2019 NCAA Division III Preview: Top Individual Women’s Scorers

hopkins-denison-pre-race-focus-confident

Based on seeds in the psych sheet, Denison has two of the top five projected individual scorers for the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships. (There is a tie for fifth, making it a six woman list.) Claiming the team title requires depth behind a few top stars, but here’s a look at a few women who could finish high on the podium in Greensboro in all three of their individual events.

Women’s Psych Sheet

1. Crile Hart- Kenyon, Sophomore

200 IM- 1st (1:58.63), 100 Back- 1st (54.53), 200 Back- 1st (1:57.35)

Hart heads into her sophomore national championships as she left her freshman year meet, as the top (potential) scorer. She holds the fastest seed time in the three events she won last year.

Her closest competition will likely come from KT Kustritz and Honore Collins in the 200 IM, but even there those women are entered more than a second back.

Kenyon will need Hart to hold her seeds to increase the Ladies’ chances to challenge Emory.

2. Fiona Muir- Emory, Senior

50 Free- 2nd (22.98), 200 Free- 1st (1:48.51), 100 Free- 1st (49.50)

After setting the 50 free NCAA record in prelims last year (a mark that’s a full half second faster than her seed time), there’s no reason to believe Muir cannot repeat her title. After winning the 100 free in 49.29 last year, the senior also likely has the NCAA record in her sights, a 48.98 set by Kendra Stern in 2010.

Muir is the only woman likely to match Hart in points, if she can take the shortest three freestyles. Last year Muir was runner up in the 200 free, but to her since-graduated teammate Cindy Cheng.

3. KT Kustritz- Denison, Junior

200 IM- 2nd (1:59.68), 100 Breast- 1st (59.84), 200 Breast- 2nd (2:13.72)

As the National Record holder Kustritz is the undisputed favorite in the 100 breast. St. Kate’s Jordyn Wentzel has made things interesting in the 200 breast this year, and it could take an NCAA record to win the event.

Kustrtiz (or anybody) will be hard pressed to make it past Hart in the 200 IM, but there is still a race for second place points.

4. Maddie Hopkins- Denison, Sophomore

50 Free- 1st (22.85), 100 Fly- 3rd (54.63), 100 Free- 2nd (50.12)

Hopkins has had an absolute breakout sophomore year. Last year she finished in a tie for 20th in the 50 free in 23.68. She has since slashed eight tenths off that time to take the top seed.

In the 100 free Hopkins enters the meet with the second best time, a time that is 1.6 seconds faster than her NCAA mark last year (a 51.72 that earned 28th).

Hopkins has also taken a half second off her 100 fly time as well (she finished eighth in that event last year). Hopkins’ point potential could be a huge boost to the Big Red and will only strengthen their already solid relays.

5. Honore Collins- NYU, Junior

200 IM- 3rd (2:00.91), 400 IM- 3rd (4:20.57), 200 Fly- 1st (2:01.80)

Collins had an excellent start to her freshman year, winning the 200 IM. She then swam breaststroke on NYU’s 200 medley relay, finished 17th in the 100 fly (with a three second drop from her seed), and dropped three tenths to finish 21st in the 100 breaststroke.

Last year she was third in the 200 IM, and came along in her individual scoring, changing her event line up. Collins touched 12th in the 400 IM and was a bit off her 100 breast seed, finishing 18th.

This year Collins has moved away from the 100 breaststroke and the decision looks like it could be huge for NYU’s team race. Collins comes into the meet with the fastest time, and likely many more points than the zero she scored in the 100 breast. She’s also dropped dramatically in the 400 IM.

5. Laura Westphal- Williams, Sophomore

500 Freestyle- 3rd (4:53.03), 200 Free- 2nd (1:48.54), 1650 Free- 2nd (16:50.89)

Westphal is a range-y freestyler, managing the second fastest 200 and 1650 times. She can sprint too, popping off a 23.06 on the Eph’s 200 free relay and a 49.82 on the end of the 400 medley relay last year.

She’ll have a busy week with a whole host of relays and some demanding distances, but Westphal has two National Titles to defend (500, 1650) and many chances to score significant points for Williams.

Who Else?

In October Swimming World took a look at the top ten returning point scorers. Hart, Kustritz, Muir, and Westphal were last year’s top four scorers, in that order. Based on their NCAA entry times a few of those top ten are not in the mix yet, but their best swims could still be in front of them…

Williams junior Caroline White is the seventh seed in the 100 breast and third in the 200 breast. She heads to Greensboro only ranked 43rd in the 200 IM, but that time comes from a dual meet. For the sake of team points she raced the 50 breaststroke at the NESCAC Championships, but her best 200 IM is a 2:01.77. Last year she went a 2:03.07 which earned her seventh place points (after entering the meet with a 2:10.67 seed).

White’s fellow Eph Molly Craig is entered fourth in the 400 IM, seventh in the 200 IM, and 14th in the 200 fly. Last year she was one of the meet’s top scorers with first, third, and sixth place finishes respectively. The Ephs will hope for more points than her seed from the sophomore in their bid for a repeat podium performance.

Meg Taylor doesn’t make the list of top individual scorers yet, but she, along with Muir, is a key to the Emory Eagles’ relays. She’s entered fifth in the 100 free, sixth in the 50 free, and 13th in the 200 free, though finished higher than that in every event last year.

Kendall Vanderhoof and Hannah Orbach-Mandel are likely Kenyon’s two biggest scorers behind Hart. They overlap in the 200 and the 500, and both have a third scoring possibility–in the 1650 for Vanderhoof and in the 100 Orbach-Mandel. Last year Vanderhoof had three top five finishes, while Orbach-Mandel had two top three and a Consolation final victory. These Ladies have plenty of room to move up from their psych sheet places.

Jordyn Wentzel and Maggie Menso of St. Kate’s should both be high scorers as well. They’re the highest seeded freshmen headed into the meet, with Wentzel excelling in breaststroke and Menso a freestyle force.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.