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Denison sending 14 women to nationals

Denison swimmers and divers at nationals.

GRANVILLE, Ohio-- The 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will take place on March 15-18 in Shenandoah, Texas and the Big Red is well represented with 14 swimmers and divers set to compete.

Senior Carolyn Kane will compete in her fourth and final national meet.  She is a 19-time All-American and a two-time national champion as a relay swimmer. She is ranked second in the 100 fly (54.67), fourth in the 100 free (50.49) and fifth in the 50 free (23.18).  Kane posted seven, top-six finishes at last year's NCAA Championship.

NCAA veterans Halli Garza and Campbell Costley also return to the fold.  Garza boasts the nation's fastest time in the 200 fly in 2:01.81.  She is a four-time All-American and placed seventh in the event last season.

Costley is also closing out an outstanding career at Denison.  In three previous trips to nationals, she has logged 12 top-16 finishes and is coming off three top-8 finishes in the 500, 1,650 and 200 freestyles.  This year she enters with the 500 free seeded fifth with an entry time of 4:52.65.  She is sixth in the mile and seventh in the 200 free.  Costley is the 2015 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year and a two-time Academic All-American.

Senior Alex Elizeus is a four-time All-American who qualified for her third national meet as a member of Denison's 800 free relay.

Denison's remaining 10 qualifiers are all first-year members of the team.  This star-studded bunch is led by KT Kustritz who is ranked in the top seven in three different events.  Kustritz specializes in the breaststroke where she enters with the second-fastest time in the 100 breast (1:01.46) and the third-fastest time in the 200 breast (2:15.90).  She is also seventh in the 200 IM.

Kustritz is joined by Casey Kirby (8th in 200 backstroke), Kate Mesaros (9th in 100 breast), Zoe Whelan (9th in 200 Fly), Natalie Zaravella (9th in 400 IM), Erica Hsu (14th in 200 back), Angela Le (20th in 100 fly), Hannah Rusinko ( 24th in 1,650 free) and Gabriella Nutter who will swim on Denison's 200 and 400 free relay teams.

First-year diver Allison Fitzgerald qualified for nationals after placing second and sixth on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, respectively at last weekend's NCAA Diving Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Fitzgerald was named the 2017 NCAC Diver of the Year, last month.

The Big Red placed fourth at last year's NCAA Championship in Greensboro, N.C.  Since winning the program's first national championship in 2001, Denison women's swimming & diving has logged four runner-up finishes and six top-three showings. 

Below is a full roster of Denison's national team members:

Campbell Costley
Alex Elizeus
Halli Garza
Allison Fitzgerald
Erica Hsu
Carolyn Kane
Casey Kirby
KT Kustritz
Angela Le
Kate Mesaros
Gabriella Nutter
Hannah Rusinko
Zoe Whelan
Natalie Zaravella

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