Lords swimming and diving concluded January with two wins against Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio Northern University and one loss against University of Cincinnati. The Lords now hold a 3-4 record heading into the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournament.
The Lords dominated Ohio Wesleyan 153-79, placing first in nearly every event held at the James A. Steen Aquatics Center.
They started with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay as the team of sophomores Ben Baturka, Tommy Weiss, Kieran Allsop and Reilly Shields touched the wall first. Two seconds later, their senior Lord counterparts Alex Swaim, Matthew Cooper, Matt Leenhouts and Doni Moffa finished. Kenyon relay teams also finished third and fourth in this race.
The Lords also found victories in the 1,000-, 200- and 50-yard freestyle races. Gabriel Bellott-McGrath ’18, Fielding Fischer ’21 and Baturka finished first in each race, respectively.
The Lords also found success in the diving competitions when Ryder Sammons ’19 finished on top of the competition scoring more than 270 points in both one- and three-meter diving.
It was more of the same for the Lords against Ohio Northern University as they cruised to an even more dominant 179-64 win. Once again, the Lords won nearly every event.
The Lords started off strong when the same 200-yard medley relay teams came in first and second, respectively.
Eamonn Keenan ’21 continued the Lords’ winning ways in the 200-yard individual medley race, touching the wall with a 1:57.18 time. Carter Brzezinski ’20 touched the wall less than one second later.
In the 100-yard butterfly, the Lords finished 1-2-3 with Cooper, Shields and Tim Hagemeister ’21 touching the wall within seconds of one another. The Lords also finished 1-2-3 in the 100-yard freestyle.
The Lords continued their dominance of the meet when Swaim and David Fitch ’21 met at the finish line. Both recorded a time of 52.08 in the 100-yard backstroke.
Kenyon failed to finish first in just two events, the 100-yard breaststroke and the three-meter dive. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Ohio Northern’s Anthony Ferrell just edged out Michael Bartholomew ’20, touching the wall a millisecond before Bartholomew.
The Lords found less success against Division I (D-I) opponent Cincinnati, which is ranked 53rd in the country in D-I swimming, as they lost 219-81.
The Lords did manage to win two events, however, in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle relay. In the 100-yard backstroke, Baturka found the Lords’ first win, finishing the race with a time of 50.75, besting the second-place finisher by just under one second. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Fitch, Weiss, Weston Carpenter ’19 and Shields clocked a time of 1:25.27 to notch the Lords’ second win of the night.
Kenyon will now go on a two-week hiatus as they prepare for the NCAC championship.
“With the NCAC tournament fast approaching, the swim teams training regime has transitioned into what we call taper,” Moffa explained. “Over the course of one to two weeks we gradually taper our yardage down from around five miles a day to less than one mile, so that we perform at our best during the NCAC tournament.”
“Our main goal for the NCAC tournament is to qualify as many swimmers as possible for NCAA so that we can put together a competitive lineup and bring home a national title,” Moffa said.
The NCAC tournament will take place between Feb. 14 and 17 at Denison University.