2019 NCAA Division III Preview: 8 Bonus Storylines and Some Stats

amy-socha-tufts-butterfly

If taking a look at invited times, athlete breakdown by conference, impact freshman and top likely men’s and women’s scorers was not enough to get you ready for next week’s NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship, here’s eight more swimmers and storylines to follow, and some stats on relay seeds and scoring swims to get you ready for all of the races in Greensboro.

Men’s Psych Sheet

Women’s Psych Sheet

Men’s Invited Swimmers by Team

Women’s Invited Swimmers by Team

Jumbo Improvements for Tufts Women

Amy Socha is at the center of a quickly rising Tufts University squad. (They have 10 women qualified, up from one last year.) After spending her freshman year at Kenyon College (where she qualified for NCAAs, but was one of the Ladies left off of Kenyon’s over-18 qualifier team), Socha has been quick to make an impact in the NESCAC.

At her first NESCAC Championships in February (where Tufts vaulted from fourth to second), Socha won the 200 fly (2:01.83), was fourth in the 100 fly (56.09) and 500 free (4:58.64). She heads into NCAAs with the second, 19th, and 18th seeds, respectively in those events. With a range from the 100 fly up to the 500 free, Socha should be a piece of some Jumbo relays as well.

While Socha is qualified in all three of her individual events, Lily Kurtz (200 Breast) and Mary Hufzinger (200 Free) also got individual invites for the Jumbos.

USMMA’s Breaststroke Depth

The US Merchant Marine Academy has six men qualified for Nationals. Four of them are relay only swimmers. The two individual qualifiers? They’re headed to Nationals in the same event– the 100 breaststroke. Freshman Patrick Tolloti is the 11th seed in 55.20 while junior Nolan Monahan is entered eighth with a 54.95. He also was invited in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:00.89.

While the team has two breaststrokers that many of even the country’s top teams would love to have, the Mariners did not have the pieces to put together a medley relay that could earn an NCAA Invite. They were invited in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, and will have a chance to race the medleys.

Julia Durmer’s Title Chances

Julia Durmer 1

Photo Courtesy: Emory Athletics

If she can meet her seeds, Julia Durmer should have a place on the list of top likely scorers for this year, but her story is made more interesting by the journey she’s had to get here. Durmer spent her freshman year at the University of Virginia, before returning to home to the Atlanta area to finish out her college career at Emory.

She took Division III by storm in her NCAA debut in 2017, winning the 1650 from lane one, in a time of 16:27.82. She was also runner up in the 400 IM (4:18.13, 4:16.37 in prelims) and touched sixth in the 200 IM (2:03.32).

Her junior year Durmer finished fourth in the 400 IM (4:20.59), ninth in the 200 IM (2:02.39), and did not race the mile, despite being entered in the event.

This year Durmer is the second seed in the 400 IM behind her freshman teammate Clio Hancock. She is entered third in the 1650, faster than her seed time when she won the event in 2017. In the 200 IM Durmer comes in fifth, already entered with a time faster than she has ever gone at NCAAs. Her performance will be one key piece of Emory’s attempt to claim their tenth straight National Championship.

Roanoke’s First Ever NCAA Qualifier

Roanoke College sophomore Reilly Bird is the Maroons’ first ever NCAA qualifier, making the meet in the 100 back. Bird hails from Port Hope, Ontario, so last year was her first short course yards season. She ended her freshman year with a 57.57 100 back to win the Conference title.

This year Bird came back and blew that time away to defend her ODAC title with a 55.93, seeded seventh in the country. She’s inching towards the ODAC record, a 55.37 swum by Washington & Lee’s Emily Rollo at NCAAs in 2016.

Sibling Duo Makes History for Rhodes

The Rhodes College duo of Allie and Hayden Hill are both history makers for the Lynx. Allie is the team’s first ever four year NCAA qualifier while Hayden is the team’s first ever men’s NCAA qualifier. They were both named the 2019 SAA Swimmers of the Year.

