Denison University will host the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships at the Trumbull Aquatics Center on February 8-11. This is the fourth consecutive year Denison will serve as the host of the four-day championship event and the 33rd year of the championship which dates back to 1985.
On Wednesday, the championship will open at 6:30 p.m. with the women's 800 free relay followed by the men's 800 free relay. The women's 3-meter dive follows to conclude the opening night. Thursday through Saturday's schedule will start with preliminaries at 10 a.m. followed by finals at 6:30 p.m.
HISTORY HAS ITS EYES ON YOU: Denison's men's and women's teams have each won nine conference championships. The men are currently riding an eight-year streak of NCAC titles while the women captured seven-straight from 2009-15.
Denison's men have never finished worse than third place at the NCAC Championship and that happened only once, in the first year of the championship, in 1985. Since then, the Big Red men have placed first, nine times and second, 22 times.
In 32 prior NCAC Championships, the women have won the event eight times, finished second, 20 times, third, twice and fourth, twice.
Seven of the 21 men's conference records are held by Denison swimmers and divers. The Denison women hold 10 of the NCAC's 21 event records. The oldest conference record in women's swimming & diving goes back to 2009 when Olivia Zaleski won the 50 free, 100 free and swam with Ksenia Golovkina, Kate Rich and Kristen Hohl in the 200 medley relay. The oldest men's record goes way back to 1998 and is held by Kenyon's Pedro Monteiro in the 200 fly.
MVPS: The Denison men's program has logged 22 NCAC Swimmer or Diver of the Year awards since 1985. Denison men's divers have won six-straight Diver of the Year awards and 12, overall. Senior Max Levy is the defending Diver of the Year after winning the 3-meter and placing second on the 1-meter board in 2016. Senior Jack Lindell is the defending Swimmer of the Year after winning the 200 IM, 400 IM and the 200 backstroke.
The Denison women have racked up 16 NCAC Swimmer or Diver of the Year awards. Senior Campbell Costley won NCAC Swimmer of the Year as a sophomore in 2015. There have been seven NCAC Divers of the Year, and nine NCAC Swimmers of the Year from Denison.
USUAL SUSPECTS: The Denison men enter this year's championship as the nation's top-ranked team. Kenyon College is ranked third and DePauw is 21st. On the women's side, Denison is ranked second in the nation while Kenyon checks in third and DePauw is 23rd.
JACK ATTACK: 2016 NCAA Division III Swimmer of the Year, Jack Lindell will compete in his final conference championship. He is seeded first in the 200 IM, 400 IM and the 200 backstroke and is the defending champion in all three events. He boasts the nation's fastest time in the 200 back this season at 1:46.68.
THE BIG RED MACHINE: Entering her final NCAC Championship, Carolyn Kane has already built an impressive resume. She is a 10-time NCAC Champion and the favorite in three individual events this week. Last year, she set a conference record in the 400 free relay along with Ashley Yearwood, Kate Wright and Mary Van Leuven. Kane's time in the 100 fly (54.67) is the fastest time posted by a Division III swimmer in 2016-17. She has the second-fastest time in the 100 free (50.49) and is fourth in D-III in the 50 free (23.18). You can also expect Kane to swim on four Big Red relays.
NO BREAK IN THIS LEVY: Max Levy is another senior who has competed at the highest level of Division III diving since arriving at Denison in 2013. He was named the 2015 NCAA Division III Diver of the Year and is a two-time national champion. He is also the defending NCAC champion on the 3-meter board. Levy is the top-seeded diver on both boards in 2017 but he is followed closely behind by four-time All-American, Brian Allen.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: There are six women's divers entered from Denison and they are comprised of two seniors (Katherine Hennigan and Sarah Lopez), two sophomores (Emma Weber and Eva Vivero) and two first-year's (Allison Fitzgerald and Naomi Clayton). Weber is the top seed on the 3-meter and Fitzgerald is the favorite in the 1-meter competition.
SHE'S GOING THE DISTANCE: Campbell Costley is a former NCAC Swimmer of the Year and four-time conference champion. She enters the meet with the conference's second-fastest times in the 1,650 free, the 500 free and the 200 free. She won all three of those events in 2015. In the mile and the 500 free, DePauw's Angela Newlon will be her top competition. Newlon leads D-III with her 16:29.59 entry time in the 1650 and her 4:22.42 in the 400 IM. She is also ranked second in the nation in the 500 free.
DEPTH PERCEPTION: Denison's depth on the men's side will be on full display in events like the 500 free, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly, 200 free and 100 free. In those events, the Big Red boasts at least five swimmers in the top-10 on the psych sheet.
RATED ROOKIE: First-year KT Kustritz has the top entry time in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.46) and the 100 IM (58.67). Denison's last individual championship in the 100 breaststroke came from Natalie Lugg in 2013. A DU swimmer has won the women's 100 breaststroke, 12 times since 1992.
INTRODUCING…: The 100-yard individual medley will make its debut at the NCAC Championships in 2017. This event will not take place at nationals but is being added to select conference championships across the country.
NUMBERS GAME: There has been 140 individual event NCAC champions from the Denison men's program and 144 from the women's program. Carolyn Kane is Denison's active leader with 10 career conference titles.
CRÈME DE LA CRÈME: Need even more proof that the North Coast Athletic Conference is the premier swimming and diving conference in all of Division III? There will be at least one swimmer ranked in the top-10 in the nation in every swimming event at this meet. In fact, 20 individual events feature at least one swimmer ranked in the top-3, nationally.