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Big Red women blow past Bishops on Senior Day

Ellen Higdon  |  Photo by Jason Miller
Ellen Higdon | Photo by Jason Miller

GRANVILLE, Ohio – On a day where Denison women's swimming and diving honored seniors Halli Garza, Ellen Higdon and Haley Nugent, the Big Red secured a 172-108 victory over Ohio Wesleyan University on Saturday morning at the Trumbull Aquatics Center.

Totaling 11 victories, one NCAA 'B' cut time and six provisional qualifying scores, Denison received multiple first-place finishes from four different competitors.

Sophomore KT Kustritz finished first in the 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly event, clocking in at 52.94 in the 100 free, and then posting a personal-best 56.67 in the 100 butterfly, also a 'B' cut time.

Kate Mesaros also won a pair of events, first joining Angela Le, Zoe Whelan and Casey Kirby in the 200 medley relay for a top finish in 1:46.82, and then winning the 50 breaststroke in a time of 29.94. Le also earned a victory in the 25 freestyle event, logging a time of 11.41. Freshman Maddie Hopkins only trailed her by .12 seconds with an 11.53 in the 25 free.

Hopkins followed her second-place finish with a victory in the 50 freestyle, hitting the wall first at 24.54. Following Hopkins was Higdon in second with a time of 5:16.11, and then Hannah Rusinko in fourth-place, clocking in at 25.88. Ruskino also took first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:11.78.

The Big Red earned two more victories when Natalie Zaravella won the 200 freestyle event in 1:56.09, and then when Devin Javens finished first with a 28.56 in the 50 backstroke.

Denison elected to compete as an exhibition in their final six events of the day, where they received some of their best times from Logan Wickman and Caroline Colville in the 300 freestyle. Wickman checked in with a 3:04.35 while Colville trailed by 1.26 seconds with a 3:05.61.

On the diving end, sophomore Allison Fitzgerald broke her previous varsity and Trumbull Aquatics Center record in the one-meter dive when she posted a provisional qualifying score of 499.73. Emma Weber and Naomi Clayton also broke Fitzgerald's previous record of 465.05 when they totaled provisional qualifying scores in the one-meter dive, with Weber logging a 472.73 and Clayton coming in with a score of 470.40.

The trio also posted NCAA provisional qualifying scores in the three-meter dive, with Fitzgerald leading the way with a 484.28, Weber trailing in second with a score of 473.55 and then Clayton scoring 458.63 in third-place.

The Big Red will return to the Trumbull Aquatics Center on Wednesday, Feb. 14 through Saturday, Feb. 17 when they host the 2018 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. The four-day event will start on Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

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