GRANVILLE, Ohio- Denison women's swimming & diving is in the midst of one of their best starts in team history. For a program that has one national championship and 25-straight top-six national finishes, that's saying something.
After a convincing 192.5-106.5 dual meet win over rival Kenyon on November 12, the Big Red jumped the Ladies in the College Swimming Coaches Association Division III Top-25. Denison moved up to No. 2 with 266 votes while Kenyon dropped to No. 3 with 252 votes.
There is substance behind those rankings as the Big Red have piled up 12 individual NCAA 'B' cuts and one relay 'B' cut. Halli Garza boasts the nation's fastest time in the 200 butterfly thanks to her time of 2:03.26 against Kenyon. Garza also leads a trio of Denison swimmers who have posted NCAA cuts in the 400 IM. Her time of 4:31.44 in the event ranks fifth in Division III. Erica Hsu (4:33.23) and Natalie Zaravella (4:34.50) rounds out the potential qualifiers in the event.
First-year KT Kustritz has been a revelation in the breaststroke events. She has the second-fastest times in the 100 breast (1:02.98) and the 200 breast (2:18.68) and was named the National Swimmer of the Week and the NCAC Swimmer of the Week on Nov. 8 after her stellar performances against Ohio State and Xavier.
Another newcomer, Casey Kirby, has posted 'B' cuts in both backstroke events. She has Division III's fourth-best time in the 100 back in 56.91. Her time of 2:04.44 in the 200 backstroke ranks seventh.
Two familiar names are also swimming well for DU as Carolyn Kane and Campbell Costley embark on their finals seasons with the Big Red. The duo has combined for 31 All-American performances since 2014. This year, Kane ranks second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.57 set against Kenyon. She also ranks fourth in the 50 free in 23.75.
Costley sits third in the 500 free with a time of 4:57.46 and is fourth in the 1,650 freestyle at 17:18.21. Kane and Costley's times are all NCAA 'B' cuts.
In addition to the stellar individual performances, Denison's 200 medley relay that is comprised of Kirby, Kane, Kustritz and Angela Le have a 'B' cut time of 1:44.60 and rank fifth in Division III.
Up next for the Big Red is the Miami Invitational on Dec. 1-3. The meet, which features some of the top teams from Division I and Division III saw Denison place fourth last season. This is the 12th consecutive year Denison has competed at the three-day Miami Invitational.