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Women’s lead increases at Denison Invite

KT Kustritz  |  Photo by Craig Hicks
KT Kustritz | Photo by Craig Hicks

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Following an impressive showing on Thursday, the top-ranked Denison women's swimming and diving team increased their lead during the second day of competition at the 2018 Denison Invitational at the Trumbull Aquatics Center. Totaling 1,626 points through two days of competition, the Big Red currently hold a 326.5 point lead over second-place Eastern Michigan with 1,309.5 team points. Emory sits in third with 1,145.5, while Wayne State-Mich. (814), Washington-St. Louis (748), Ohio State (58), and Thomas More (37) rounds out the field.

The nation's current record holder in the 100 breaststroke (59.77), KT Kustritz, entered the finals after posting an NCAA 'A' cut time and new pool record of 1:00.48 during the morning session. In the A-Final, Kustritz broke her Trumbull Aquatics Center record with a first-place time of 59.84 ('A' cut), finishing just .07 seconds shy of tying her national record. Kustritz' time is the fastest in Division III this season. Following Kustritz in third place was junior Kate Mesaros who tied her personal best with a 'B' cut time of 1:02.40.

Tallying her second cut time of the night, Kustritz joined Angela Le, Maddie Hopkins, and Casey Kirby to open the session with a second-place finish and a 'B' cut time of 1:41.57 in the 200 medley relay. Shaving 3.85 seconds off their prelim time, the group posted the fastest time in NCAA Division III.

Logging three provisional qualifying times in the 200 free, the Big Red were led by Mia Chiappe in fourth place with a 'B' cut time of 1:51.91. Junior Hannah Rusinko finished .06 seconds behind Chiappe in fifth place with a 'B' cut of 1:51.97, good for a new personal record, and freshman Spencer Crawford also garnered a new PR with a 'B' cut time of 1:52.04. Logan Wickman rounded out the A-Final with a 1:54.50 in ninth.

In the 400 IM, Natalie Zaravella dropped her prelim time by 5.43 seconds to log a 'B' cut time of 4:21.74 and finish in third. Erica Hsu also clocked in with a 'B' cut of 4:24.68 in fourth, while freshman Grace Kacmarek posted a new PR of 4:32.55 in ninth place.

The Big Red recorded two more 'B' cut times in the 100 butterfly after sophomore Maddie Hopkins headlined DU in second place with a 55.87, and Zoe Whelan followed in sixth with a provisional qualifying time of 56.58.

The night was closed out by Zaravella, Chiappe, Crawford, and Rusinko in the 800 free relay after clocking in with a 'B' cut time of 7:30.39 in third place, 25.75 seconds better than their entry time.

The Big Red will return to the Trumbull Aquatics Center on Saturday for finals in the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay, and both women's & men's 3-meter diving.