CANTON, Ohio, February 16. AFTER 12 events, the Denison University Big Red have swum out to early leads in the 2012 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships. The Big Red men won just one of today's five events, but finished on the top of the leaderboard with 498 points after finishing in the top-five in five other events. On the women's side, Denison reached the wall first in three events, and also added five top-five finishes to conclude the first full day of competition with 491 points on Wednesday evening at the C.T. Branin Natatorium.
In the men's field, Kenyon finished the day in second with 486 points, followed by DePauw (329), Allegheny (195), Oberlin (181), Wabash (162), Wittenberg (142), Wooster (141), Ohio Wesleyan (120) and Hiram (83). The Kenyon women are also in second place with 461 points, followed by Wittenberg (250), DePauw (248), Wooster (238), Allegheny (214), Oberlin (159), Hiram (98) and Ohio Wesleyan (95).
The Denison women opened the meet by winning the 200 freestyle relay with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:33.49. The Ladies posted their first victory of the 2012 meet in the 200 IM as senior Alisa Vershchagin (Solon, OH/Solon) touched the wall first in an NCAA 'A' cut time of 2:05.00. The Big Red got back in the winners circle in the three-meter diving competition as freshman Katie Collins (North Bethesda, MD/Walter Johnson) took top honors with a national championship qualifying score of 424.05, while the Ladies captured the final event of the evening by winning the 400 medley relay with an NCAA 'A' cut standard of 3:45.71.
The Kenyon men kicked off the day with a splash as the 200 freestyle relay squad consisiting of senior David Somers (North Potomac, MD/Quince Orchard), senior Zachary Turk (Strongsville, OH/St. Edwards), junior Curtis Ramsey (Wilmington, DE/Charter School of Wilmington) and sophomore Ian Richardson (Mt. Vernon, OH/Mt. Vernon) met NCAA 'A' cut standards, established a meet record and set the pool record at C.T. Branin Natatorium with a time of 1:18.77. The Lords again topped the podium in the 500 freestyle as sophomore Andrew Chevalier (Golden, CO/Home Schooled) posted an NCAA national championship qualifying time of 4:27.49. The Lords kept their national championship qualifying times rolling into the 50 freestyle as both Somers and Turk met NCAA 'A' cut standards with times of 20.12 and 20.25, respectively. Additionally, Somers posted the best time in NCAC history in the men's 50 free in the morning preliminary round after touching the wall in 19.83. In the final event of the evening, Kenyon touched the wall first in the 400 medley relay with an NCAA 'A' cut time of 3:19.05, while Denison finished second in the event and also qualified for the national championships with a time of 3:19.44.
The 2012 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships continue through Saturday evening. Preliminary events start at 10:00 a.m. both days, while finals begin at 6:30 p.m.
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