GREENSBORO, N.C.-- The Denison women's swimming & diving team placed third at the NCAA Division III Championship, capping off four days of competition at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. This marked the 12th straight trip to the podium (top-four) for the Denison women. It is also their best team finish and most points scored since placing second in 2015.
Denison was in contention throughout the meet, even taking over first-place momentarily on Thursday night after the 100 butterfly. At the end of the meet, Emory University placed first with 488 points. Kenyon was second with 479 and Denison totaled 419 points across the championship's 20 events.
On Saturday night, KT Kustritz defended her championship in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:12.33. This is the fourth time a Big Red swimmer has won a national title in the 200 breast and this is Kustritz's fourth individual national championship, tying her with Tamara Carty for the program's all-time lead. Kate Mesaros earned her spot on the podium in the 200 breast after a sixth-place finish in 2:16.92. In the consolation final, Olivia Lantry was fourth in her heat to place 12th overall in 2:18.92.
Sophomore Maddie Hopkins posted a personal-best time of 49.97 in the finals of the 100 freestyle to finish as the national runner-up. This was Hopkins' sixth All-American swim of the meet and her first A-A certificate in the 100 free.
Junior Natalie Zaravella swam in the afternoon heat of the 1,650 freestyle and chopped 9.73 seconds off her qualifying time to post 16:56.16. After the evening heat, that time was enough to push Zaravella on to the podium in sixth place, matching her finish at last year's championship while improving her time by nearly three seconds. Zaravella totaled four All-American performances at this year's championship, running her career total of All-American swims to 10.
The championship was wrapped up by the 400 free relay team of Hopkins, Gabriella Nutter, Casey Kirby and Kustritz who touched third in 3:22.24. DU finished no worse than fourth-place across the five relays this week.
Over the course of the championship, Denison totaled three event national championships, 26 All-American performances and 20, top-eight finishes. Denison women's swimming & diving has a storied tradition highlighted by a national championship in 2001, 33-straight top-7 national finishes and 50 event national championships.