INDIANAPOLIS -- It was a night of firsts, and it was a night of feats for Denison. For the third consecutive year, Al Weik jump started the Big Red with a victory in the 500 freestyle, and junior Connor Dignan captured his first career national title in record-setting fashion in the 3-meter dive.
Through five events, Denison sits in first-place overall with 173 points. Kenyon trails in second-place with 104 points, while Emory sits third with 73 points.
Weik posted a winning time of 4:24.31, which was more than two seconds faster than his preliminary time of 4:26.73 which had him seeded first entering tonight's final. Weik's 2012 time of 4:21.79 set in this very pool remains the NCAA record.
Adding seven points to the Big Red's cause with a 10th place finish in the 500 freestyle was sophomore P.J. Fallon who touched in 4:29.60. He improved his preliminary time by slightly over one second.
After a stellar morning which resulted in DU swimmers taking up half of the eight lanes in tonight's championship final of the 200 IM, the Big Red would occupy places 3-6-7-8-15 to rack up 54 points in the event. Senior Carlos Maciel led the way with a career-best third-place finish after a time of 1:48.92. This marked Maciel's third All-American performance in the 200 IM and the 14th of his career.
Fellow Senior Spencer Fronk followed in sixth-place with a time of 1:49.96. After entering the meet seeded 24th, Fronk catapulted into the championship final with the second-fastest prelim time (1:49.31) on Wednesday morning.
After three swimming events, Denison held a 101-72 lead against Kenyon. It also allowed Denison's talented stable of divers to take center stage on the 3-meter board.
Dignan ripped through his 11 preliminary 3-meter dives and entered the six-dive final in first-place. First-year Max Levy and sophomore Ben Lewis also qualified for the 8-man final.
As the lights shined brighter, Denison's trio only seemed to get better as Dignan paced the group with a meet record score of 613.90. The win marked the second men's diving national championship in school history. The first was captured last year by Lewis, in the 1-meter board. Dignan's best dive of the night came on his sixth and final dive of the final where he popped off a score of 78.00 to distance himself from his teammate, Levy, who placed second with a score of 536.40.
In the final event of the night, Denison's 200 medley relay team rebounded from a disappointing preliminary time of 1:31.49 which landed them in tonight's consolation heat, rather than in the championship heat where Big Red relay teams have been a fixture over the last 25 years. The relay team of Fronk, Damon Rosenburg, Andrew Rich and Wuorinen made the best of the situation by winning the consolation heat in 1:29.63 to earn 18 points. Denison's primary completion, Kenyon, placed third in the championship heat, picking up 32 points in the process.