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Big Red women place third at Miami

Zoe Whelan  |  Photo by Jason Miller
Zoe Whelan | Photo by Jason Miller

OXFORD, Ohio—The Denison women closed out the 2017 Miami Invitational with a third-place finish.  The Big Red totalled 728 points across the three-day meet.  Emory University was second with 834 points and Miami took home the team title with 1,480 points.  Milwaukee (646), Washington-St. Louis (346) and Ball State (324).

Sophomore KT Kustritz's star has shined bright all weekend and Saturday night was no different.  She won the 200 breaststroke by breaking her own varsity record with a time of 2:14.33. Her previous PR was 2:15.90 set last year.  Kate Mesaros posted a 'B' cut after a 2:19.12 in prelims. She touched in 2:20.34 to place seventh in the finals.  In the B-Final, Elle Stevens placed 14th in 2:25.24 and Ellen Higdon took 16th in 2:25.85.

Two more 'B' cuts were turned in by Zoe Whelan and Halli Garza in the 200 butterfly.  Whelan took 1.80 off her prelim time (2:04.03) while Garza's time in preliminaries (2:04.40) edged out her time in the finals by 0.14.  Caroline Colville finished sixth (2:07.13), Eva Jorn was ninth (2:09.95) and Logan Wickman was 14th (2:09.62).

The night was kicked off by the 1,650 freestyle which saw two 'B' cuts from Natalie Zaravella and Hannah Rusinko.  Zaravalla finished the mile-long race in 17:17.97 while Rusinko posted a P.R. of 17:26.92.  Colville followed in 10th with a time of 17:34.66 and Sydney Lenz touched 15th in 17:58.46.

In the 200 backstroke, Jacquelyn Kurkjian logged a provisional qualifying time and a personal-best after a seventh-place time of 2:03.27.  Kirby improved her time by 2.27 seconds to log a P.R. in 2:02.00 to win the B-Final.  Also swimming the B-Final was Erica Hsu (13th – 2:04.34) and Rusinko (17th – 2:06.69).

The 100 freestyle saw a 'B' cut and a P.R. from Gabriella Nutter after a 51.79 in prelims.  She returned with a time of 52.02 in the finals which was good enough for seventh place.  Mia Chiappe and Angela Le placed 16th and 17th, respectively after times of 52.42 and 52.61.

The meet was closed out by a third-place finish in the 400 free relay as Nutter, Kirby, Chiappe and Kustritz posted a 'B' cut time of 3:26.14.  Kirby's 51.04 100 free split led the way for DU.

Denison will return to intercollegiate competition on Monday, Jan. 15 when they travel to Indianapolis, Indiana to face IUPUI in a dual meet.

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