Reflections?

Forums General National Championships Reflections?

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    • #12499

      I was at the meet this past weekend and when reflecting upon it I came away feeling that the outcome should have a been predictable one. I’ll admit, I was skeptical that the meet would be much closer at the top and very possibly resulting in a Denison or an Emory win. Looking at the psyche sheet, it seemed as though if Denison swam better than their seeds, they would win. Before nationals, it did not seem as though many of the Big Red blew their loads trying to make the meet, and the same rings even more true for Emory, I think like at least 75% of their guys were qualed after their midseason meet. If both teams swam better, if only slightly, they would have been much closer. Both Emory and Denison seemed to come out of the gates a little slow. Granted, there were definitely some good morning races from the two, but Kenyon came out with so much fire. I had never seen anything like it in my four years of DIII swimming nationals.

      I over heard someone from Kenyon saying that they had something like 90+% improvement over seed on Thursday morning. Sadly for the teams other than Kenyon, as someone else posted elsewhere, the meet was over after day one. Emory should have had a big lead after day one, with Denison in third. Everyone knew Kenyon would score a majority of their points on day three but did anyone really think Kenyon would be up by over 100 points going into the third day? While they continued to swim crazy fast on the third day, the most impressive session had to be Friday morning. I heard the same Kenyon kid saying that the Lords had a 100% improvement over seed session! Absolutely ridiculous. That’s a team rallying together. With the tragedy surrounding that school, you would hope that’s how a team would come together.

      Anyway, while I had posted something pre-meet about thinking that Kenyon could have had their crown stripped, and that this could be Denison’s year, I became a believer in Houston. Houston did have a problem and it came in the form of 18 purple people eaters. I ain’t never seen nothing like what went down in Texas.

    • #37253
      99 Red
      Member

      Well, first of all, if Denison and Emory were going to have a chance, the winning score at the meet was going to have to be around 400. Emory didn’t have the studs, even if Newton had a better meet, to get much higher than that. Denison didn’t have enough swims, even if Bryce and Byers had had great swims to score much more than that. If the winning score is going to be 500+ then the winning team is going to have to have 3-4 guys winning events and at least 12 friends scoring in 1 or 2.
      A friend of mine suggested that Kenyon might not have really tapered in the winter. We know that they found a golden nugget when they discovered that Mitchell worked better in the 50 and 100 back than he did in the 200. Kenyon did have some guys that didn’t do that well, but then they had 18 guys in the first place, and so we don’t notice them as much.
      Going forward, here is my rule. If Kenyon takes 16 or more, they are going to score more than 500 points, and if you want to win, you have to be ready to play in that league. Emory and Denison (as well as everybody else) wasn’t ready to do that.
      Eagles and Big Red, get on the phones, you need to get your numbers up. Denison has a much better Freshmen class than their roster at nationals would indicate, and I think they aren’t going to have to much trouble staying where they are. They just need to find a way to come up with 220 more points, ie all the individual points that Emory scored at the meet. Sound like a tall order? Well, dethrowning Kenyon should be a tall order. Thats one of the reasons people go to Denison and Emory.

    • #37254

      I think this meet proved what we have all known, consciously or unconsciously, that Jim Steen is an incredible coach, motivator and leader. While the Lords and Ladies seemingly had their backs against the wall this year, and had to deal with the incredible emotion of loss, they came firing on all cylinders. Obviously, physically they were prepared, but Coach Steen did something that no other coaches in the D-III level have ever been able to do, year-in and year-out: bring everyone together on the same page, and get them ready for the culmination of the season.

      Let’s remember: NCAA’s is a season-long process, so the great coaching and motivation were there all year long. From in-season preparation to qualifying meets in December and conference meets in February, the qualifiers had to get to the meet. Certainly it looked like a great national meet, but the foundation was set in-season, early on, and the plan was built-upon all year long. Also, the mythic proportion of the Kenyon winning traditions helped the teams, and may have put the pressure on Kenyon’s opponents.

      Coach Steen (and his staff) won the “Coach of the Year” award. The name says it all: they weren’t just the team that was “on” during one weekend, it was all year long, and in a larger sense, part of the 28 year (and 20+ year on the women’s side) locomotive. There has been no better coach in the history of D-III swimming, and he has to be one of the best in the history of all college swimming. This year proved it. And the swimmers swam with the heart and class of truly great teams. Coach prepped them, they executed.

      As someone posted on this site, in reference to the appearance of Kenyon winning the meet by the middle of Day 1 Prelims: “I should never doubt Kenyon.”

      On a slightly different note: can anyone find any other time when Kenyon swimmers placed 1-2-3 in any event, as they did this year in the breaststrokes? I know that in the 90’s, they’d routinely have 4 guys in the big heat of the 500 and mile, but never 1-3. I remember grumbling that I once got 9th in the mile and 11th in the 500, but that I would have been the 5th Kenyon distance that year, so without Kenyon I’d have been something like 3rd and 4th (1993). Now, I think about that with a true sense of respect for that team accomplishment. I also think about this: for 4 years, I was in on the start of the Kenyon 1650 streak, which started in 1991, and is still on-going. While the Kenyon alumni savor each national team title, the distance swimmers in particular get particularly edgy when someone looks like a threat to the mile streak.

    • #37255
      swmwl1
      Member

      50 Freestyle when Ken Heis won- I think Ken won and 3 others actually tied for 2nd.

    • #37256

      @PioneerSwimming wrote:

      Coach Steen (and his staff) won the “Coach of the Year” award.

      we all know steen is probably the best college coach in any division and in any sport (well my opinion), but i think that they should have recognized Kester and his team of 12. they were in the hunt for 2nd place against stronger teams like Denison and Emory.

