Yesterday, the NCAA announced the list of qualified swimmers who will compete in the 2020 NCAA Division III Championships on March 18-21 in Greensboro, N.C.. The Lords will be sending 16 swimmers, headlined by 2019 NCAC Swimmer of the Year David Fitch ’21, who is set to compete in seven events, while the Ladies will be sending 12 swimmers, highlighted by two-time NCAC Swimmer of the Year Crile Hart ’21, who qualified for eight events.
Hart holds the top time this season in six different individual events, per USA Swimming. However, since participants are capped at three individual events, Hart will only get to defend her times in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, the latter two of which Hart holds the NCAA D-III record in.
Other top-ranked Ladies include Summer Otazu ’20, who ranks second in D-III in the 100-yard backstroke, Makena Markert ’21, ranked fourth in the 100-yard IM, Andrea Perttula ’22, ranked fifth in the 100 IM and Olivia Smith ’23, ranked fourth in the 100-yard backstroke.
For the Lords, Fitch will attempt to overtake University of Chicago’s Byrne Litschgi in the 100-yard backstroke, who he currently trails by .02 seconds. In the 100-yard butterfly, Fitch is also in second and will be trying to catch his own teammate, Cherantha De Silva ’23, who beat out Fitch by .26 seconds at the NCAC Championship two weekends ago.
While no one on the Lords leads the division in six individual events, they have a deep stable of top-tier competitors to help them take the National Championship for the first time since 2015. Connor Rumpit ’20 is tied for second in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the mile swim. Bryan Fitzgerald ’22 ranks just below Rumpit for fourth in the 500-yard freestyle and is first by .24 seconds in the 400-yard IM. 2020 NCAC Swimmer of the Year Luis Weekes ’22 ranks third in both the 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard IM. The Lords have at least five swimmers who could compete for an individual title at Nationals. If either of Kenyon’s top divers, Drew Albrecht ’23 or Mason Fishell ’23, can qualify for one of the 24 diving spots at the Central Regional Diving Meet at Denison University this weekend, they could provide a crucial boost to Kenyon’s score in what is expected to be a tight Nationals meet.