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Denison's lead increases at NCAAs

Kymani Senior  |  Photo by Linda Striggo
Kymani Senior | Photo by Linda Striggo

INDIANAPOLIS—Denison continued to pull away from the field on Thursday night at the 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. Through 10 events, Denison holds a 125.5 point lead over second place Emory.  Denison has totaled 325.5 points at the midway points.  Emory trails with 200 points followed by Kenyon (186), Johns Hopkins (166) and MIT (118).

Sophomore Kymani Senior put an exclamation point on the night by winning Denison's first event national championship of the meet.  He captured the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.03. That was a 0.24-second drop over his PR that was set in preliminaries.  Senior is the first Denison male swimmer to win the 100 fly since Aaron Cole '00 took home the gold in 1999 and 2000. Senior's win also marked Denison's 98th eventh national title (men and women included).

Following in fifth place was Kenny Fox who moved up two spots from his seventh-place showing in 2017. Fox touched in 48.41, just .02 off his PR in the morning.  In the consolation final of the 100 fly, Brett Weicht finished 15th in 49.58.

After landing five swimmers in the top nine of the 400 individual medley in preliminaries, the Big Red duplicated that performance in the finals.  Bebe Wang led the Denison quintuplet with a runner-up finish and a time of 3:49.70.  Wang dropped 4.42 seconds off his PR that was set in prelims.

Fourth place belonged to Matt Hedman in 3:52.83 and Mitch Williams followed in fifth place (3:53.09).  Stevenson rounded out the championship final with an eighth-place finish and time of 4:01.39.  In the consolation final, Francis Biagioli touched first in 3:55.45 to place ninth.  Four of the five DU All-Americans in the event posted time drops.  Denison scored 76 points in the event allowing them to open up an 89.5 lead in the team race.

The first event of the night was the 200 free relay and the team of Senior, Fox, Weicht and Zach Wagner placed seventh in 1:21.20.  Emory was the winner in 1:18.61.

In the 200 freestyle, senior Stuart Hohm logged the best showing of his career, placing sixth in 1:38.39.  His previous best was a 16th place honorable mention All-American performance in 2015.  Placing fifth was first-year Drake Horton who edged his teammate at the wall in 1:38.32.  This is the second All-American swim of the meet for Horton. He finished sixth in last night's 500 free finals.

After the 200 freestyle Denison's lead ballooned to 123.5 points.  The lead scaled back ever so slightly after a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay.  Carson Clear, Tiernan Foster-Smith, Senior and Wagner chopped 0.83 seconds off their prelim time to set a new Denison varsity record.  The previous record of 3:15.09 was set during Denison's national championship run in 2012 by Robert Barry, Damon Rosenburg, Spencer Fronk, and Mike Barczak.

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.