2016 NCAAs Day 2 Wrap Up

Men 200 Free Relay

Ollie Smith crushed the field anchoring tonight, splitting an amazing 18.90 to clench the victory for Emory and knock the team from Kenyon down to second place.  Tonight there were more sub-20 splits than in prelims, though there was also unfortunately another DQ for the team from Calvin College.  The DQ came from the second swimmer on the relay, whereas the anchor, freshman star Jared Britton, slipped into the 19’s by the slimmest of margins with a 19.99.  Though the relay will score no points for its efforts, Britton has still proven that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.  Keene State swimmer Ryan Boraski used the outside power of lane 8 to split 19.55 on his anchor leg, which elevated Keene State’s relay from the 8th seed to the number three spot on the podium.

Women 200 Free Relay

The team from Emory made it a double-upset tonight, displacing Kenyon, the fastest team from prelims, for the top spot on the podium.  Denison also slid past Kenyon and claimed the “silver.”  Both teams were under the previous Division III record, which was set by Emory in 2010.  Fiona Muir and Megan Taylor of Emory, both freshman, swam lights-out for their teams and will no doubt play vital roles on the Emory sprint crew over the next three years.  The sophomore star team from Johns Hopkins was knocked back from fourth to fifth by the team from NYU, though both teams swam nearly a full second faster than they did in prelims.  Tonight, as this morning, there were no DQ’s in the women’s relays.

Men 400 IM

Jackson Lindell continues his hot streak with a crushing win and a major time drop in this evening’s finals where he posted a 3:47.63, just 1.01 off of the record set last year by Harrison Curley of Kenyon.  As expected, he took the race out harder than in prelims and finished much faster, clocking a 52.77 for his final 100 freestyle leg, whereas this morning he cruised a mere 56.69.  Teammates Ian Reardon and Arthur Conover of Kenyon duked it out for second and third, finishing only three-tenths apart, and a full two seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Austin Palmer of NYU.  Not only was the entire field under 4-minutes, but so were four swimmers in the consolation final.

Women 400 IM

Megan Pierce remained the top swimmer tonight, winning by over a second with a time of 4:20.77.  Marysol Arce, a freshman from Kenyon, swam a 4:21.96 for second place, and Cathleen Pruden took third, taking three seconds off her prelims time and jumping up from her sixth seed.  Williams earned 34 points in this heat with first and fifth place finishes from Pierce and Katherine Bennett, respectively, while Kenyon earned 32 points with second and fourth place finishes from Arce and Mary Williamson, respectively.  From the consolation heat, Denison sophomore Halli Garza swam a 4:24.85, which would have been good enough for sixth in the championship heat, as would have been Grove City senior Megan Bilko’s 4:25.12, who finished second in the consolation heat.

Men 100 Fly

Reed Dalton did not quite get his own record tonight, but the senior from Washington University of St. Louis still pulled off a victory with a time of 47.22.  Second and third places went to junior Benjamin Lin of Williams with a 47.72 and senior Andrew Rich of Denison with a 47.85.  In the consolation final Tufts went 1-2 (or 9-10) with Michael Winget and Kingsley Bowen going 48.82 and 48.86, respectively, both times almost identical to what they went in prelims.  There was one DQ in the consolation heat due to an exaggerated underwater from Cameron Martinez of Sarah Lawrence.  Kenyon and Tufts both collected 16 points in the 100 fly finals tonight, whereas Williams collected 20, the same amount awarded to champion Reed Dalton.

Women 100 Fly

Senior Kirsten Nitz of Wheaton took the championship on the women’s side, though a full second off of her personal best and Division III record set in 2014.  Sophomore all-star Emma Waddell of Williams would have placed second with a time of 53.58, just two one-hundredths behind champion Nitz, had she not been disqualified.  Due to her DQ Anna Wisniewski of Johns Hopkins collected the second-place points with a time of 54.77.  Despite Waddell’s DQ, Williams was still able to pick up four points from freshman Maia Hare’s thirteenth-place finish in the consolation final.

Men 200 Free

Thomas Thetford nearly broke the meet record tonight, registering a 1:36.87, winning him the championship by nearly an entire second.  This morning’s fastest qualifier, Evan Holder of Johns Hopkins, finished second in 1:37.71, while Christian Baker and Thomas Gordon, both from Emory, came in third and fourth, respectively, collecting 31 points for the Eagles.  Denison picked up 25 points between the three swimmers they had in both heats, while powerhouse Kenyon only earned two points.

Women 200 Free

Just as predicted, Julia Wawer from Emory pulled off the upset in the championship heat tonight with a 1:48.88, while top-seed Cindy Cheng slid to seventh place.  Unlike her performance in the heats this morning, Wawer was out fast, and though she did not finish quite as strong as she did in prelims, it still proved to be more than sufficient to take the title.  Alison Wall of Chicago took the consolation final with a 1:49.71, taking a full-second off of her prelims time.  Wall’s 1:49.71 would have won her third place in the championship final, but because she’s a junior she’ll have another shot at the podium next year.

Men 400 Medley Relay

Kenyon edged out Williams for the win and 40 points in the championship final tonight, playing a vicious game of catch-up after the backstroke leg.  Benjamin Lin of Williams was out way ahead of the rest of the field with a 47.63 in the backstroke, though Kenyon made up ground in the breast, out-splitting Williams by 0.66.  Kenyon continued to chip away at William’s lead by beating them by 0.43 and 0.76 in the fly and freestyle legs, making the overall difference 0.33 between the two teams.  IM star Jackson Lindell showed his range by leading off Denison’s relay with a 49.32 in the backstroke, helping to place Denison fourth upon the podium.  Emory did not alter their lineup and kept Alex Hardwick as the freestyler, who split an impressive 44.04.  Though perhaps the biggest surprise came from would-be champs Wash U. who were disqualified.  Had Wash U. not beed DQ’d their time of 3:14.96 would have won them the championship, thanks to a blazing 53.20 breaststroke split from Michael Lagieski and a 47.03 in the fly from Dalton Reed.

Women 400 Medley Relay

Emory pulled off the win on the women’s side tonight, winning by nearly a full second over Williams who took second.  Cindy Cheng, who earlier in the night took seventh in the 200 free, got the team out to an early lead with a 54.74 in the backstroke.  Emma Waddell in a swim for redemption on Williams’ relay split a 53.51 in the fly, which pulled the two teams within half-a-second of one another, whereas Williams had trailed Kenyon by over two seconds at the 200-yard-mark.  Though Kenyon came in fifth, senior Hannah Lobb boasted the only sub-50 freestyle split of the evening for the women with a 49.83.  Winning the consolation final was Wheaton, which began with a 55.80 backstroke leg from 100 fly champion Kirsten Nitz.

Women 1 Meter Diving

Maria Zarka of Kenyon claimed the championship on the one-meter board by a 40-point spread over second place Meghan Bartlett of SUNY Fredonia.  Senior Sarah Sheridan of Hope College took third place.  Ithaca and Trinity were the only teams with more than one diver in the finals tonight.  Each team collected 20 and 12 points, respectively.

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