Kenyon Tracks Down Denison Men; Emory Women Push Advantage During Day 3 Prelims

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 21. THE third day of qualifying at the NCAA Division III Championships featured the Kenyon men tracking down Denison in terms of likely point-scoring with Denison’s major advantage in diving yet to come. Meanwhile, the Emory women pushed their day two advantage with another strong morning of qualifying.

Men’s 200 fly
Redlands’ Jeffrey Depew picked up the top seed by a wide margin with an easy-speed 1:46.60 this morning, which is faster than Miller Douglas (1:46.64) used to win the NCAA title for Emory a year ago.

Whitman’s Karl Mering, the 100 fly winner last night, raced to second in 1:47.31 with Mary Washington’s Hugh Anderson taking third in 1:47.84. Anderson topped the 400-yard IM last night and is looking for more as well.

Williams’ Thad Ricotta (1:48.04), Amherst’s Perrin Bulakul (1:48.12), MIT’s Luke Schlueter (1:49.10) and MIT’s Remy Mock (1:19.12) placed fourth through seventh with Amherst’s Jeff Anderson earning the final transfer spot with a 1:49.18.

In the team title race, Kenyon will make some ground on Denison with Chris Josephson finishing ninth with a 1:49.59. Should Josephson win the consolation heat tonight, he will pull Kenyon within one point after the 200 fly.

Women’s 200 fly
Emory could make a serious move towards winning the team title after today, and the 200 fly helped their cause. Nina Zook led qualifying in 2:02.45, while teammate McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg qualified fourth in 2:04.05.

No one else that is in team-title contention qualified more than one swimmer into the A final. Emory also went two down with Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe (2:05.44) and Michelle York (2:06.43) placing 12th and 14th.

Case Western’s Maggie Dillione (2:03.27), Chicago’s Abby Erdmann (2:03.94), Denison’s Michelle Howell (2:04.31), Kenyon’s Mariah Williamson (2:04.85), MIT’s Sarah Osmulski (2:04.91) and Amherst’s Sarah Conklin (2:05.06) also made the championship heat.

Men’s 100 back
Emory’s Ross Spock put up a sizzling 48.03 during prelims and could challenge Robert Barry’s NCAA D3 record of 47.56 set in 2012. He already surpassed the 48.62 used by Johns Hopkins’ Dylan Davis to win the title a year ago.

In fact, the top five swimmers all cleared Davis’ time from last year as Connecticut’s Samuel Gill (48.26), MIT’s Bo Mattix (48.43), Williams’ Ben Lin (48.48) and Davis (48.58) make up the top five this evening.
CMS’s Matt Williams (48.66), Kenyon’s Harrison Curley (48.73) and USMMA’s Kevin Lindgren (48.96) rounded out the championship heat.

Kenyon will pick up more points on Denison this evening as Curley and Oscar Anderson (49.94, 14th) both qualified for point-scoring swims, while Denison was unable to earn a point. Lucky for Denison, they have diving later this afternoon.

Women’s 100 back
Johns Hopkins continued to put up some of the top performances of the meet as Taylor Kitayama raced her way to a 54.07 this morning for the top seed. Defending champion and record-holder Celia Oberholzer of Kenyon qualified second during prelims with a 54.66, more than a second back of her D3 mark of 53.46.

Luther’s Clare Slagel (54.75), Wheaton’s Kirsten Nitz (55.35), Hamilton’s Maggie Rosenbaum (55.46), Emory’s Ella Thompson (55.59), Gustavus Adolphus’ Alissa Tinklenberg (55.87) and Kenyon’s Rachel Flinn (55.90) also made the A final.

Emory and Kenyon had a strong event with Emory going one up, two down and Kenyon going two up in terms of the team competition.

Men’s 100 breast
Calvin’s Johnson Cochran became another prelim swimmer to post a time faster than the NCAA winner from 2013 with a 54.35 to lead prelims. That undercut Simas Jarasunas’ 54.57 from a year ago, and put Cochran in a strong position heading into finals.

Washing U’s Michael Lagieski took second overall in 54.66, while Emory’s Andrew Wilson finished third in 54.79.

Denison finally joined the point-scoring party in swimming today as Damon Rosenburg, the D3 record holder with a 53.61 from December of this season, qualified fourth in 54.89, while Kenyon’s Trevor Manz qualified seventh with a 55.18 to balance out the scoring in the team-title race. Alex Beckwith also made the consolation heat for Kenyon with an 11th-place 55.85.

UW Eau Claire’s Alex Card (55.05), Occidental’s Steven Van Deventer (55.11) and MIT’s Michael Liao (55.23) also earned transfer spots into the championship heat.

UW Whitewater’s Amy Spaay turned in a 1:02.91 to lead qualifying in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke, while Denison’s Natalie Lugg took second in 1:03.00. St. Thomas’ Emily Punyko rounded out the top three in 1:03.26.

Emory had a huge event in terms of team scoring and the 100 breast could be the turning point of Emory pulling away from the rest of the pack for the team title as Annelies Kowalsky (1:03.27), Elizabeth Aronoff (1:03.28) and Kylie Hillas (1:03.78) qualified fourth, fifth and seventh to help Emory to three A final scoring spots.

Middlebury’s Jamie Hillas (1:03.57) and Kenyon’s Katie Kaestner (1:03.78) also made the championship eight.

800 free relays and diving prelims still ahead.