SHENANDOAH, Texas -- Kenyon began the defense of its 2014 NCAA Division III Men's Swimming and Diving title on Wednesday. During the first of four days of competition at the 2015 national championship meet held in the Conroe I.S.D. Natatorium, the Lords scored 109 points and moved to the top spot on the team leaderboard.
Emory slid into second place with 88 points. Williams is third with 66, while Denison took over fourth place with 60 points and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps rounded out the top five with 54 points.Sophomore Arthur Conover kicked off the NCAA Championship with the Lords' best individual swim of the evening. He placed runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle and would have owned the NCAA record in the event had it not been for Andrew Greenhalgh, who claimed the title.
A Johns Hopkins sophomore, Greenhalgh clocked in at 4:20.60 to eliminate the old NCAA record of 4:21.79. Conover's runner-up time was 4:20.95, which clipped the Kenyon record of 4:22.95 set by Elliot Rushton in the 2005 season.
In the consolation heat of the 500, Kenyon also had senior Joe Guilfoyle turn in a 13th-place finish with a time of 4:30.36.
Although that was Kenyon's best individual swim, the Lords did not exit Wednesday night without gaining at least one event victory. In the final event of the evening, the Kenyon relay team of Harrison Curley, Trevor Manz, Kevin Magee and Wes Manz lit up the scoreboard with a new NCAA record time of 1:27.54.
That cleared out the old NCAA mark of 1:27.74 set in 2010 by the Kenyon relay team of Michael Mpitsos, Collin Ohning, Nat Carruthers and Zack Turk. The NCAA event title was the first for both of the Manz brothers, as well as for Magee.
In between those two events, there were just two other races contested. In the 200-yard individual medley, the Lords had Trevor Manz, a sophomore, take fifth place and classmate Ian Reardon take eighth place. Manz hit the wall in 1:47.52 and Reardon touched in 1:50.09.
Earlier in the day, Manz posted a 1:46.82 in the preliminary heats for a College record time that knocked off the old mark of 1:47.72 set by Marc Courtney-Brooks in 2004. Additional Kenyon points in the event came from junior Mark Newell, who clocked in at 1:51.15 for 14th place.
Prior to 200-yard medley relay finale, the Lords saw senior Austin Caldwell begin his final championship run with a sixth-place showing and a time of 20.24 in the 50-yard freestyle. In the consolation heat of the same event, junior Ryan Funk and Joey Duronio claimed 13th and 14th places with respective times of 20.53 and 20.55.
Day two of competition will commence tomorrow with preliminary heats starting at 11 a.m. followed by finals at 7 p.m.