Big Red hoists 6th NCAC title
For the fifth-straight year, the Denison men's swimming and diving team raised the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship trophy at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio. The Big Red posted its third-largest margin of victory after outscoring Kenyon 1,704-1,515.
Junior Al Weik opened Saturday night's final with a dominating victory in the 1650 freestyle, out touching second-place Joseph Guilfoyle of Kenyon by almost 19 seconds. Weik won the event for the third-straight year after posting a season-best 'A' cut time of 15:30.14. Freshmen Conner Downard and Nathan Thorne also helped DU extend its lead by placing fourth and fifth, respectively. Downard clocked in with a 'B' cut time of 16:07.44, while Thorne finished in 16:17.07.
Like Weik, senior Quinn Bartlett won his third-straight title in the 200 backstroke after posting a season-best 'A' cut of 1:47.69. Sean Chabot finished second after touching in at 1:48.56, while Matt Montague was fourth with a 'B' cut time of 1:51.87. Those top-5 finishes gave the Big Red a 133-point advantage with five events to go.
Junior Jackson Humphrey won his third conference title and second-straight in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:50.54. Sophomore Dan Hellman took third in the race after clocking in at 1:51.65. Additionally, Hellman posted an 'A' cut time in the prelims after checking in at 1:49.75.
Freshman Joe Brunk won his first NCAC crown in the 200 breaststroke after logging a 'B' cut time of 2:04.40. Right behind Brunk was sophomore Damon Rosenburg, who touched in with a 'B' cut time of 2:04.46. Ben Snader (6th) rounded out the scoring in that event with a time of 2:06.33.
Denison's fifth individual title came in the men's 3-meter diving event. Senior Gabe Dixson logged his fifth NCAC win after scoring 534.40 points. Connor Dorff (479.75), Ben Lewis (473.90), Matt Poulos (400.30) and Nathan Lightman (395.45) occupied spots three through six.
The Big Red closed out the meet with their fifth 'A' cut swim of the night, this one coming in the 400 freestyle relay. Carlos Maciel, Bartlett, Ryan Fleming and Spencer Fronk finished second in the race with a time of 2:59.89.
Prior to the 400 free relay, Maciel improved his previous 'B' cut with a time of 45.17 in the 100 free. The junior took fourth behind a trio of Kenyon swimmers. Fleming won the consolation heat with a 'B' cut time of 45.70, while Fronk (10th) also posted a 'B' cut (45.95). Andrew Rich (t-12th) and Nick Spaniel (14th) rounded out the scoring for Denison in the 100 freestyle.
DU closed out the 2013 NCAC Championship meet with 10 event titles, including two meet records, and 14 'A' cut performances. First-year Ben Lewis was named NCAC Men's Diver of the Year after winning the 1-meter board and posting a top-4 finish in the 3-meter event. Jason Glorius was named NCAC Men's Diving Coach of the Year for the third-straight season.
Saturday marked the fifth-straight conference title and the sixth overall for Denison. The Big Red won its first title in 1997 and have followed with wins each year since 2009.