Kenyon One Step Closer To Title
March 20, 2009
Courtesy of Macalester College
Macalester College is proud to host the 2009 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
NCAA web sites for Division III women's swimming & diving championships:
Women | Men
Women's Links: Who's in | 2009 Psych Sheet
Men's Links: Who's in | 2009 Psych Sheet
Thursday: Complete Results
Friday: Complete Results
Preliminary round events begin at 10 a.m. each day and finals get started at 5:30 p.m. each day.
Courtesy of Kenyon College Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS - The Kenyon College Lords had a rather nice cushion going into the third day of the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship. Entering the evening with a 137-point advantage over second-place Emory University, the Lords swept the top three spots in the 100-yard butterfly and by night's end increased their lead to 158 points.
The butterfly sweep was not the only story of the night for the Lords, who now have 482 first-place points. A pair of College records fell by the wayside and gave the Lords a full head of steam heading into Saturday's final day of competition. If Kenyon maintains its lead, it will be the program's NCAA-record 30th consecutive national title. No other program, men's or women's, in any division of the NCAA, comes anywhere near that mark. In fact, the next longest title streak was set at 17 by the Kenyon women's swim team, who accomplished the feat from 1984 through 2000.
In the 100-yard butterfly, defending champion and Kenyon senior Matthew Harris (Laurel, MD/DeMatha) did not disappoint. He clocked in at 1:46.74 to take this year's title and completed the sweep of the two butterfly events for the past two seasons. Harris can now pencil in 13 career NCAA titles and 20 All-America awards on his resume.
From the team's perspective, the finishes of freshman Joseph Pysnik (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) and junior Douglas Huguenard (Louisville, KY/duPont Manual Magnet) were just as important. Those two Lords tied for second place in the 100-yard butterfly and completed the 1-2-3 sweep with identical times of 1:47.75.
In the next event, the 100-yard backstroke, Kenyon sophomore Michael Mpitsos (Newport, OR/Newport) claimed third place with a time of 49.46. That finish was up three spots from last year. Following that performance, another Kenyon sophomore, David Lazarus (Moens, France/Foundation of International), improved upon his own College record and placed fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Lazarus' previous Kenyon record was 55.55, which he set in 2008. In Friday morning's preliminaries, he clocked in at 55.09 and then logged a 55.20 in the evening finals. It was the second straight season Lazarus placed fourth in the event.
Kenyon capped the night with a second-place showing in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The Lords' squad of Blair Withington (Hastings, New Zealand/Hasting Boys'), Blake Preston (New Rochelle, NY/New Rochelle), Kegan Borland (Vandergrift, PA/Saint Joseph), and Michael Machala (Twin Falls, ID/Twin Falls) finished with a College record time of 6:34.17, but had to settle for the runner-up spot. Denison University won the event in an NCAA record time of 6:32.91, which obliterated the old mark of 6:36.26 set by Kenyon at the 2002 championship.
The relay victory gave the Big Red some life, but they sit in third place with 234.5 points and trail Kenyon by nearly 250 points. Emory holds second place with 324 points and rounding out the top five are St. Olaf College in fourth place with 205 points and Amherst College in fifth with 117 points.
One step away from a fantastic celebration, the Lords will try to hold off all challengers tomorrow at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Preliminary heats start at 11 a.m. and final heats will begin at 6:30 p.m.