The Ladies regained their spot as the top team in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) last weekend, claiming the NCAC Championship banner for the second time in three seasons. The Ladies finished 93 points ahead of the host and defending champion Denison University to win their 25th overall NCAC championship.
The star of the weekend was Crile Hart ’21, who won six of her seven events and helped the Ladies score 377 of their 1,953 points. “Honestly it’s still a little surreal,” Hart said. “Having the coaches be as excited as we were about everything that happened on the pool deck has made the whole experience unforgettable.”
During the meet she was awarded the NCAC Newcomer of the Year award, the NCAC Swimmer of the Year award. “[I feel] very honored. I didn’t even know those awards were a thing until I heard my name and I heard screaming,” Hart recalled.
Hannah Orbach-Mandel ’19 also helped propel Kenyon to victory. Orbach-Mandel finished victorious in five of her seven events, gaining 372 points for the Ladies.
The victory this weekend was a culmination of what has been a magical season for the Ladies. After finishing second in the NCAC championships last year, and third in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships, the Ladies started the season ranked third behind Emory University and Williams College. Currently, the Ladies are ranked first nationally according to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, and are favored to end Emory University’s run of eight straight national championships.
The next meet for the Ladies will take place at the Kenyon Athletic Center on Friday, during the Kenyon Fast Chance Invitational. Then from March 21 to March 24, the Ladies will attempt to win their first national title since 2009 in Indianapolis.
The Lords swim and dive team finished second this weekend at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championships as Denison University extended their NCAC championship streak to 10 straight years.
The meet started off positively for the Lords, as Ryder Sammons ’19 won the men’s three-meter diving competition with a score of 456.30. He later became the Lords’ only two-event winner by sweeping the diving events with a 454.25 on the one-meter board. In two weeks, Sammons will go to the Midwest Regional meet, where he will attempt to qualify for his first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship.
“It’s really exciting because it really sets me up to take some momentum into the regional meet at Chicago, and to possibly be a role model to divers who are looking to come to Kenyon,” Sammons said.
Sammons was later the first Lord presented with the NCAC Diver of the Year award since 1997 as head diving coach Ron Kontura was named NCAC Diving Coach of the Year in his first year with the Lords.
The only other Lord to win an event was Connor Rumpit ’20 in the 500-yard freestyle, and he did so in dramatic fashion. Rumpit and Dension sophomore James Baker were within a second of each other at every 50-meter interval. Despite Baker starting to close in on Rumpit in the final 50, Rumpit was able to finish 0.22 seconds ahead of Baker to win the race.
By the end, the Lords were unable to keep up their lead once Denison’s superb freestyle sprinters took over, and Denison never looked back.
Next week at the Kenyon Fast Break Invitational, the Lords will try to get their final tune-up before the National Championship in Indianapolis after spring break.