March 22, 2013

Denison gearing up for final day at nationals

Sophomore Michelle Howell broke her own school record in the 200 butterfly.  That resulted in a second-place finish in the event and after five events on Friday night, Denison held on to third-place with 281 team points.

With three fourths of the championship in the books, Emory remains in first-place with 428.5 points.  Kenyon is in second with 375 points while Williams trails the Big Red, in fourth-place with 254 points. 

In the 200 fly, Howell touched in 2:01.53, breaking the Denison record of 2:02.25 that she set just a few hours prior in preliminaries.  It marked the fourth All-America swim for Howell at this year's championship.  In the consolation final, senior Sarah DiNardo logged her second career All-American performance by placing second in the heat and 10th overall with a time of 2:04.48.

In the 100 breaststroke, Natalie Lugg improved five spots over last year's finish.  She touched in 1:03.50 which locked her into fourth-place in the standings.

After a sixth-place finish in Wednesday night's 3-meter board, first-year Kelly Frazier posted a fifth-place finish in the 1-meter board with an 11-dive score of 446.65.  That total broke the school record of 443.15 that had been held by former DU national champion, Natalie Gibbs since 1988. 

A pair of Big Red swimmers picked up points in the consolation final of the 100 backstroke.  Lindsay Zeberlein placed 14th in 56.63 while Maddie Armitage followed in 16th in 57.60.

The final race of the night was the 800 free relay and Alyssa Swanson, Howell, Tully Bradford and Molly Willingham combined for a time of 7:23.63 that resulted in a sixth-place finish.

Denison will close out the 2013 NCAA Championship on Saturday with the 1650 freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 200 backstroke, the 200 breaststroke, and the 400 freestyle relay.  Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. EST with finals set to start at 7 p.m. EST.  Denison's women are seeking its sixth-straight top-3 finish.