KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After Wednesday’s opening session of the four-day NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship, the Kenyon College Lords were perched in their familiar position atop the standings. Kenyon won two of four events, earned 106 points and launched a successful start in its bid to claim a record 33rd consecutive NCAA title
Although Wednesday’s final standing was what the Kenyon team wanted, the Lords didn’t quite jump out to the start they had in mind. At the completion of the first two events, Kenyon had just 23 points and occupied sixth place. That all changed when David Somers and Collin Ohning hit the water in the evening’s third event, the 50-yard freestyle.
Somers, a junior who placed runner-up last year in the 50 free, clocked in Wednesday with a winning time of 20.11 and scored Kenyon’s first event title of the meet. It was his fifth collegiate title. Ohning, a senior, finished second to Somers with a time of 20.23. That 1-2 punch launched the Lords from sixth place in the team standings to first, with a one-point lead ahead of Emory.
Kenyon closed out the session with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. The Lords’ winning lineup included Somers and Ohning, as well as senior Michael Mpitsos and sophomore Jimmy Chapman. The win was Kenyon’s sixth consecutive in the event and Ohning swam a leg on each of the last four.
That left Kenyon with 106 team points. Emory maintained second place with 97 points and Denison moved into third place with 85 points. Rounding out the top five were Williams in fourth place with 54 points and Redlands in fifth place with 52 points.
Kenyon opened with 22 points from the 500-yard freestyle finishes of Andrew Chevalier, Ian Stewart-Bates and Joseph Pysnik. The three placed 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively. In the 200-yard individual medley, junior Ian Bakk rounded out the final heats with a 16th-place finish in a time of 1:52.45.