54.44 (29.02)
  4 Lagieski, Michael      SR Wash U. MO          54.27      54.64  
                 25.67        54.64 (28.97)
  5 Sodemann, Chasse       SO Coast Guard         54.77      54.67  
                 25.56        54.67 (29.11)
  6 Yamaguchi, Reona       FR Chicago             54.22      55.11  
                 25.95        55.11 (29.16)
  7 Sonnek, Tanner         SO Gustavus            55.10      55.24  
                 26.00        55.24 (29.24)
  8 McManus, Samuel        JR DePauw              55.15      55.25  
                 26.10        55.25 (29.15)
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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is the assistant swim coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Keene State, as well as KSC's head site coach for Greenwood Swimming. Pimer also helped coach 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold.

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