GRANVILLE, Ohio-- It's officially championship season for Denison swimming & diving. For the fifth-straight year, the Trumbull Aquatics Center will serve as the host venue for the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships on February 14-17. Denisonbigred.com will be providing extensive coverage throughout the meet with full recaps, video highlights, and photo galleries. Be sure to follow @DenisonSports on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for exclusive content. You can also watch the live video stream of preliminaries and finals courtesy of the Denison Sports Network.
A Decade of Dominance: The Big Red men's swimming & diving team is looking for its 10th consecutive conference title this weekend. In the 33-year history of the North Coast Athletic Conference, a streak of 10-straight conference titles has occurred across all 23 sponsored sports seven times. Denison and Kenyon have accounted for six of those streaks.
- Women's Tennis (Denison) 2002-11
- Men's Tennis (Kenyon) 2007-current
- Women's Lacrosse (Denison) 1985-1994
- Volleyball (Wittenberg) 2006-current
- Women's Swimming & Diving (Kenyon) 1985-2003
- Men's Swimming & Diving (Kenyon – twice) 1985-96, 1998-2008
View from the Top: Denison checks into the meet with the nation's top-ranked men's program and the third-ranked women's team per the latest CSCAA/TYR Top-25 poll.
Aiming for 10: The Denison women are looking for their 10th NCAC title overall. They defeated Kenyon last year by 219 points.
And in this Corner: Denison has the top entry in nine of the 21 women's events. Sophomore KT Kustritz boasts the nation's best times this season in the 100 breaststroke where she is expected to go head-to-head with 2016 national champion, Julia Wilson from Kenyon. She is seeded second in the event and second in Division III.
Deep Dive: Denison's three female divers will take center stage on Thursday and Saturday night. Allison Fitzgerald is the defending NCAC champ on both boards. Emma Weber was the runner-up on the one-meter and three-meter boards in 2017 and Naomi Clayton finished fourth in both events a season ago. Denison has totaled 22 individual NCAC championships in women's diving.
Really, RELAY Fast: The Denison men have the fastest entry time in the 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 400 medley relay and the 200 medley relay. DU has won the 200 medley for five-straight years, the 400 medley relay and 800 free relay and 400 free relay in each of the last two years. The women are seeded first in the 200 medley relay. The team of Casey Kirby, Kustritz, Maddie Hopkins and Gabriella Nutter has the nation's fastest time this season at 1:40.95.
Halli's Comet: Halli Garza is looking to become the NCAC's first four-time champion in the 200 butterfly. Last year she set a new Trumbull Aquatics Center record with a winning time of 2:02.81. The Big Red is stacked with five of the top-7 entries in this event.
Back it Up: Kirby is looking to defend her NCAC crown in the 100 backstroke. She took home the top spot last year with a time of 55.67. She set a PR at the Miami Invitational with a time of 55.41 in the event.
Going the Distance: The Denison men will send a solid core of swimmers into the distance freestyle events led by Matt Hedman (1st in 1650, 4th in 500) and Stuart Hohm (3rd in 500). Hohm won the conference title in the 500 free in 2016 and Hedman boasts Division III's second-fastest time this season at 15:36.30. Hedman was the runner-up in the mile last year and placed third in 2016.
Bebe Driver: Sophomore Bebe Wang is the top seed in the 200 backstroke and has the nation's fifth-fastest time at 1:47.48. DU has won nine of the last 12 conference titles in the 200 back. Jason Wesseling is the defending champion in the event and is seeded right behind Wang with a time of 1:48.46. Wang is also a contender in both individual medley events where he is also the top-seeded time heading into the championship.
Zach Attack: In the sprint freestyle events, senior Zach Wagner enters with the nation's fifth-fastest time in the 100 free (44.83) and the seventh-fastest time in the 50 free (20.33). He leads the NCAC in both events.