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Big Red places third at NCAA Championship

Denison' posted its 16th top-3 women's finish on Saturday.
Denison' posted its 16th top-3 women's finish on Saturday.

The Denison Big Red put the wraps on another NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championship, and for the sixth-straight year DU has posted a top-3 finish in the final team standings.

Denison finished the 20-event championship from Shenandoah, Texas with 363 points.  The team championship went to Emory University who totaled 619 points.  Second-place was occupied by Kenyon College with 483 points.  Finishing in fourth, 59 points behind the Big Red, was Williams College.

Denison's Saturday night was highlighted by senior Alyssa Swanson, who wrapped up an outstanding career by placing fifth in the 1,650 freestyle.  Swimming the mile at the national meet for the first time, Swanson posted a time of 16:56.57.  She leaves Denison with 23 career All-America swims.  She has won four national titles as a part of 800 free relays in 2011 and 2010, the 200 free relay in 2011, and the 400 medley relay in 2010.

Following Swanson in eighth-place was Taylor Johns.  She covered the 66-lap event in 16:59.02.  In the consolation heat of the 1,650 freestyle, Denison first-year Janet Watson finished third which equaled an 11th place finish, overall.  Watson touched the wall in 17:07.14.

In the 200 backstroke, senior Lindsay Zeberlein won the consolation final in 2:00.73.  For Zeberlein it marked her third All-America performance of the championship and her 10th career All-America certificate.

Denison placed three swimmers in the consolation heat of the 100 freestyle and sophomore Molly Willingham led the way with a 13th place finish in 51.64 seconds.  First-year Ashley Yearwood followed in 15th (51.73) and Morgan Nuess was right behind in 51.92 seconds.

In the 200 breaststroke, DU had two swimmers in the consolation and first-year Marissa Bednarek became an All-American with her 14th place time of 2:20.96.  Junior Natalie Lugg trailed her teammate in 15th place in 2:21.28.

The championship was wrapped up by the 400 free relay team of Yearwood, Willingham, Nuess, and Swanson who logged a time of 3:24.09 to place fourth. 

This is the second-straight third-place finish for the Denison women's team and the 16th top-3 finish under head coach Gregg Parini.