Best Rivalry

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    • #12208

      After checking out the results for the Westminster/Grove City meet-a huge rivalry in the PAC conference, I was wondering what everyone thought was the biggest rivalry in D-3 Swimming. I’m not sure of enough off hand to make a poll yet. Any thoughts?

    • #33718

      Easily, Williams-Amherst, in both men and women. It goes back over 130 years, at least in other sports like baseball. I sat at an overflow table at the pre-NCAA banquet in 2005, and a few Ephs and a few Lord Jeffs had to sit there. There wasn’t much talking going on: lots of uncomfortable silences, even with me trying to fill the gaps with “How about those Red Sox?” and “Why is it pronounced ‘Eeeeeph?'” and “Shouldn’t it be “Lord Geoff’s?'”.

      Certainly Kenyon-Denison deserves mention, men and women. Recently, Emory-Kenyon, especially on the women’s side. Emory and Carnegie men. Wheaton (IL) and Carthage (WI). C-M-S and Pomona-Pitzer. St Olaf and Carleton. In the mid-90’s it was UCSD and Kenyon men, when UCSD came within 92 points of KC at the 1993 nationals. In the mid-late 1990’s, it was JHU-Emory, until JHU left the UAA.

      And of course, since this is a site that has the most contributors from the MIAA, then Hope-Kalamazoo is one of the top rivalries.

      GCC and Westminster are within about 10 miles of each other and always swam each other, but the rivalry has only grown in recent years with WC joining D-III and the PAC. Even just 5 years ago, it was GCC-W&J, women and men.

      I’ll remind everyone of the signature of one of the frequent contributors to this site: “I love rivalries, but I hate hatreds.” Celebrate the good parts of the rivalry, and shake hands after the race and the meet are over. Certainly when I was swimming, we wanted more than anything to beat JHU, but we always sat next to each other at NCAA’s and had a great time. That’s what it’s all about.

    • #33719

      As nescacfan, I am confident that Williams-Amherst is the best NESCAC rivalry in swimming for both men and women. Williams tends to dominate the series, but, occasionally, Amherst pulls out a win as the Amherst women did this year. The dual meet each year is intense. The stands are full and the noise is deafening. The format for the meet is different from most wins. The women swim at 1 pm; the men swim at 4 pm. Is this rivalry the best DIII rivalry? I think so, but I could be convinced otherwise.

    • #33720

      Just because there is hatred between the two school in every sport, I would cast a vote for Wabash-DePauw. The Monon Bell game in football is televised and their swim meets usually have to have the fire marshall shut down the meet because they are WAY over capacity.

      Having witness the meet for 4 years, which either team loses, takes it very personally.

    • #33721

      Here is why the Hope Kzoo swimming rivalry (just talking swimming here) is better than the above mentioned:

      1) Kzoo is a liberal institution Hope is religious.
      2) Hope or Kzoo has won the league title 32 of the last 33 years.
      3) see which conference section has the most posts. the obvious reason is that this website was created by Kzoo, but that just speaks more to the point.

    • #33722

      @PioneerSwimming wrote:

      the signature of one of the frequent contributors to this site: “I love rivalries, but I hate hatreds.”

      I was thinking about changing that, but now I’m not so sure. Regardless, I still feel that way.

      I’d be willing to vote for Williams-Amherst as one of the best (if not the actual best) out there in DIII swimming, as my impression is that they are out to win with a passion every single time they meet: dual meet, NESCACs, and nationals. Not too many other rivalries seem to run quite that deep. It seems like most of the time one of the meets is the decisive, really important one; the others, while a big deal, aren’t a Big Deal. The Hope-Kzoo rivalry comes to mind: plenty of discussions have been had about whether winning is most important at NCAAs or at the league meet (the dual meet is pretty much left out entirely). For Kenyon, obviously they worry about nationals and very little else.

      The Grove City-Westminster rivalry, since that’s the one I’m most familiar with, dates to the 1930s, so it’s actually pretty old. Its new life in the last few years comes not only from them being in the same conference, but from them actually competing with each other now, instead of one team always blowing the other away. What’s really unique about it, though, is the all-time dual-meet series being tied. Something suspects me that there aren’t too many other rivalries that are quite that even.

      As a general question: is it still a rivalry if it the teams aren’t close to each other in strength and depth, and haven’t been close for a lot of years (say, a decade or more)? And I’m talking not just score, but across most or all of the events. My inclination is to say no, even if the worse-off team keeps hoping against all reality that “we’ll get ’em someday.” But what do other folks think?

    • #33723

      As far as swimming, in the MIAA Hope/Kzoo is probably the best. Hope/Calvin is close in the swimming regard, but Hope/Calvin is probably the best D3 rivalry across all sports. Basketball first and foremost, but the other sports are just as much of an event.

    • #33724

      As much as it pains me to say that AJP is right because he is from Calvin and I am from Hope, he is. Last year ESPN ran a special that highlighted the top 10 college basketball rivalries. Eight of which were men’s d1 programs, UConn and Tennessee women were also in there along with Hope and Calvin. When the special aired, that rivalry ranked 4th in the country. Interesting. I do realize that this topic was brought up in a swimming forum and I think there are other rivalries that would certainly rank ahead of this one.

    • #33725

      I would say most recently in swimming it would be Kenyon and Denison. When I think of rivalries that is one that immediately comes to mind

    • #33726

      St. Olaf and Gustavus have a great rivalry in just about every sport, especially swimming. Both schools are Lutheran, but St. Olaf is Norwegian and Gustavus is Swedish. So really the rivalry can be traced back to the begininngs of these two nation states and their subsequent battles.

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