GRANVILLE, Ohio-- The Denison men won two more event championships and placed 17 swimmers in the top-nine but they enter the final day in second place at the 2020 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming & diving Championships. Kenyon leads the way with 1,316 points followed by Denison with 1,144. Wabash is in third place with 850 points followed by DePauw (660), Wooster (553), Allegheny (494.5), Ohio Wesleyan (440.5), Oberlin (334), and Wittenberg (277).
The Big Red logged individual event championships in the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke on Friday night. In the 200 free, Drake Horton captured his second NCAC title in the event with a winning time of 1:37.62. Eric Gerlach finished second with a time of 1:37.94 and Matt McHugh followed in fourth in 1:39.19. McHugh also posted a season-best 'B' cut time of 1:38.00 in morning prelims.
In the 100 backstroke, Liam Picozzi picked up Denison's 12th NCAC championship in the event with a winning time of 48.34 that saw him trim 0.16 seconds off his time in prelims. Trey Ike earned an all-conference certificate with a third-place showing in 48.67 while PJ Desmet rounded out Denison's scoring on Friday night with a fifth-place finish in 50.12.
The first event of the night was the 200 medley relay and the Big Red' streak of seven straight conference titles in the event was snapped despite trimming 1.77 seconds off their previous season-best time. The team of Picozzi, Piotr Kurleto, Kymani Senior, and Trey Ike touched second in 1:27.90. Both Denison and Kenyon broke the previous NCAC record set by Denison's 2019 team of Carson Clear, Kenny Fox, Colin Macmillan, and Senior.
Four swimmers from Denison placed in the top-eight of the 400 individual medley standings led by an all-conference third-place finish by Eric Chimes. He took 3.86 seconds off his season-best time for a 'B' cut time of 3:56.12. Patrick Madden finished fifth with a 'B' cut time of 3:57.26 while Mitch Williams (4:00.09) and John Stauffer (4:00.78) finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
In the 100 butterfly, Senior, Noah Houskeeper, and Ethan Bevill logged top-nine finishes. Senior paced the trio with a fourth-place time of 48.97. Houskeeper and Bevill went 8-9 after times of 49.62 and 49.64, respectively.
Four more DU swimmers finished in the top-10 of the 100 breaststroke. Richie Kurlich was the runner-up, touching in 55.35 while Kurleto ended in fourth place after trimming 0.22 seconds off his season-best time. He hit the wall with a time of 55.72. Houskeeper followed in sixth place in 56.34 and Aidan Lane won the B-Final with a time of 57.96.
Denison returns to action on Saturday for the final day of the 2020 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships. Preliminaries start at 9:30 followed by finals at 6 p.m.