Allie is seeded ninth in the 200 back (2:01.61), 23rd in the 200 IM (2:05.97), and 23rd in the 100 back (56.57). Hayden qualified in the 200 fly (9th-1:48.95), and is also entered in the 100 fly (39th- 49.85) and 100 free (51st-49.17). The two will share their Nationals experience as a capstone to their year of college swimming overlap.

Sam Senczyszyn’s Surprise Senior Year

Photo Courtesy: Christopher Rattray

UW-Eau Claire’s Sam Senczyszyn has not had a straight forward college athletic career, but she’s in a position to end it on a successful note.

In February 2016 at her first conference championships she set the NCAA Division III record in the 200 breaststroke (2:12.20), taking down the mark set by Emily Hyde just a week earlier. At Nationals she finished second to Hyde in 2:13.45.

Senczyszyn won the 100 breaststroke NCAA title in her freshman and sophomore years. But, by day four of her sophomore NCAAs (in 2017) after earning the top seed in the 200 breaststroke, Senczyszyn was in too much pain from a back injury to swim in finals of the event and scratched. She came back to swim the first meet of her junior season, before taking the rest of the year off.

Now, she has returned as a senior, with a slightly lighter racing load. Senczyszyn is second seed in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.18) behind Denison’s National Record Holder KT Kustritz, third seed in the 100 free (50.23), and fourth seed in the 50 free (23.11).

How did the men’s 200 breaststroke get so fast?

It’s been a common theme through preview coverage that the men’s 400 IM is a much faster event this year. The other event with a significantly faster invited time this year is the 200 breaststroke.

In 2018 it took a 2:02.55 to qualify for NCAAs in the event. This year, the Invited time dropped the whole way to 2:00.90. So what happened?

Last year seniors were only three of the 16 invited athletes in the event. Seven of this year’s qualifiers were Invited in the event last year. Four are freshmen. Kenyon’s Michael Bartholomew did not swim the event last year, but did make NCAAs in the 200 and 400 IM and 200 backstroke. Last year Tyler Kimbrell swam the event with his NCAA B cut, after being invited on a relay. This year the Albion junior has made it on his own.

That leaves three new qualifiers- seventh seed Tyler Zanki of Stevens, 11th seed Ryan Grady of Whitworth, and the 15th qualifier Nolan Monahan of USMMA.

The fast got faster, freshmen brought new speed into the mix, and a few athletes had a breakout year to earn an NCAA Invite.

Third Time is the Charm

Swarthmore College’s freshman Tom Ward has swum the mile three times in his life according to USA swimming, and that third effort earned him a trip to Nationals.

He was a freestyler coming out of high school, but not in any event that long. His best 500 was a 4:42.17, while his 200 stood was 1:44.80. Ward had never swum the mile until the TCNJ Invite in December when he went 16:25.11. At a dual meet in mid-January he was 16:51.30.

Then, to win the Centennial Conference Championship Ward blew away those times, touching in 15:42.82. That time snuck Ward into the National meet by two seconds.

He’s just one of many freshmen who burst onto the scene this year. As well as the Swarthmore team has swum since Karin Colby‘s arrival in 2015, the future could be bright for Ward.

And for the numbers folks….

Take a look at a few stats that highlight team standings in the psych sheet: relay seeds, average relay seed, number of athletes, number of swims (including relays), and number of individual swims currently in scoring position.

(Teams are ranked based on average relay seed, but can be arranged alphabetically, or based on other statistics by clicking the arrows in the top row. You may need to scroll horizontally within the table to see all columns.)

Numbers courtesy of Joe Acquaviva, Assistant Swim Coach at Tufts University.

