Big Red men pull away at Denison Invite

Drake Horton  |  Photo by Craig Hicks
Drake Horton | Photo by Craig Hicks

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison men's swimming and diving have built their lead to 643 points over second place Emory after the second day of competition at the 2018 Denison Invitational hosted at the Trumbull Aquatics Center in Granville. With a team total of 1,944, the top-ranked Big Red sit ahead of Emory at 1,301, third-place Washington-St. Louis (1,035), Wayne State-Mich. in fourth place (864), and Thomas More University (122).

Posting 15 'B' cut times during the night session, Denison received their heaviest of hitters in the 400 IM and 200 free events. In the 200 free, sophomore Drake Horton dropped his prelim time by 1.03 seconds to post a personal record and 'B' cut time of 1:37.84 in first place. Horton's time is the fastest in Division III this season. Senior Ryan Stevenson followed Horton in second place with a PR and 'B' cut time of 1:38.89, and junior Matt McHugh landed in fifth place after his 'B' cut time clocked in at 1:39.41. Denison's A-Final was rounded out by James Baker who finished in a tie for eighth with a 1:40.59.

In the 400 IM, senior Matt Hedman led DU in third place with a 'B' cut time of 3:53.68 after shaving 5.65 seconds off during the prelims to enter the finals with Denison's best time. Four more provisional qualifying times followed in the 400 as junior Bebe Wang finished in fourth with a 3:54.79, Mitch Williams logged a fifth-place finish (3:55.45), sophomore John Stauffer trailed in sixth with a personal best 3:55.85, and freshman Richie Kurlich led the Big Red in the B-Final with a PR and 'B' cut time of 3:59.15. Wang also posted a PR in the 200 free time trials with a 'B' cut time of 1:38.17.

The night opened with a pair of 'B' cut times from Denison's 200 medley relay squads. DU's A-team of Carson Clear, Tiernan Foster-Smith, Colin MacMillan, and McHugh logged a provisional qualifying time of 1:28.58 in second place for the fastest time posted in NCAA Division III this season. The Big Red also received a fourth-place finish from Liam Picozzi, Kenny Fox, Brett Weicht, and Kymani Senior who clocked in with a 'B' cut time of 1:29.81. Fox also earned a 'B' cut time in the time trials of the 100 breaststroke at 56.20.

Foster-Smith also earned a 'B' cut in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in second place with a time of 54.93. Sam O'Malley rounded out the A-Final with a 57.35 in ninth.

In the 100 butterfly, Fox paced the Big Red in third place with a time of 49.10, while Senior followed in a tie for fourth with a 49.16 and MacMillan followed in sixth at 49.32. All three times clocked in as NCAA 'B' cut marks.

Denison recorded two more 'B' cuts in the 100 backstroke after Clear logged a 49.53 in seventh place and Picozzi touched the wall at 49.85 for a new personal record in eighth place.

In the 1-meter dive, the Big Red received a second-place finish from Liam Simmons with a six-dive score of 227.35. Fellow freshman Brendan Downey placed fourth overall for Denison with an individual score of 211.05.

DU closed out the second night of competition with a second-place finish from Hedman, Horton, McHugh, Stevenson in the 800 free relay. The quartet dropped their entry time by 17.97 seconds to post a 'B' cut time of 6:39.45.

Denison will return to the Trumbull Aquatics Center on Saturday for finals in the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay, and both women's & men's 3-meter diving.