Section: Sports

Swim and dive teams impress at the NCAC Championships

Swim and dive teams impress at the NCAC Championships

The Ladies swim and dive team earned their 26th NCAC Championship, and will now shift their focus to NCAA Nationals. | COURTESY OF KENYON COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Women’s:

The Kenyon College women’s swimming and diving team overcame Denison University this past weekend to claim first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship. This win earned the Ladies their second consecutive championship win and their 26th overall NCAC Championship title.

In a four-day tournament filled with back-and-forth lead changes, the Ladies emerged with a final count of 1,937 team points. Denison earned second place with 1,882 points while DePauw University came third with 1,194.5 points.

On Saturday, Kendall Vanderhoof ’20 won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:01.40. Claire Murray ’21, Gail Anderson ’20 and Alexis Vetrano ’21 earned fourth, fifth and sixth place in the same event, finishing with times of 17:17.58, 17:17.84 and 17:25.56, respectively.

The Ladies earned another win when Makena Markert ’21 won the 100-yard individual medley with a time of 57.82, breaking her 2018 Kenyon record of 58.86.

On the final day of competition, Celina German ’21, Abby Wilson ’19, Hannah Orbach-Mandel ’19 and Emmerson Mirus ’21 turned in an impressive performance in the 400-yard freestyle as they registered a final time of 3:22.79, though it fell second to Denison’s 3:22.20. Denison may have won the 400-yard freestyle, but the Ladies emerged from the long weekend as the 2019 NCAC champions.

Men’s:

The Kenyon men’s swimming and diving team ended their regular season with a strong outing this past Saturday at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships, held at Denison University’s Trumbull Aquatics Center in Granville, Ohio. Kenyon claimed second place in the NCAC Swimming and Diving Championships, falling to Denison by a tight margin of 20.5, and ended with a total score of 1,829.5 points.

The night highlighted two of Kenyon’s underclassmen: David Fitch ’21 and Joe Black ’22. Fitch was named NCAC Swimmer of the Year, becoming the first Kenyon swimmer to claim the prize since 2015, while Black earned Newcomer of the Year.

Kenyon won four events but came up short in the final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, which allowed Denison to take a small lead and clinch the conference championship.

“The only way to feel about coming up short against Denison is being more motivated,” Black said. “We were hungry going into the championship meet and still hungry for more coming out, leading up to nationals … We have a strong freshman class this year, where a few have qualified for nationals. So I would say the future is looking very bright for Kenyon swimming for the coming years.”

In an amazing performance, Luis Weekes ’22 made National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history with a time of 50.37 in the 100-yard individual medley. Weekes’ time surpassed University of Wisconsin swimmer Jacob Burchfield’s 2017 record of 50.74.

Kenyon’s other event victories came from Mick Bartholomew ’20 in the 200-yard backstroke, Black in the 100-yard freestyle and Jon Zimdars ’19 in the 200-yard butterfly.

Overall, it was a very impressive outing for the Lords, and now they look to represent Kenyon at the upcoming NCAA Division III Nationals, hoping to add to Kenyon’s record 34 NCAA Division III championships.

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