Division III Meet of the Week Plus Four Others To Watch

NCAA Division III Flags 2014
Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

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Among alumni and relay meets over the last few weeks, many division III teams begin competition this weekend across the nation. Don’t miss these five meets to watch including the Division III Meet of the Week between two nationally ranked programs.

Meet of the Week: Albion vs. Wabash & Hillsdale (At Albion, 1:00pm)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Both Albion and Wabash had men at last year’s NCAA Championships. Albion finished twenty-fourth with 40 points while Wabash placed thirty-first with 28. Wabash will definitely be the underdog with the graduation of All-American Zechariah Banks. Albion returns two successful seniors of their own in Sebastian Tostado and Derek Bosko. The two should dominate the shorter freestyle events, while sophomore Nate Kozycki will handle the butterfly events. Classmate Jake Burris, who earned All-American honors on 1-meter last year, is set to win both events on the board for the Britons. Wabash won the contest last year 163-137, but the meet appears to swing the other way on paper this time around. Wabash will look to sophomore Chris Dabrowski to score in the distance events. The Albion women will compete against Division II Hillsdale, and will rely on NCAA-qualifier Anna Moore to lead the way in the backstroke events. The meet ended in a close 150-129 victory for Hillsdale last year.

2. Clarion Fall Classic (At Clarion, 10:00am)

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The annual Clarion Fall Classic will take place on Saturday between Clarion, Grove City and Chatham. Both Clarion and Grove City graduated their top swimmers last year, opening up some doors in the backstroke and freestyle events. The 50 and 100 freestyle will be the most anticipated events on the women’s side, as the battle will be between Alexis Lopez and Emily Ondrizek of Clarion and Abigail Jank of Grove City. Chatham’s Aurelia Sheehan will also be out to win the 100 free after winning the events at last year’s Presidents Athletic Conference Championships. On the men’s side, senior Jordan Dehli of Grove City will try to win the 50 free as he did last year. Dane Hoselton, Jeremy Kim and Rhys Dickhudt will also try to make an impact against a strong men’s squad for Clarion. The Golden Eagles will be led by sophomore Nathan Porter in the distance freestyle events and senior Ian Lindsey in the breaststrokes. Last year’s meet went to Clarion on both sides, as the Golden Eagles won the men’s meet 177-113 and women’s 163-145.

3. NYU vs. SUNY-Cortland (At NYU, diving 11:30am)

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Photo Courtesy: NYU Sports Information

Ater an impressive showing at last year’s NCAA Championships, New York University will open up their season against SUNY-Cortland. The Bobcats finished eighth on the women’s side and ninth on the men’s in Greensboro. The women’s team will be lead by senior captain Elise Gibbs. Sophomores Ya Leung and Haley Wen will round out the freestyle events while Gibbs will most likely swim the breaststrokes. With 2016 All-American Austin Palmer off the Bobcat’s roster this year, senior Max Phillips will pace the men’s team in the 200 and 500 free. As always, speed and depth will be prevalent on the NYU men’s team. It would not be surprising to see some fast swims early on from this meet, especially on the men’s side. Even though competition has just begun, expect NYU to re-write the top times list after Saturday. Honorable Mention All-American diver Miranda Fergus will most likely be the highest point scorer for Cortland after winning the 1-meter at this meet last year. Reeve Callen and Dylan Burns have a good chance at placing highly and potentially winning the sprint freestyle events for the Cortland men. These two will provide some great racing opportunities for the NYU men despite the meet ultimately going to the Bobcats.

4. Johns Hopkins vs. Georgetown & William & Mary (At Georgetown, 1:00 pm)

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

Despite their Division I status, Georgetown and William & Mary will certainly have their hands full with Division III powerhouse Johns Hopkins. While the Blue Jay women will post some fast swims from junior Anna Wisniewski and juniors Courtney Cowan and Kaitlin Jones, the Hopkins men have a great chance at beating at least one, if not both of their Division I competitors. 2016 NCAA Champion Andy Greenhalgh will be ready to swim fast after posting an NCAA B cut in October last year. Classmate Evan Holder will hold his own in the middle distance events after placing second in both the 200 free and 200 IM at NCAAs as a junior. The Blue Jay pair may arguably be one of the most successful teammate duos in Division III. They should be ready to take command of the meet right from the first two individual events, although Holder will have his hands full in the 200s from a strong William & Mary team. The rest of the meet would have to fall into place pretty nicely for Hopkins to overcome the Griffins in the team scores.

5. Washington and Lee vs. Centre & Bellarmine (At Louisville, 2:30pm)

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Photo Courtesy: Washington and Lee Athletics

At the 2016 NCAA Championships, Washington and Lee finished twenty-fifth with 29 points while Centre finished thirtieth with 22. The Generals are returning all four of their NCAA qualifiers from last season. Senior Emily Rollo will lead the way in the backstroke events after placing fifth in the 200 and sixth in the 100 in Greensboro in March. She will be joined by sophomore Isabelle Chancey and classmate Elisabeth Holmes in the sprint free events and junior Casidy Fuller in the butterfly. The Washington and Lee sprinters will be challenged by Cameron Beach of Centre College, who earned an NCAA B cut in the 50 free last season. Beach and senior Claire Coleman should also post a good challenge for Fuller in the sprint fly. Fuller should win the 200 distance handedly as Centre’s Kristen Holliday graduated. Division II Bellarmine will also add some excitement to the mix with sophomore Kathryn Vulich in the 100 fly and junior Emily Zawadzki in the sprint freestyles. Despite the Centre Colonels having 2016 All-American diver Sarah Hayhurst to secure their win on both boards, Washington and Lee took the Division III win in last year’s contest (158-98).