NCAA Division III Men’s Champs: Day 3 Prelims

By Brian Savard

OXFORD, Ohio, March 22. THIS evening will present some interesting match-ups, including one between a record holder and a top qualifier.

In the team competition, Williams looks to advance from its fifth-place spot, sending five men back in the top eight this evening. The Ephs also have a 16th-seeded 400 freestyle relay that will compete tonight in finals.

Kenyon again leads the way with nine men swimming in either the consolation or championship final heats tonight, including an additional three men in the 1650 freestyle that look to score points.

After five dives yesterday, Nick Halbach from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy leads the 3-meter competition. Five more dives will be completed this afternoon. The top eight divers will dive in finals this evening.

The 1650 freestyle will have two timed-final heats this afternoon and one timed-final heat tonight at finals. In the timed finals, anyone can advance to the top eight in the three competing heats.

200 backstroke

John Thomas from Johns Hopkins, who took second last night in the 100 backstroke, is the top qualifier by more than a second with a seemingly effortless 1:49.57. Tom Irgens of Kenyon looks to attack Thomas this evening as the second-place qualifier while Kevin Kewin from Union and Michael Mpitsos of Kenyon tied for the third-fastest preliminary swim.

100 freestyle

While there seems to be no clear-cut favorite to take the 100 freestyle this evening, Joshua Mitchell of Kenyon took the top seed with the fastest morning swim of 44.41. John Geissinger from Denison split a 43.91 in his 400 medley relay anchor split Thursday night and sits as the second-fastest qualifier with a 44.45. The NCAA Division III record holder in the 50 freestyle, Alex Sweet of Washington & Lee, will take lane three this evening while Brad Test of Johns Hopkins, who split a 43.83 400 medley relay anchor leg, is placed in the fourth-fastest spot with a 44.64 morning swim.

200 breaststroke

The most intriguing storyline of the night will be if Staten Island's Pavel Buyanov can follow up his record-setting performance from last night with a second broken record. Buyanov will have to go through Nelson Westby from St. Olaf first, as Westby is the top qualifier with a 1:59.92. Buyanov posted a 2:01.77 time for a second-place spot, which is all too familiar for Buyanov as he was seeded second to Westby last evening. Tyler Bonewell from Williams will also be in the mix seeded third (2:02.27).

200 butterfly

John Dillon of Middlebury owns the top seed in the eight-lap butterfly event, coming in tonight with a 1:48.57 morning showing. Williams' Chris Millen sits second in the 200 butterfly at 1:48.84 while his teammate, Al Wentworth-Ping, rounds out the top three with a 1:49.61 swim.

400 freestyle relay

Denison's foursome of Lowell Byers, John Geissinger, Jon Behnke and David Curtis swam the fastest 400 freestyle relay this morning with a 3:00.26. Johns Hopkins trails a second and a half behind with a 3:01.70 swim, which seeds them second for tonight. New York holds the third-best morning swim with a 3:03.32 outing. Kenyon placed sixth in the morning swim.