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9th Annual Alumni & Family Meet
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5 p.m.
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Xavier
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Indianapolis
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NCAC Championship
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NCAC Championship
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Denison Men's Swimming & Diving wins fifth National Championship

Denison wins fifth national championship  |  Photo by Linda Striggo
Denison wins fifth national championship | Photo by Linda Striggo

GREENSBORO, N.C.--  For the second-straight year and the fifth time in the last nine years, the Denison men's swimming & diving team were crowned Division III National Champions on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The Big Red entered the final day of competition with a 79.5 lead over second-place Kenyon.  With six events remaining on the schedule, Denison didn't hold back.  They built their lead to triple digits over the course of the night and ended with 562.5 points, outdistancing second-place Emory by 115 points.  The Eagles slipped past Kenyon in the final two events of the championship to take home the runner-up trophy one-half point, 447-5-447.

Bebe Wang broke the Denison varsity record in the 200 backstroke.  His time of 1:44.93 landed him in second place.  Wang, the defending national champ in the event, won the 200 back last year in 1:45.37.  Jack Lindell '17 was the varsity record holder with a time of 1:45.32. Placing fifth in the 200 back was first-year Liam Picozzi.  He continued his stellar national debut with a time of 1:46.93.  Picozzi was seventh in the 100 back on Friday night.

The 1,650 freestyle kicked off the night and DU had two swimmers in the evening heat.  Senior Matt Hedman repeated as the national runner-up in the event, covering the mile-long swim in 15:19.60.  Emory's Thomas Gordon won his second-straight national title in the 1,650, touching in 15:14.84.  DU junior James Baker placed sixth in the heat and seventh overall in 15:32.77.

Kymani Senior placed fifth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.63. This is the first All-American performance for Senior in the 100 free and the ninth All-American certificate of his career. 

The final individual event was the 200 breaststroke and the Big Red landed two in the championship final and one in the consolation final.  First-year Richie Kurlich led DU with a sixth-place finish in 1:59.45.  Tiernan Foster-Smith was 12th in 2:01.65 and Ryan Stevenson placed 16th in 2:03.72.

Denison entered the final event of the championship with its largest lead of the meet at 107.5 points.  With no scenario preventing them from the top of the podium the team of Kymani Senior, Eric Gerlach, Drake Horton and Bebe Wang let it rip.  They captured the team's fifth event national title of the meet in 2:57.52.  This is only the second time the Big Red has won a national title in the 400 free relay.  The first occurred in 2007.

Over the course of the four-day championship, the Big Red racked up five event national championships, 39 All-American swims, and 27 top-eight finishes.  This is the 14th consecutive top-three national finish for the Denison men's program.  The last time the Big Red took home consecutive national championships was 2011 and 2012. 

Denison men too much for OWU
February 2, 2019 Denison men too much for OWU