Just a few of my thoughts about the controversies at the D3 NCAA meet…

The first big controversy came when Logan Toddhunter “may” have DQed during her 200 IM.  For those of you that didn’t see, it looked as if she popped up after the 15 meter mark on her underwater fly kick.  I was on deck, and I thought her hands passed, closer to her head.  A lot of people have been saying that an official needs to be standing at the 15 meter mark, but a bunch of us on deck all had the same reaction, and the official raised his hand.  It even looked like she was DQed after the race, as Coach Kuster greeted Toddhunter after the race.  In any event, if the referee needed to be at the 15 meter mark, they made the right call, as he was not yet in place.

Another surprising event happened during the second day, during the 400 medley relay.  At least five women’s relays were DQed, most coming from one heat.  After the event, a majority of the disqualifications were overturned due to a “pad malfunction.”  While this may have actually occurred, I am in still some disbelief that officials would overturn the RJPs.  They can catch a reaction just .01 early, which would be very difficult for the eye to see (especially with just an average amount of officials on deck, but that’s another story).  These types of things happen, and the relay pads are used for a reason.  If the NCAA is going to reverse these calls, maybe they shouldn’t use them.  Or maybe they forgot this was Nationals…

While the equipment didn’t seem to have any glaring issues, one fault came during the women’s mile.  The scoreboard froze and no one could see any splits or have any idea what pace swimmers were holding.  It’s a shame especially because this was the top heat, and we’ll probably never know those splits.  I hope they didn’t have to resort to backup watches, but I can’t be sure about that.  One thing I do know is that the announcer did a subpar job on this race.  Just think, the top heat of an event, last day, stands packed…and no one can tell if Caroline Wilson is holding :59’s or 1:08’s.  It would have been nice to hear some splits or pacing from the announcer throughout that race.

Probably the biggest disqualification of the meet came during the final day of the 200 breaststroke, where a Kenyon swimmer was DQed in the consols heat for a downbeat kick.  I was on deck at the time, and while I do agree with the officials on that call, I question their judgment on other breaststrokers, particularly a few from Denison.  One of their breaststrokers was dying during the final 50.  While this swimmer does have an upbeat part to the kick, I thought the last 25 of the race was very questionable, as it looked similar to Kenyon’s breaststroker at night.

Alas, all of these things cannot be changed, and Denison’s men have altered the course of Division III swimming as we know it.  The streak has ended.  For Kenyon, they should be proud that they have set the bar for excellence.  Teams will always define Kenyon as synonymous with greatness, and The Lords will continue to be the standard others will try to reach.  For the Big Red of Denison, they have done something no one has been able to do in thirty one years.  They are the beginning of a new era in D3 swimming, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds.  Emory’s women again dominated the meet, and were overshadowed by this momentous upset.  However, I hope they take solace in the fact that this squad may have been the most dominant ever.  This is what I love about swimming; the passion, the controversies, and the repeated push to become some of the fastest swimmers in the country, across all divisions.

Barret, along with Paul, represented D3Swimming.com at the most recent NCAA meet. His time, volunteering for this duty is greatly appreciated.

7 thoughts on “Just a few of my thoughts about the controversies at the D3 NCAA meet…”

  1. The take off pads were registering the swimmer left the block when they stepped up. That is why everyone was getting called on it. ANyone that was doing a double foot start was not getting called so finally coaches were getting prett mad and was decided to get rid of them for the remainder of the meet. THe only relays that they didnt overturn were when they had two officials rule a jump ( i think there was at least one). Anyone watch the 200 back prelims? A kenyon guy false started but didnt get called as well. Never heard the reason for that one. He didnt make top 16 though

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  2. While that may have been the case, there was no communication to coaches, spectators, or athletes watching the race. It just looked as if the officials were reversing a decision that was made by the pad (which I don’t think can be done very easily). At the national meet, if an error like this does occur, it would be wise for the meet managers to say something, as I know some coaches were upset that their relay was bumped out because of they overturned the DQs.

    And yes, I did see that, forgot to mention it. I think that it was within the rules to allow him to swim though, can’t be sure on that one though.

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  3. The Amherst Men’s 200 Medley Relay was DQd on day one, presumably based on the pad although they were later told it was a referree call. They would have qualifed 3rd for finals and with 5th place points, the Men’s team would have come in 4th, their highest finish ever and got on the podium, instead of finishing 6th. The pad “problem” didn’t manifest itself until Day 2 and by then it was too late for Amherst. The worst thing about the pad problem was that this venue apparently had some issues in prior meets, one very recently. The swimmers at this meet are very experienced – no way there should have been that many DQs in the meet.

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  4. I believe they passed out a piece of paper to all the coaches saying that they were going to reinstate any relays that were dq’ed in the morning of day two, so they did tell coaches and swimmers, but not spectators. The decision was made in between sessions the 2nd day. Unfortunately, there were several DQ’s the previous day that were not reinstated that probably should have been looked at more closely for some swimmers that deserved to be recognized as All Americans.

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  5. The amherst DQ was rather obvious in the 200 MR in the morning. It actually looked like both their 2nd and 3rd guys left early.

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