GRANVILLE, Ohio – Denison men's swimming and diving currently sits atop the leaderboard following the first day of action at the 2019 Denison Invitational hosted at the Trumbull Aquatics Center in Granville. Thanks to a first-day total of 652.5 points, the Big Red holds a 152.5-point lead over second-place Emory University (500) while Wayne State follows in third at 386.5 and Washington-St. Louis rounds out the standings in fourth place (302).
Competing against some of the top teams in Division II and Division III this weekend, the Big Red opened competition with 15 NCAA 'B' cut times during the finals while also posting 13 season-best marks. Senior Bebe Wang highlighted the night with a pair of event titles, including a victory in the 200 free relay to open the night with Kymani Senior, Matt McHugh, and Drake Horton. The group placed first overall with a 'B' cut and season-best time of 1:20.17. Wang, Senior, and Horton also teamed up with Noah Houskeeper in the 400 medley relay where they dropped 10.08 seconds off their previous best to finish in second place with a 'B' cut mark of 3:17.54.
Wang's final win of the night came in the 200 IM where he bested his preliminary qualifier with a final time of 1:47.45 to place first overall. Wang and the Big Red wracked up six NCAA 'B' cut and season-best times in the 200 IM, including Houskeeper in third (1:49.26), Mitch Williams in fourth (1:49.89), John Stauffer in sixth (1:50.70), Ethan Bevill in 10th (1:50.62), and first-year Eric Chimes in 11th (1:51.15).
In the 500 free, James Baker led DU in third place with a provisional qualifying time and season-low mark of 4:27.85. Dayen Wilson followed in sixth place with a 'B' cut time of 4:32.57 and sophomore Lukas Gately trimmed 5.04 seconds off his preliminary time to clock in with a season-best 'B' cut mark of 4:30.02 to place 10th overall.
Denison added four more provisional qualifying times in the 50 free where freshman Trey Ike led the pack with a new personal record of 20.26 to finish in second place. Senior trailed by .09 seconds in fourth place at 20.35 and McHugh rounded out the top-five with a season-best 20.38. Kyle Verstandig also clocked in with a season-low time of 20.57 to finish in 11th place.
No diving took place on the men's side during the first day of competition.
The Big Red will return for the second day of action at the Denison Invitational on Friday where they will compete in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 800 free relay, and the men's one-meter dive. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. with diving to follow at 12:30 p.m. Swimming finals will take place at 6 p.m.