By Anna Dunlavey
The usual suspects the Lords and Ladies, Denison University, The College of Wooster, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wittenberg University, Hiram College and Allegheny College gathered on the deck of the Kenyon Aquatic Center last Saturday for the Kenyon College Invitational meet. Compared to last weekends high-stakes North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships, this meet was calm and subdued.
Conference is our main-focus meet, Emily Tysinger 14 said. You go and you swim your best events. This meet is more for if you have a goal in mind.
Its a very nice environment for some swimmers to find better swims in themselves, Head Coach Jessen Book 01 said, or to try an event that they didnt swim in the conference championships. Its intentionally a different environment.
Christian Josephson 16 achieved a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) automatic qualifying time of 1:49.82 in the 200-yard butterfly, ensuring that he will travel to the national championships in March. To take part in this team all the way to the end was my goal, and Ive done it, he said.
On the Ladies side, Rachel Flinn 14 earned an automatic-NCAA qualifying time of 55.19 in the 100-yard backstroke. This time shattered her own personal record and Kenyons varsity record. We wanted to swim it again to see if she could go faster, and she went a lot faster, which was exciting, Book said.
Hannah Saiz 13 also locked in an automatic-NCAA qualifying time. Hers was in the 100-butterfly, where she finished with a time of 55.03.
In diving, Maria Zarka 16 easily passed the qualifying scores and broke a two-decades-old Kenyon record. In the one-meter dives, where the qualifying score is 395 points, Zarka scored 461.50. In the three-meter dives, with a minimum qualifying score of 410, Zarka scored 477.25 points.
The next meet for the team will be the NCAA Division III Championships, which are being held in Shenandoah, Texas. Although some swimmers know whether or not they have qualified for the championships, others are still unsure. Many swimmers on the team have registered NCAA B cuts, and their fate will not be decided until at least March 6. All athletes who have received an NCAA qualifying time, however, will be staying on campus over spring break to prepare for the meet. Well have to train people with our best guess in mind, Book said.
Even though he is not yet sure of exactly who on his squad will be attending the championships, Book is confident and excited. The more people who qualify, the better opportunity we have to be highly competitive, he said. But weve got a great team, were very excited, we should be able to go in and compete, and thats the most important thing.
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