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Denison women fourth at midway point

Denison 400 Medley Relay
Denison set a new varsity record in the 400 Medley Relay

INDIANAPOLIS-  The Denison women's swimming & diving team made a move up the leaderboard on Friday night thanks to eight individual All-American showings and two top-four showings in relays.  Through 10 events, Denison sits in fourth place with 203 points.  Emory leads the team standings with 318 points followed by Williams (254) and Kenyon (243).

Sophomore Allison Fitzgerald qualified for the finals of the 1-meter dive by placing eighth in preliminaries.  She moved up three spots in the standings after a strong showing in the finals. Fitzgerald tallied an 11-dive score of 430.70 to place fifth.  Last year, she finished seventh on the 1-meter board with a score of 467.60. She is the fourth female in DU history to record three All-American performances in diving at nationals and the first to do so since 1990 (Kara Kraft)

In the 400 individual medley, the Big Red landed three in the top nine led by sophomore Erica Hsu.  After a blistering PR time of 4:20.04 in prelims that chopped 5.36 seconds off her seed time, Hsu finished third in the finals for her first individual event All-American performance.  In fifth place, Natalie Zaravella took 1.54 seconds off her personal best time to finish in 4:20.70.  She placed ninth last year in the event with a time of 4:26.00. 

For the third time in her career, senior Halli Garza won the consolation final of the 400 IM with a time of 4:24.12.  Garza is a four-time honorable mention All-American in this event with ninth-place finishes in 2018, 2016 and 2015 and a 15th place finish in 2017.

The night was closed out with a new varsity record in the 400 medley relay.  Casey Kirby, KT Kustritz, Angela Le and Gabriella Nutter dropped .98 off its school-record time in prelims to finish fourth in 3:41.62.  The previous varsity record of 3:43.77 was set in 2009 by Olivia Zaleski, Ksenia Golovkina, Kate Rich and Kristen Hohl. That foursome won the national title in the event that year.

Earlier in the night, three more individuals scored in the 100 butterfly, led by sophomore, Le, who finished with a PR of 54.94.  Le finished 11th in 2017 and was seeded 22nd entering this year's meet.  In eighth place, Maddie Hopkins picked up her first-team All-American certificate with a time of 55.54.  Sophomore Zoe Whelan finished 14th after her time of 56.21 in the consolation final.

In the B-Final of the 200 freestyle, first-year Mia Chiappe recorded a new personal best time of 1:50.41.  After the 200 free, heading to the 1-meter dive, Denison sat in fourth place with 159 points, trailing third-place Kenyon by 44 points.

The night opened with the 200 free relay and Denison came into the night as the top seed after Nutter, Kirby, Hopkins, and Kustritz put up a time of 1:33.36.  In the finals, that time went up just slightly (0.26) and the foursome finished fourth in 1:33.34.

Denison will return to the IU Natatorium on Friday to compete in the 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and the 800 free relay. Follow NCAA Swimming & Diving Central for links to recaps, photo galleries, live video and live results.

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