GRANVILLE, Ohio— Denison logged two event wins on Thursday night at the 2020 North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. Through seven of 20 events, Denison sits in first place with 598 points. Kenyon is second with 580 while positions 3-5 are occupied by Wabash (433), DePauw (306), and Wooster (275).
The fireworks started early for Denison as they set a new varsity record and Trumbull Aquatics Center record in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Liam Picozzi, Kymani Senior, Trey Ike, and Matt McHugh won the race in 1:18.78. The swim broke the Denison record that had been held by Ryan Fleming, Conrad Wuorinen, Max Howes, and Damon Rosenburg since 2015. Ike led all entries in the relay with a 19.26 split. This was the 13th 200 free relay championship for Denison in this event. The Big Red missed the NCAC record by just .01.
Ike, who is swimming in his first conference championship, notched his first individual conference title in the 50 freestyle, touching in 20.10. He trimmed 0.31 off his time in prelims to post a solid 'B' cut time. Entering the meet, only four swimmers in the nation had posted a faster time in the 50 free. Following in second and third place respectively were Picozzi (20.21), and Senior (20.47). Matt McHugh (20.70) placed eighth in the A-Final while Eric Gerlach won the B-Final with a time of 20.65. PJ Desmet followed in 11th place in 21.02. This was the 13th time a Denison swimmer has won an NCAC championship in the 50 free and the third-straight year the Big Red has taken home the gold. McHugh entered as the defending champion and Senior finished first in 2018.
In the 500 freestyle, Denison started with six swimmers placing in the top-11. Sophomore Dayen Wilson led the charge with an all-conference, third-place performance with a 'B' cut time of 4:30.92. Eric Chimes and Lukas Gately tied for fourth place at 4:31.04 and Patrick Madden took sixth in 4:31.11. In the B-Final, Drake Horton took 6.62 seconds off his previous season-best time to win the heat in 4:29.20. Richie Kurlich placed 11th in 4:35.42. In morning prelims, Chimes logged a season-best 'B' cut time of 4:30.11.
Piotr Kurleto led a group of five DU swimmers to top-seven finishes in the 200 IM. Kurleto was the runner-up in the event with a season-best 'B' cut time of 1:50.22. Ethan Bevill, who logged a season-best 'B' cut in prelims at 1:50.21 returned with a fourth-place time of 1:50.54 in the finals. Mitch Williams (1:50.97) and John Stauffer (1:51.99) placed fifth and sixth, respectively while Aidan Lane logged a seventh-place finish at 1:52.03.
In the final event of the night, Denison and Kenyon were disqualified in the men's 400 medley relay. Due to the double QD, the relay team from Wabash placed first in the event.
Denison returns to the Trumbull Aquatics Center for Day 3 of the 2020 North Coast Athletic Conference Championships with preliminaries starting at 9:30 a.m. followed by finals at 6 p.m.