The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams headed to Greensboro, North Carolina, to compete in the NCAA Championships from March 15 to 18. The men’s team finished second with 494.5 points, their best finish since 2017. The women’s team placed third with 383 points. Emory University (Ga.) won the men’s meet, and Denison University won the women’s meet.
On day one, the Owls earned 80.5 points to stand in second place. The bulk of Kenyon’s points came from a third-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Yurii Kosian ’24, Luis Weekes ’23, Marko Krtinic ’24 and Cherantha De Silva ’23 broke the varsity record set in 2020 with a time of 1:26.72. Emory led at the end of the day with 110.5 points.
The Owls crushed the competition on day two, winning five of the six events to top the leaderboard with 282.5 points. In the opening event on Thursday evening, Djordje Dragojlovic ’26, Mart Niehoff ’23, De Silva and Daniel Brooks ’24 won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:18.40. At the end of the night, the 400-yard medley relay of Kosian, Weekes, Krtinic and Dragojlovic claimed the top spot (3:11:39). In between the two relays, the Owls won two individual swimming events: Bryan Fitzgerald ’23 repeated as the 400-yard individual medley champion with a time of 3:49.58, and Krtinic won the 100-yard butterfly with an NCAA-record time of 46.51. In the one-meter dive, Israel Zavaleta ’24 defended his crown, winning the event with 602 points. “It’s a great validation of all the hard work I put in,” Zavaleta wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Winning once is fantastic, but winning twice is even better.” Emory finished the day in second place, trailing Kenyon by 25 points.
After the Owls had no swimmers in the top three of any event on day three, Emory ended the day with 359.5 points, five points ahead of Kenyon.
On day four, the Owls won three events. However, that was not enough to leapfrog Emory in the standings. Dragojlovic earned his first individual title in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.42. On the diving board, Zavaleta repeated his first-place finish from last year in the three-meter with 595.15 points. Kenyon capped off the meet with a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Krtinic, Brooks, De Silva and Dragojlovic finished the swim in 2.54.34.
At the end of the meet, Zavaleta and Head Diving Coach Ron Kontura were named as NCAA Men’s Diver of the Year and Diving NCAA Coach of the Year, respectively — both repeating from last year. “I’m thrilled with how the season went,” said Zavaleta. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”
On day one, Alexandra White ’23 earned two top-three finishes. In the 50-yard freestyle, she finished third (22.82), before anchoring the 200-yard medley relay. Olivia Smith ’23, Jennah Fadely ’25 and Celia Ford ’25 joined White to finish second (1:39.67). Kenyon and Emory each finished the day with 90 points, 27 points behind Denison.
Relays earned the Owls the most points on day two. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Ella Campbell ’23, Sydney Geboy ’25, Lisa Torrecillas-Jouault ’26 and White finished in third place with a time of 1:32.31. The highlight of the night was when Smith, Fadely, Ania Axas ’23 and White won the 400-yard medley relay in 3:39.28. “The group we had for the relay was more excited to be there and have fun racing than we were anxious about the time or place we were going to get,” Smith wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I think our positive attitudes helped us perform well.” After day two, Kenyon was in third place with 191 points, chasing both Emory (196) and Denison (281.5).
The Owls captured two individual event titles on day three. Fadely finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke, improving her NCAC and Kenyon record time to 59.94.
Smith won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.00. “It feels incredible and unbelievable that I won the 100 back. I wanted to do it going into finals,” she said. “I also wanted to do it for my team, to get points for my team.”
Kenyon entered the final day of competition in third place with 280 points, trailing Emory by 12. Fadely continued her success in the breaststroke, winning the 200-yard event in 2:11:22, breaking the varsity record set in 2021. Throughout the rest of the meet, Emory and Kenyon continued to battle for second. Entering the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Owls held a slim four-point advantage. Unfortunately they couldn’t maintain their lead, and Kenyon finished the relay in seventh, while Emory finished fourth. The Owls ended the meet in third place. The team is proud of their third-place finish. “I think the meet went super well,” Smith said. “Everyone was filled with positivity and support for one another.”
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