Women’s Stats

School# of swimmers# of swims200 medley relay seed200 free relay seed400 medley relay seed800 free relay seed400 free relay seedtop 16 individual swimsrelay average# divers
Kenyon 165212212241.61
Denison154421141201.82
Emory185843333303.2
Williams143757624164.8
Pomona-Pitzer8193671046.5
W&L61474424939.6
Wash U. MO9151351510509.6
NYU14348135717910
Johns Hopkins1226198912151012.6
Chicago122314111616131144
MIT10201510112016214.44
Bates913922141514314.8
Claremont MS1117239181411615
Tufts1020102612621115
Wesleyan6863010218215
Ursinus519121282620315.6
Connecticut51421202956216.2
St. Kate's617282713117717.2
Amherst8172428179126182
Bowdoin4142719212218521.4
Calvin692014261730021.41
RIT49163120222.33333333
St. Thomas471825221928022.4
Franklin5131121252729122.6
Albion592516232525122.8
BSC483024281319322.8
SUNY Geneseo6142615272323222.83
Case Western482218193026323
Coast Guard493129824023
IWU493223301822125
Rowan581732242831126.4
Carthage492917312927026.6
Berry130N/A
Cal Lutheran120N/A
Caltech131N/A
Carleton131N/A
Chapman000N/A1
CMU262N/A
Dickinson131N/A
George Fox111N/A
Grinnell 000N/A1
Grove City132N/A
Gustavus131N/A
Hope College132N/A
Ithaca000N/A2
John Carroll132N/A
Kalamazoo000N/A1
Linfield130N/A
Loras000N/A1
NAZ131N/A1
Occidental121N/A
Pacific Lutheran131N/A
Puget Sound132N/A
Redlands131N/A
Rensselaer261N/A
Rhodes131N/A
Roanoke College111N/A
Scranton130N/A
Simmons131N/A
Springfield000N/A1
St. Olaf251N/A
SUNY Cortland131N/A
SUNY- Brockport000N/A1
Trinity U131N/A1
Union132N/A
UW- Stevens Point131N/A
UW-L131N/A
UWEC133N/A
VASSAR131N/A
Westminster000N/A1
Wheaton IL133N/A
Wheaton MA133N/A
Whittier000N/A1
Whitworth131N/A
YCP131N/A

Men’s Stats

School# of swimmers# of swims200 medley relay seed200 free relay seed400 medley relay seed800 free relay seed400 free relay seedtop 16 individual swimsrelay average# of divers
Denison185615211292
Kenyon 185822133292.2
Emory154531552173.21
MIT11236367986.22
Tufts1321544101056.6
Amherst818129784482
Johns Hopkins1328722346168.4
Chicago1329869111159
Calvin8154101312849.4
Wash U. MO92611178612710.8
USMMA613178215312.75
Pomona-Pitzer921141617137913.4
Coast Guard7131011181622315.4
Williams724182316219815.6
Rowan69913112324116
Swarthmore5121621121520316.8
CMU6122418141415417
UW-L49197242016217.2
Albion5131524151717217.61
Worchester Poly6121325101825318.2
F&M582315221913318.4
Carthage492112202218018.6
Gustavus512252023921219.6
Bowdoin4102019252114119.81
John Carroll492214192423020.4
Alfred000N/A1
Augustana131N/A
Bard131N/A
Cal Lutheran264N/A
Caltech262N/A
Carnegie Mellon000N/A2
Claremont MS131N/A2
Hope000N/A1
Ithaca000N/A1
Lake Forest000N/A1
Linfield132N/A
Macalester000N/A1
Mary Washington132N/A
NAZ131N/A
NYU394N/A
Rhodes131N/A
Saint Vincent131N/A
Springfield000N/A2
Stevens122N/A
SUNY- Brockport000N/A1
SUNY- Geneseo000N/A1
Trinity U131N/A2
UW- Oshkosh000N/A1
UWEC133N/A1
W&L131N/A
Westminster000N/A1
Wheaton IL263N/A
Wheaton MA131N/A
Whitworth262N/A
Widener132N/A
Wooster131N/A
YCP131N/A

 

3 comments

  1. Laurie Mitchell

    Way to go Lady Jumbos! Go Mary Hufziger, Amy Socha and Lilly Kurtz!!