    • #37257
      ajp
      Member

      2001 Kenyon went 1-2-3 in the 200IM and 400IM.

      There’s many more I’m sure.

    • #37258

      “i think that they should have recognized Kester and his team of 12. they were in the hunt for 2nd place against stronger teams like Denison and Emory.”

      Coach Kuster of Williams actually brought 11 swimmers.

    • #37259
      N Dynamite
      Member

      @wickedfoolish wrote:

      we all know steen is probably the best college coach in any division and in any sport (well my opinion), but i think that they should have recognized Kester and his team of 12. they were in the hunt for 2nd place against stronger teams like Denison and Emory.

      Denison only had 7 swimmers. By your logic Parini deserved it. This year Kenyon out-Kenyoned themselves. They swam ridiculously fast and won the Championship by the second day – a win they weren’t supposed to get based on the psyche sheet. How can you not vote for Steen? Granted winning the championship doesn’t automatically qualify someone as coach of the year (some years they just had to show up), but it’s how they did it this year. There was no other viable pick.

    • #37260
      Chris Knight
      Member

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      @wickedfoolish wrote:

      we all know steen is probably the best college coach in any division and in any sport (well my opinion), but i think that they should have recognized Kester and his team of 12. they were in the hunt for 2nd place against stronger teams like Denison and Emory.

      Denison only had 7 swimmers. By your logic Parini deserved it. This year Kenyon out-Kenyoned themselves. They swam ridiculously fast and won the Championship by the second day – a win they weren’t supposed to get based on the psyche sheet. How can you not vote for Steen? Granted winning the championship doesn’t automatically qualify someone as coach of the year (some years they just had to show up), but it’s how they did it this year. There was no other viable pick.

      Agree wholeheartedly. The award should go to whomever does the best coaching job, and given all Kenyon’s struggles throughout this season, to come to Houston and absolultely dominate the meet for 6 sessions the way they did eliminated all other coaches from consideration for this award. I am amazed by the way that he can instill so much confidence in his kids that they can basically swim like crap all year and peak as a perfect unit for 3 days in March. There is truly no other program in any sport in the world that is quite like them.

    • #37261
      swim5599
      Member

      No question Jim deserved the award. I would def throw him in as one of the top ten coaches in swimming history at any level. He is amazing, and this was one of his best performances. I am done ever doubting them.

    • #37262
      silentp
      Member

      I agree with Jim Steen being coach of the year, he should almost win it yearly, then give a runner-up award.

      However, since we’re recognizing other coaches, like Parini and Kuster (who would also be deserving in any other year), i thought i’d throw Carlson of GAC out there. You may say it’s my bias, but coaching is a year round thing and as far as over-achieving, GAC has got to be near the top. Did anyone really predict them to be top 5?!?! Many knowledgable people, including biased observers, were hoping for a top 10 finish… that’s a BIG difference. They may have dropped down slightly from seeds, but not near as far as expected and coaching is also what’s done to get them in those positions.

    • #37263
      Mr. Obvious
      Member

      @swim5599 wrote:

      No question Jim deserved the award. I would def throw him in as one of the top ten coaches in swimming history at any level. He is amazing, and this was one of his best performances. I am done ever doubting them.

      Mr. Obvious Thanks You!

      Do you think Bill is a good football coach too?

      (Belichek that is)

    • #37264
      NCACDork
      Member

      I think in 2000 they actually went 1-2-3-4 in one of the IMs. Genrich, Rushton, Holcomb and (either) Kiepfer or Holter perhaps? I don’t remember.

    • #37265
      MentalEdge
      Member

      @2000 NCAA Results wrote:

      FINAL RESULTS
      PLACE NAME YEAR TEAM TRIALS FINALS

      CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – MENS 400 YARD I.M.

      1) RUSHTON, TOM JR KENYON 3:58.54 3:56.75
      2) HOLCOMB, BRETT JR KENYON 3:57.29 3:58.00
      3) KIEPFER, DANIEL FR KENYON 4:03.51 3:59.81
      4) GENRICH, COLBY SR KENYON 4:02.90 4:01.65

    • #37266
      NCACDork
      Member

      What about the 2 IM that year?

    • #37267
      MentalEdge
      Member

      No they were 1-2-3-8 in the 2 IM:
      @2000 NCAA Results wrote:

      FINAL RESULTS
      PLACE NAME YEAR TEAM TRIALS FINALS

      CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – MENS 200 YARD I.M.

      1) GENRICH, COLBY SR KENYON 1:52.84 1:51.75
      2) HOLCOMB, BRETT JR KENYON 1:52.25 1:52.11
      3) AVILA, ESTEVAO SO KENYON 1:53.08 1:53.08
      4) BOELK, RANDY JR UW STEVENS POINT 1:52.85 1:53.38
      5) FAULCONER, JASON SR HARTWICK 1:54.27 1:53.61
      6) KAMIENSKI, CHRIS FR WHEATON (IL) 1:54.18 1:54.26
      7) WONG, RYAN JR UC SAN DIEGO 1:54.14 1:54.42
      8) BOON, READ FR KENYON 1:51.83 1:55.61

      Pretty wild that Boon went into finals as the top seed and ended up 8th by the way.

    • #37268
      swim5599
      Member

      Kinda crazy to think that 1:53.0 was 3rd that year, that would not put you in the top 8 nowadays. Althought Boon did go 1:51 in the prelim.

    • #37269
      H2allpurpose
      Member

      is the 500 the same day as 200IM for DIII meet? is so, I’m sure there is a good chance he did the 500 pretty close the the 200IM

    • #37270
      Nescacfan
      Member

      Same day, back-to-back. Tough double.

    • #37271
      swim5599
      Member

      Boon never doubled up the 500 and 200 IM. He just had a really off swim in the final that year.

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