The No. 1 Kenyon men’s swimming and diving team fell to Miami University (Ohio) on Saturday afternoon by a score of 168-130. The RedHawks, a Division I opponent, handed the Owls only their second loss in what has once again been a very successful season.
Kenyon started the day off strong, winning the 200-yard medley relay. The group of Yurii Kosian ’24, Aleksa Dobric ’25, Marko Krtinic ’24 and Djordje Dragojlovic ’26 finished in 1:28.47 to secure 11 points for the Owls. Then, in the 1,000-yard freestyle, James Tracey ’25 grabbed a second-place finish with a time of 9:38.34 to add another four points to the Owls’ tally.
Kosian and Noah Hargrove ’24 then secured third and fourth place, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle to continue to stack points for the Owls. As the day continued, Dragojlovic came in second place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 48.54. The Owls continued to finish just short once again, as Noel Tumbasz ’27 swam a 56.30 and was the runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke, 36 milliseconds behind first place.
Ethan Manske ’26 contributed to Kenyon’s total by picking up a second-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, swimming a 1:49.44, just a second behind the winner. The Owls were able to get back on top of the podium with a victory from Dobric in the 50-yard freestyle. Dobric’s time of 20.46 gave the Owls a crucial nine points that shot them back into contention. Kenyon stayed hot, as Dragojlovic and Kosian were both able to finish first in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke, respectively.
In the 200-yard breaststroke, Tumbasz picked up a close second-place finish with a time of 2:01.80. Following Tumbasz’s race, the Owls had another heartbreaking loss in the 500-yard freestyle, as Tracey, Matthew Weiner ’27 and Cam Williston ’25 came in second, third and fourth place but were unable to secure a first-place finish. Hargrove then came in second once again, this time in the 400-yard individual medley. The Owls did finish out the swimming portion of the day on a high note though, as Dragojlovic, Krtinic, Daniel Brooks ’24 and Dobric came in first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 2:58.96. After the meet, Dragojlovic’s strong efforts were recognized as he earned NCAC Athlete of the Week for his performance.
In the diving portion, Kenyon secured two massive victories from Israel Zavaleta ’24 in both the one- and three-meter diving competitions. Zavaleta’s first-place finishes made him the most successful individual Owl of the day, garnering a big 18 points for his team.
At the end of the day, the Owls came up just short and fell despite a strong push at the end. Kenyon will compete in its last regular-season meet before the NCAC Championship on Feb. 3 at home against No. 12 Case Western Reserve University in what should be a tight contest. The Spartans are undefeated so far this year and the Owls will be their toughest test yet, as the two teams faced off last year, with Kenyon winning the contest in Case Western’s home pool.