DIII Swimming & Diving: Denison back on top after Day 3 of championship
Denison moved back into the lead at the 2016 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving championship powered by the Big Red's trio of divers and a national championship in the 800 freestyle relay.
Through 15 of 20 events, Denison leads Kenyon College by 33 points. The Big Red has totaled 364.5 points while the Lords sit second with 331.5. Emory is third with 249 while Johns Hopkins occupies fourth place with 200 points.
Ben Lewis bookended his career with his second national championship on the 1-meter board. In 2013, he became Denison's first male diving national champion and as a senior, he posted a score of 555.35 to walk away with the gold. In six finals dives, Lewis posted three dives over 60 points. His final dive, a reverse 1 ½ somersault 1 1 ½ twist free locked up the win with a score of 61.10.
Lewis was followed by Max Levy who placed fourth in 493.55 and Brian Allen who took fifth with a score of 481.25. For Levy, this marks his sixth All-American award. The trio of top-five finishes would result in 49 points that were unanswered by the Lords. Denison's three divers have scored 97 points at this year's championship.
If diving was the main course, the 800 free relay proved to be a tasty dessert as the Big Red out-touched Johns Hopkins at the wall for the relay national title. The team of Ryan Fleming, Jack Lindell, Ryan Stevenson and Joe Brunk hit the wall in 6:32.55. Johns Hopkins followed in 6:32.71. Kenyon placed fourth in 6:36.10 resulting a +10 point advantage for DU in the event. At the mid-way point of the relay, Denison sat in third place but a strong 200 by Stevenson followed by a blistering anchor leg in 1:37.90 by Brunk would get the job done. This is the eighth 800 freestyle relay national title in Denison men's swimming history.
In the 100 backstroke, when Jason Wesseling posted a time of 48.97 in the finals that tied him for sixth place. That swim gave Denison 12.5 points. It also resulted in a +7.5 point swing for DU in the team standings. This was the third All-American swim of the meet for Wesseling.
Denison did not have a swimmer in the 100 breaststroke and after a sixth-place finish by Kenyon's Trevor Manz, the Lords held a 26-point lead over DU entering the 1-meter board.