SHENANDOAH, Texas -- Kenyon senior Harrison Curley grabbed his second title of the four-day Division III men's Swimming and Diving Championship on Thursday night and helped the Lords increase their lead in the overall team standings.
When Thursday's session came to an end, the Lords had 287 team points and extended their advantage from 21 points to 76 points against the second-place Denison. Emory held down third place with 145 points, Williams has fourth place with 143 points and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps remained in fifth place with 128 points.After swimming a leg on the winning 200-yard medley relay team Wednesday night, Curley returned to the Conroe ISD Natatorium Thursday evening to claim his next title in the 400-yard individual medley. In morning prelims, Curley clocked in at 3:49.25, which would have been an NCAA record. However, Mary Washington's Alex Anderson took the top seed with a time of 3:48.50. When it counted, in the evening's championship final, Curley clipped about two-and-a-half seconds off his prelim time and captured the national title with an amazing NCAA record time of 3:46.62.
Before Curley put on his show, the Lords' 200-yard freestyle relay team began the evening session with a title-winning swim. The Kenyon quartet of Austin Caldwell, Joey Duronio, Ryan Funk and Wes Manz put up a time of 1:20.38 to best the rest of the field. The NCAA title was a first for Duronio and Funk. It was Caldwell's fifth and Manz's second.
At the conclusion of those first two events of the evening, Kenyon held a comfortable 215-108 lead against Denison. The Lords bumped that lead up by three more points in the 100-yard butterfly when junior Christian Josephson captured seventh place with a time of 48.76.
In the next event, the 200-yard freestyle, Caldwell attempted to three-peat. He was out-touched however by just a hundredth of a second and had to settle for a runner-up finish with a time of 1:37.38. Amherst's Connor Sholtis, who finished seventh a year ago, edged Caldwell with a 1:37.37. In the same event, the Lords received an eighth-place swim from Joey Duronio who clocked in at 1:40.08 and helped boost Kenyon's first-place position to 124 points.
Entering the NCAA championship meet, the Kenyon men knew they would have to build big leads in the swimming events to stave off the charge from five Denison divers. The Big Red ended up qualifying three of those five divers for Thursday's championship final of the one-meter competition and the trio swept the top three spots. The clean sweep earned the Big Red 53 team points, cutting Kenyon's overall lead down to 71 points.
In the evening's final event, the 400-yard medley relay, the Lords put a few more points of separation between themselves and Denison. Curley, Trevor Manz, Josephson and Caldwell teamed up for a 3:14.69, a fantastic time that was a new Kenyon record and one that was better than the previous NCAA record of 3:15.09. Even so, the Lords' foursome had to settle for third place because teams from Williams and Emory claimed the top two spots, respectively.