A big thank you to guest writer Reid Carlson for helping us with our Day 2 NCAA coverage!
Men 200 Free Relay
Kenyon held onto the top spot in this morning’s prelims, narrowly edging out Emory for the rights to lane 4 in this evening’s finals. Emory, who trailed by only 11-one-hundredths, boasted by far the fastest split of the morning with Ollie Smith, last night’s 50 free champion, going a blazing 19.28. Only two other swimmers went under 20 seconds on any relay: Derek Bosko of Albion College split a 19.83, just good enough to bring Albion back this evening with a 16th-seed in the consolation finals. Andrew Bauer of Worcester Poly went a 19.67, though his team was DQ’d for an early take-off by Alex Powers who swam the second leg of the relay.
Women 200 Free Relay
Keyon barely maintained their top seeding on the women’s side, beating Emory by four-one-hundredths for the top seed in tonight’s finals. Thankfully there were no DQ’s for the women’s relays, though a surprise came in seeing Gustavus slide from their number 7 seeding to 17th-place and out of even the consolation finals. Their place was seized by Johns Hopkins who came into the competition as the 20th seed. The Hopkins team of all sophomores is now seeded fourth thanks to three of their swimmers splitting low-23’s and the other splitting a high-23 for a time of 1:34.12, 1.21 seconds behind the leader, Kenyon.
Men 400 IM
Jackson Lindell of Denison, the newly-crowned champion and DIII record-holder in the 200 IM, showed his range with a preliminary victory in the longer distance this morning. Nearly two-and-a-half seconds off his seed time of 3:50.28, expect Lindell to turn on the jets this evening and further distance himself from the field and second-seed Ian Reardon of Kenyon who went a 3:55.97. Lindell seemed conservative on the butterfly and freestyle legs of his race where he was out-split by many of the other swimmers that will be in the championship final tonight. If he keeps the middle 200 the same or better than he did in prelims and picks it up on the fly and back his chances of breaking 3:50 are very good.
Women 400 IM
Megan Pierce of Williams kept her top seed with a 4:20.93 this morning, just over a full second ahead of second place finisher Marysol Arce, a freshman from Kenyon. Phoebe Edwards was removed from the top-8 by and Bridgitt Kwong, a freshman from Amherst, who took three seconds off of her seed time this morning for a 4:26.16, while Edwards, the fourth seed, slid to 17th. Williams and Kenyon will have two swimmers each in the top 8 tonight, and none in the consolation final.
Men 100 Fly
Reed Dalton of Washington University of St. Louis was not on his record pace this morning, but he remains the number one seed going into finals tonight with a 47.30. Andrew Rich of Denison is well behind Dalton with a 48.05, though he will have another chance tonight to close the gap. Tonight’s final is comprised of 6 seniors and 2 juniors, which will leave the field largely open next year for talented youngsters like Kingsley Bowen, a freshman from Tufts, who is returning tonight to swim in the consolation finals after posting a 48.88 this morning. A swim-off will be required to determine the second alternate as both Kenny Fox of Denison and Eben Schuman of Whitworth, both freshman, posted times of 49.18.
Women 100 Fly
Kirsten Nitz of Wheaton and Emma Waddell of Williams are the top two seeds for tonight’s final, each being over a second ahead of third seed Anna Wisniewski of Johns Hopkins. Nitz is the DIII record holder in this race with a 52.64, though Waddell was last year’s champion with a 53.65, well off of Nitz’s record. Expect them to push each other tonight and go well under 54. If Nitz can swim well within herself and rely on the two years of experience she has over Waddell, who is only a sophomore, perhaps we can see her get close to her record which she set in 2014.
Men 200 Free
Evan Holder of Johns Hopkins and Thomas Thetford of W&L remain the top two seeds going into finals, where Holder may have a shot at breaking an 28-year-old record held by Dennis Mulvihill of Kenyon. Though Holder was slightly off his best time of 1:37.10, if he can chip slightly over half-a-second off of that mark, he will get the record. Johns Hopkins and Emory both placed two swimmers in the championship finals which will lead to big points for them, though Denison placed one swimmer, Joe Brunk, in the championship and two in the consolation heats, which could account for a dramatic swing in points for Denison if all three swimmers move up in their heats.
Women 200 Free
Cindy Cheng leads the way tonight for the women’s 200 free. While the sophomore from Emory was out fast in a 52.44, she lost steam in the second 100 of her race. Isabel Wyer, a sophomore from Middlebury, could take advantage of that tonight and pull off an upset. Though Wyer goes into tonight’s final fourth, she had the fastest final 50 with a 27.23, which was faster even than Cheng’s second 50, and over half-a-second faster than the next-best final 50 split. Wyer dropped over half-a-second this morning; if she carries that momentum into tonight’s championship final, the race could be hers. The record of 1:44.82, set by Kendra Stern in 2011, seems extremely safe.
Men 400 Medley Relay
Williams and Johns Hopkins lead the way this morning, both tying for the top seed with a time of 3:16.44. Williams took an early lead with Benjamin Lin, swimming a blistering 47.54 in the backstroke, while Hopkins made up the difference in the breast where 200 free top-seed Evan Holder split an outstanding 53.72, followed by Mark Wilson who split a 48.37 on the fly. Emory is going into the finals seeded sixth, though it’s hard to say if they will keep the same line-up or switch out freestyler Alex Hardwick for newly-crowned 50 freestyle champion Ollie Smith. If Smith could split a mid-43 or faster, as going a 19.55 in the 50 from a flat start would indicate, that would take an entire second or more off of Emory’s time. Dalton Reed was the only swimmer under 48 seconds in the fly with a time of 46.99. While Wash U’s breast, fly, and freestyle legs all put them competitive with Williams and Johns Hopkins, their backstroke leg which only split a 51.29 is well off that of the others, both of which are well under 50.
Women 400 Medley Relay
Emory seized the top spot tonight, beating out first-seed Williams, who slid to third, also behind Kenyon. Emma Waddell went sub-54 in the fly for Williams, splitting a 53.96, while the top seed in the 100 fly tonight, Kirsten Nitz, swam an impressive 56.20 in the 100 back for Wheaton’s relay, which will be the top seed in the consolation finals tonight. Emily Hyde threw down a 1:01.48 in the breaststroke on Amherst’s relay, out-splitting the next best in the field by half-a-second. Amherst will return this evening as the fifth seed.
Women 1 Meter Diving