GRANVILLE, Ohio-- For the second consecutive season, Denison will send the maximum number of swimmers (18) allowed by the NCAA to the Division III Swimming & Diving Championships on March 20-23 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Denison is seeking its second-straight national championship and its fifth title since 2011. Big Red men's swimming & diving is currently riding a 13-year streak of top-3 national finishes.
Of the 18 swimmers making the trip to Greensboro, four individuals boast the nation's top-times in five of the 13 individual swimming events. Denison also owns D-III's fastest times in three of the five relays.
Matt Hedman checks into the meet with the top-seeded time in the 500 free (4:26.22) and the 1,650 free (15:18.98). Hedman was the runner-up in both events last year and is also seeded second in the 400 IM, an event he placed fourth in as a junior.
Bebe Wang captured a national championship in the 200 backstroke last season. He is seeded third in that event in 2019 but also boasts the top seed in the 200 IM with a time of 1:47.85.
In the 200 fly, Mitch Williams is seeded first with a time of 1:46.65. That is nearly one second faster than second-seeded Brandon Lum of Washington-St. Louis. Denison's last national championship in the 200 fly was actually the program's very first individual national champion, James Bolster in 1976.
The Big Red's final top seed is senior Ryan Stevenson in the 200 breaststroke. He won the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference championship in the event with a personal-best time of 1:59.43. Stevenson is a 7-time All-American who has swum on three-straight national championship 800 free relay squads.
Speaking of the 800 free relay, Denison once again is the favorite. The Big Red has won this event 10 times and nine times since 2006. Last year, Drake Horton, Stuart Hohm, Wang, and Stevenson took home the gold with a time of 6:29.59. All but Hohm return to nationals in 2019.
The Big Red also has the top times in the 400 free relay (2:57.52) and the 200 medley relay (1:27.99). In the 400 free relay, Matt McHugh, Wang, Horton, and Eric Gerlach posted their season-best time at the Denison Invitational on Dec. 1. Carson Clear, Kenny Fox, Colin MacMillan, and Kymani Senior logged their season-best time at the NCAC Championships in February.
A key event for the Big Red will be the 400 IM where they have four individuals seeded in the top-six. James Baker will be challenging his teammate, Hedman, in the 500 and 1,650 freestyles. Baker placed third in the mile last season. In the 200 free, Horton will be gunning for his first individual national title. After placing fifth in the event as a rookie last season, he is just .02 behind top-seeded James Lovette of Williams. Last year, Denison totaled a meet-high 76 points in the 400 IM
Live video and results will be provided by the NCAA throughout the championship. Follow DenisonBigRed.com for daily recaps, videos and photo galleries.
Denison National Team Roster