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Kenyon celebrates NCAA Swimming and Diving title

Kenyon celebrates NCAA Swimming and Diving title

The NCAA Championship celebration | THEA MILLENSON-WILENS

On Tuesday, Kenyon held a ceremony for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams in celebration of their respective runner-up and national title wins at the NCAA Division III National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, last month. 

The event originated in 2022, when the women’s swimming and diving team won the national championship under Coach Jess Book ’01 for the first time since 2009. “We wanted to be sure that significant athletics achievements had a larger stage and could be celebrated by the entire campus,” Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Jill McCartney wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Putting this celebration at the center of campus made sense to us.” The Athletics Department hosted the event in conjunction with the Offices of the President, Communications and Student Engagement.

The ceremony began with a procession of both teams walking from Peirce Dining Hall up to the steps of Rosse Hall as the crowds lining the sidewalk cheered them on. Many members of the community were decked out with purple pom-poms and some even wore bedazzled purple fedoras. 

Once the teams made it to the steps, McCartney congratulated the programs on their outstanding performances. She emphasized the confluence of several Kenyon milestones, including the Bicentennial, the inauguration of President Julie Kornfeld and the 25th NCAA D-III Championship of the Women’s Swimming and Diving team.  

McCartney discussed the factors that led to the achievement of both teams, recognizing “the same qualities that drive success elsewhere on campus: relentless preparation, intellectual courage, growth and resilience and a commitment to something larger than ourselves.” She then introduced Kornfeld, who was wearing purple but was not sporting a sequined fedora.

Kornfeld applauded the coaching staff and both teams for their courage, humility, compassion, respect and integrity, and for preserving Kenyon’s championship legacy. She discussed the effort required to be student athletes, saying “you earned top honors in the water. But you’re also honors students, and you show up for one another in training and in competition, and you’re there for each other as friends.”

Associate Director of Athletics Justin Newell then celebrated the NCAA qualifying members of the two teams, reading off each of their names and placements in the events they participated in. Kornfeld handed the first- and second-place trophies to both teams, and the celebration concluded with photos in front of Rosse Hall and an abundance of confetti as the song “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled played on the loudspeakers. 

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