GRANVILLE, Ohio—The Denison women's swimming & diving team will send 16 competitors to the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. The four-day event will take place on March 20-23 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Denison enters this year's championship with 11 consecutive top-four national finishes. They are also looking to add to the program's legacy that is highlighted by 26 individual event national titles and 21 relay national championships.
The Big Red's national team roster includes 14 swimmers and two divers. In swimming events, Denison is led by junior KT Kustritz and sophomore Maddie Hopkins. Kustritz is the defending national champion in the 100 breaststroke and the national record-holder in the event. She boasts the nation's fastest time at 59.84. Kustritz is also the defending national champion in the 200 breaststroke and the national record holder in that event. She is seeded second in that event with a season-best time of 2:13.72.
On the opening day of the championship, Kustritz will be looking for her first national championship in the 200 IM. She was the runner-up last year with a time of 2:00.55 but she has already bested that time this year, with a 1:59.68 at the NCAC Championship in February. Kustritz' head-to-head duel with conference rival Crile Hart in the 200 IM should be one of the highlights of this year's championship.
Hopkins enters her second national championship meet coming off an outstanding NCAC championship which saw her win all six events she competed in. Hopkins boasts the nation's fastest time in the 50 free (22.85), is second in the 100 free (50.12), and third in the 100 fly (54.63). Hopkins and Kustritz are also expected to swim on four of Denison's five relays.
Junior diver Allison Fitzgerald is making her third-straight appearance at nationals. She is a four-time All-American who is coming off a fifth-place finish on the 1-meter board and an 8th place finish on the 3-meter board at last year's championship. Joining Fitzgerald is junior Naomi Clayton who is making her first national appearance after two NCAA Regional appearances in 2018 and 2019.
In the 400 IM, Natalie Zaravella is seeded fifth and Eric Hsu is seeded seventh. Hsu and Zaravella placed third and fifth, respectively at last year's championship.
Kate Mesaros will be challenging Kustritz and the field in both breaststroke events. She has logged top-8 finishes in the 100 breast in each of the last two seasons.
Denison boasts the nation's fastest times in three of the five relay events. In the 200 free relay, Hopkins, Casey Kirby, Gabriella Nutter and Kustritz posted a seed time of 1:31.28 at the NCAC Championship.
The 400 free relay is comprised of Mia Chiappe, Hopkins, Kirby and Kustritz and their time of 3:22.30 is the best time in Division III swimming this season.
DU's final top-seeded relay is the 400 medley squad that is made up of Kirby, Kustritz, Hopkins and Chiappe.
Live video and results will be provided by the NCAA throughout the championship. Follow DenisonBigRed.com for daily recaps, videos and photo galleries.
Denison National Team Roster