GREENSBORO, N.C.-- After three consecutive national runner-up finishes, Denison University men's swimming and diving are back on top of the mountain.
The Big Red captured the program's third NCAA Division III national championship by riding a runaway locomotive of emotion that peaked on Friday and carried through Saturday night's finals.
Denison finished the 20 event championship with 455.5 points, outdistancing second-place Kenyon College by 37 points. Denison entered the final day leading the Lords by 33 points powered by Friday night's 800 freestyle relay win and continued dominance on the diving boards.
On Saturday, Jack Lindell put the finishing touches on one of the finest individual performances in Division III history. He captured his fourth national championship of the meet by winning the 200 backstroke in 1:46.10. It was looking as if Lindell might have been out of gas after so many stellar swims, but a final 50 split of 26.48 allowed him to nip Matthew Williams of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at the wall by .01.
Lindell opened the meet with a national record time in the 200 IM and followed that with a victory in the 400 IM on Thursday. Last night, he swam on the winning 800 freestyle relay. He is the seventh swimmer to win three individual event national titles in the same meet since 2000. He is also just the 10th individual to win three individual national titles and one relay championship at the same meet. Lindell joins Denison Hall of Famer Aaron Cole '00 in the exclusive 4-timer club. Cole accomplished the feat in 2000.
Following Lindell in the 200 backstroke was an unsung hero of the weekend, sophomore Jason Wesseling. His 100 back time in Friday's prelims of the 100 backstroke got the ball rolling. He capped off his meet with an eighth-place finish in 1:51.57. Wesseling posted four All-American swims for the Big Red.
Senior sprint freestylers Ryan Fleming and Conrad Wuorinen continued their strong swimming in the 100 freestyle finals. Fleming hit the wall in 44.90 to finish eighth overall while Wuorinen placed third in the consolation heat in 44.95 to take 11th, overall. After the 400 freestyle relay, both Wuorinen and Fleming's career All-American totals had hit 14 and 18, respectively.
Swimming just over 70 miles from his hometown of Raleigh, Brunk qualified for the 200 breaststroke finals by placing 16th. He finished eighth in the consolation heat in 2:04.62, adding to his total of three previous All-American swims. Brunk's anchor on Friday night's 800 free relay will go down in Denison swimming lore.
In the morning, DU's 400 free relay posted the fastest time at 2:58.45. Kenyon did not qualify for the championship final after a time of 3:01.21 in prelims. That placed them 12th and sent them to the consolation final. Despite not being afforded the opportunity to swim against their rivals, Denison's foursome of Fleming, Wuorinen, Stuart Hohm and Max Howes logged a fourth-place showing in 2:59.65.
This is Denison's third men's swimming and diving national championship. The previous two titles came in 2011 and 2012. The Denison women also captured the 2001 national championship. This is Denison's 11th consecutive top-3 national finish and the program's 33rd straight year of finishing in the top-10 in the nation. Denison won five event titles championships this year to go along with 33 All-American performances.
In the post-meet awards ceremony, Denison took home plenty of hardware. Lindell was named the National Swimmer of the Year and Lewis was voted National Diver of the Year. Gregg Parini was named the Men's Swimming Coach of the Year for the sixth time on the men's side and 10th overall.
- Denison Bests Rival Kenyon for Championship (NCAA.com)
- Lindell leads Denison to NCAA Title (Newark Advocate)
- Denison Big Red Captures 2016 NCAA Division III Title (Swim Swam)
- Lindell, Denison Down Kenyon for National Title (Columbus Dispatch)
- Denison Swimming & Diving Central
Individual Championship Recap
Brian Allen: 3-meter Dive (4th-520.65); 1-Meter Dive (5th-481.25)
Jake Ball: 200 IM (40th-1:54.15), 100 Breast (29th-56.86), 200 Breast (25th-2:04.41)
Joe Brunk: 200 IM (6th-1:50.38), 200 Free (5th- 1:38.43), 200 Free (5th-1:38.43), 800 Free Relay (1st-6:32.55), 200 Breast (16th-2:04.62)
Ben Burdick: 500 Free (11th-4:31.38), 200 Free (21st- 1:40.13), 1650 Free (12th-15:52.05)
PJ Fallon: 500 Free (21st-4:33.87), 400 IM (24th-4:06.96), 1650 Free (10th-15:48.46)
Ryan Fleming: 50 Free (15th- 20.58), 200 Free (9th- 1:38.59), 200 Free Relay (4th-1:21.12), 400 Medley Relay (4th- 3:16.48), 800 Free Relay (1st- 6:32.55), 100 Free (8th-44.90), 400 Free Relay (4th-2:59.65)
Kenny Fox: 50 Free (32nd-20.80), 100 fly (18th-49.18), 100 Free (35th-45.76)
Stuart Hohm: 500 Free (7th- 4:28.86), 200 Free (18th-1:39.84), 100 Free (29th-45.56), 400 Free Relay (4th- 2:59.65)
Max Howes: 50 Free (35th-20.87), 200 Free (22nd-1:40.14), 100 Free (23rd-45.41), 400 Free Relay (4th-2:59.65)
Brendan Howley: 50 Free (31st-20.79), 200 Medley Relay (5th-1:29.37), 200 Free Relay (4th-1:21.12), 400 Medley Relay (4th-3:16.48), 100 Breast (20th-56.38), 200 Breast (18th-2:03.26)
Blake Kent: 200 IM (43rd-1:54.40), 400 IM (17th-4:04.31), 200 Fly (18th-1:51.00)
Max Levy: 3-Meter Dive (4th-520.65), 1-Meter Dive (4th-493.55)
Ben Lewis: 3-Meter Dive (2nd-529.55), 1-Meter Dive (1st-555.35)
Jack Lindell: 200 IM (1st-1:46.00), 400 IM (1st-3:47.63), 400 Medley Relay (4th-3:16.48), 800 Free Relay (1st-6:32.55), 200 Back (1st- 1:46.10)
Andrew Rich: 200 IM (16th-1:52.44), 200 Medley Relay (5th-1:29.37), 100 Fly (3rd-47.85), 400 Medley Relay (4th-3:16.48)
Aaron Saccurato: 500 Free (16th-4:34.40), 200 Free (30th-1:40.62), 1,650 Free (20th-16:05.21)
Ryan Stevenson: 200 IM (21st-1:51.45), 200 Free (14th-1:39.82), 800 Free Relay (1st- 6:32.55)
Jason Wesseling: 200 Medley Relay (5th-1:29.37), 200 Free Relay (4th-1:21.12), 100 Back (6th-48.97), 200 Back (8th-1:51.57)
Mitch Williams: 500 Free (26th-4:35.25), 400 IM (11th-3:59.35), 200 Fly (12th-1:49.63)
Conrad Wuorinen: 50 Free (25th-20.67), 200 Medley Relay (5th-1:29.37), 200 Free Relay (4th-1:21.12), 200 Free (37th-1:41.34), 100 Free (11th-44.95), 400 Free Relay (4th-2:59.65)