SHENANDOAH, Texas-- The 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championship is underway in the Lone Star State and the Denison women are in fourth place through five of 20 events. Denison totaled 73 points on day one. They trail third-place Kenyon by 15 points. Williams is in second place with 101 points and Emory leads with 137.
Senior Campbell Costley opened the meet with a runner-up finish in the 500 freestyle. Costley led nearly the entire race but during the last 25 yards, Illinois Wesleyan's Meg Stanley made her push, out-touching Costley at the wall by .05. Costley finished with her best time at nationals in 4:50.81. Stanley won with a time of 4:50.76. For Costley, it marked her fourth consecutive top-five finish in the event. She placed third in 2016, fifth in 2015 and fourth in 2014.
In the 50 freestyle, senior Carolyn Kane matched her time in prelims (23.34) to finish sixth. Emma Waddell of Williams was the event champion after her time of 22.69.
First-year Allison Fitzgerald competed in preliminaries and the consolation final of the 3-meter dive and placed ninth with a score of 450.10. Fitzgerald's best dive came on her fourth dive of the consolation final where she received a 51.25 on her forward 1 ½ somersault 2 twist free (5134D). Fitzgerald scored six points toward Denison's cause while logging her first All-American certificate of her career.
Morning preliminaries were not kind to the Big Red in the 200 IM. KT Kustritz was disqualified in her heat and Halli Garza tied for 16th with Caroline White of Williams. The pair had a swim-off to see who advanced to the finals. The swim-off win went to White who touched in 2:05.28 compared to 2:05.53.
The final event of the night, the 200 medley relay, saw Casey Kirby, Kustritz, Angela Le and Kane post a time of 1:41.33 to finish second, matching their finish in 2016. Kustritz' 50 breast split of 27.82 led the field. Emory defended their title with a winning time of 1:40.83.
Denison returns for day two on Thursday morning with preliminaries at 10 a.m. CST and finals at 6 p.m. CST. They will compete in the 200 free relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free and the 400 medley relay.