2019 NCAA Division III Championships: Top Ten Men’s Individual Scorers

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Photo Courtesy: Linda Striggo

Denison, the 2019 NCAA Men’s Division III Champions, had three of the top ten individual scorers at this year’s meet, and a whole group of other multiple event finalists. Kenyon and Emory each had two of the top ten scorers and two impact freshman found their way into the top seven scorers.

As with the top ten scoring women, the 200 IM proved to be common ground for many of these men, with five of the top eight scorers racing in the Championship final. That’s evidence of their versatility, and how they mange to score highly across their event lineups.

Here’s a look at the top ten individual men’s scorers at the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships…

2018-2019 Season Preview: Men’s Top 10 Returning Scorers

2019 Psych Sheet Preview: Men’s Top 10 Projected Scorers

Men’s Full Results

1. David Fitch: Kenyon, Sophomore -54

100 Fly- 1st (46.92), 100 Back- 1st (46.66), 50 Free- 5th (20.08)

As a freshman David Fitch was fourth in the 100 fly in 48.34, DQed in the 100 back and 18th in the 50 free (20.57). Now in 2019 as a sophomore he was named Swimmer of the Year. In addition to scoring more individual points than any other man in the meet, Fitch set an NCAA record in the 100 fly and was only .04 off the 100 backstroke NCAA record as he won both events.

Fitch made big moves in the 50 free as well, up from not scoring in 2018 to a half second faster and fifth overall in 2019.

2. Collin Miller: UW-Eau Claire, Junior -52

100 Breast- 1st (53.38), 100 Free- 3rd (43.88), 200 IM- 3rd (1:47.69)

Collin Miller was the number two man on the scored psych sheets and he delivered with 52 individual points.

In 2018 he was fourth in the 200 IM in 1:48.43, DQed in the 100 breast final, and 14th in the 100 free (44.96). This year things were very different, with three Championship finals that resulted in a National Title and two bronze performances.

2. Bebe Wang: Denison, Junior -52

200 IM- 1st (1:47.02), 200 Back- 2nd (1:44.93), 400 IM- 4th (3:51.46)

bebe-wang-denison-ncaa-podium

Photo Courtesy: Linda Striggo

Bebe Wang went into the meet with the first, third, and fourth seeds. He held his places in his IMs, and moved up a place in the 200 back.

Wang won the 200 IM, after finishing a half second faster than his third place time from his sophomore year. This year’s 400 IM field was faster than in 2018, and Wang made it into the final. At night he was two seconds faster than his 2018 swim, but fell from second last year to fourth this go ’round.

In the 200 IM Wang was a full four tenths faster than his winning time from 2018, but Chicago’s Byrne Litschgi was too much, winning in 1:44.04. Next year Wang will have a chance to defend his 200 IM title and go out back on top of the 200 back.

4. Tom Gordon: Emory, Senior -49

500 Free- 1st (4:24.19), 1650 Free- 1st (15:14.84), 200 Free- 9th (1:38.88)

Tom Gordon defended his 500 and 1650 National titles. He couldn’t match his 200 free performance from last year (He was third in 2018 in 1:37.41 after going 1:38.31 in the morning), ending up in the Consolation final.

If Gordon had gone that 200 free time in the morning he would have been tied for 8th, facing a swim off to get into the Championship final. At night that time would have been good for seventh.

After Gordon did not even race in a mid-season invite, and was touched out in his signature races at his senior conference meet, two national titles were a redeeming ending.

5. Bryan Fitzgerald: Kenyon, Freshman -47

400 IM- 2nd (3:51.12), 500 Free- 3rd (4:25.61), 1650 Free- 5th (15:28.56)

Bryan Fitzgerald made some big drops in his first year in college, some drops that helped the Lords make big leaps in their NCAA point total this year. Fitzgerald had a pre-college best 400 IM of 4:00.57. He dropped four seconds at mid-season and four more when it mattered most at NCAAs, to take National Runner Up.

In his senior spring Fitzgerald went a 4:28.38 in the 500 free. This spring, he was three seconds faster and third in Division III.

At Nationals he was also a full ten seconds faster than his high school best 1650. If Fitzgerald can continue to improve into his sophomore year and beyond, he’ll continue to have an important impact on Kenyon’s performances.

6. Bouke Edskes: MIT, Junior -46

100 Fly- 2nd (47.47), 200 Fly- 4th (1:47.61),  200 IM- 5th (1:48.55)

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Photo Courtesy: Paul Rutherford; MIT Athletics

Bouke Edskes was back to his freshman year form at his junior year Nationals. After falling to tenth in the 200 IM as a sophomore, Edskes was back up to fifth in the event this year, in what turned out to be his lowest finish of the week.

Despite finishing third in the 400 IM last year, Edskes went back to his freshman year NCAA lineup and took on the 100 fly, where he finished runner-up for the second time in his career. In the 200 fly Edskes was a bit off his best time, but touched fourth, six places higher than in 2018. In 2020 Edskes will have some event choices to make, as he continues to hunt for his first National title.

7. Jason Hamilton: Emory, Freshman -45

200 Breast- 1st (1:57.34), 400 IM- 6th (3:53.07), 500 Free- 6th (4:26.37)

Jason Hamilton was another freshman with big drops when it mattered the most. In the 500 free Hamilton was a 4:34.38 in December of his senior year. He was down to 4:31.04 by the end of his first semester in college, and knocked another five seconds off that time to finish sixth at NCAAs.

In the 400 IM Hamilton was 3:59.31 in his senior spring, then 3:56.05 at mid-season and even faster (3:53.07) at Nationals.

Hamilton saved the best drop for last of the weekend. His pre-college 200 breast best was a 2:02.39 in December of senior year. Then he went 1:59.59 at mid-season. Hamilton touched in 1:59.09 in prelims at Nationals to land a lane in the Championship final and then blew that time away, with a winning 1:57.34 to pick up key team points in the final individual swimming event of the week.

8. Matt Hedman: Denison, Senior -44

500 Free- 4th (4:25.93), 1650- 2nd (15:19.60), 400 IM- 6th (3:53.07)

Matt Hedman put up some exceptionally quick times in the fall, setting high hopes for his senior NCAA performances based on the psych sheet. It turned out Hedman did not have as much room to move from his seeds as others. He posted his best 500 free time to take fourth, after finishing runner-up last year.

He was right at his best in the 400 IM, but finished sixth, down from fourth last year. Hedman ended the meet just off his best 1650 time and in second, behind Tom Gordon again.

9. Robert Williams: Denison, Junior -44

200 Fly- 2nd (1:45.62), 200 IM- 6th (1:49.11), 400 IM- 5th (3:51.70)

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Photo Courtesy: Denison Athletics Communications

Robert Williams (not to be confused with Kenyon’s All-American Robert Williams), raced the 200 fly almost a second faster than last year’s winning time, but finished second as the NCAA title went to NCAA record holder and senior Brandon Lum of WashU.

That capped a week in which Williams was also a Championship finalist in both IMs, after improving on both of his times from 2018.

10. Emile Kuyl: Johns Hopkins, Senior -42

200 IM- 4th (1:48.53), 100 Back- 3rd (47.60), 200 Back- 8th (1:48.84)

Emile Kuyl went faster than he did in last year’s finals in all three of his individual events. He improved by eight tenths and two places in the 200 IM.

On day three he came back to go two tenths faster than last year in the 100 back, but finished a place lower in third. In the 200 back, he fell one spot from last year, despite beating his finals time from last year.

For the second year in a row, however, Kuyl fell far short of his prelims time in the 200 back. He still capped his college career with three Championship finals.

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