If you are unaware of Denison’s swimming rival with Kenyon College, either you are a first year or you have been living under a rock.
The past couple of years, the Big Red and the Lords have been battling neck-in-neck for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving team Championship.
If this Saturday’s dual meet were any indication of how this year’s championship meet will turn out, the Big Red men and women look to be the team to beat.
Kenyon and Denison’s mens’ teams were evenly stacked the entire meet. Heading into the final event of day, the 400 freestyle relay, the Big Red trailed the Lords by a measly 2 points. The foursome of seniors Carlos Maciel, Spencer Fronk, Sean Chabot, and sophomore Conrad Wuorinen were determined to win the event, as the winner would take the meet.
The Big Red men would do just that, finishing at 3:04.24 with a season-best time. Kenyon was right on their tails, touching in at 3:04.91. This pivotal win brought the final score in Denison’s favor, 153.5-146.5.
Aside from this electrifying race, junior Damon Rosenburg posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 100 breast, taking first place with a time of 56.68.
First year Jack Lindell also managed to swim to an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:02.73.
Junior diver Connor Dignan took first place in all diving events, winning the 3-meter board with 303.90 points and the 1-meter board with 300.98 points. Junior Connor Dorff took second in the 3-meter board with a total of 288.15 while sophomore Ben Lewis was the runner-up in the 1-meter board, diving for 273.80.
On the women’s side, the Big Red were able to maintain a lead throughout a good majority of the meet. A number of the nine first place finishes were pivotal for ensuring a Big Red victory.
First-year Carolyn Kane and junior Molly Willingham were two of the women’s top performers, each contributing to four and three first place finishes, respectively.
Kane’s quick 23.95 was the only sub 24.00 50 yard freestyle time. In the 100 yard freestyle, she touched the fall nearly a full second ahead of the rest of the pack at 52.53.
Willingham had an impressive finish in the 200 yard freestyle, giving the Big Red pivotal first place points with a 1:56.19.
A number of other swimmers had successful afternoons, including first-year Campbell Costly had a dominating 500 freestyle swim, capturing an NCAA provisional time of 5:02.95.
All in all, the women came out on top, besting the lady Lords 164-136.
Both the men’s and women’s teams take a break from competition for quite some time following these victories. They will swim in the Miami University Invitational ,to be held Dec. 5-7.
The Big Red still have quite some time before NCAC and NCAA Division III Championships, where the Lords undoubtedly will be waiting to take revenge. If history has any say, the Big Red will most definitely be up to the challenge.