GRANVILLE, Ohio—The top-ranked Denison women's swimming & diving team had an outstanding second night at the 2020 North Coast Athletic Conference Championships. The Big Red won four of six events to take a 109-point lead into day three of the meet.
Through seven of 20 events, Denison leads with 704 points. Kenyon is in second with 595 points, followed by DePauw (330), Allegheny (311) and Ohio Wesleyan (293).
The women's 200 free relay team outdid themselves once again, breaking their own pool, NCAC, and varsity record with a time of 1:30.98 to open Thursday night's finals. The team of Gabriella Nutter, Maddie Hopkins, Casey Kirby, and KT Kustritz posted a time of 1:30.98, besting their previous best of 1:31.28, set last year. This is the 16th time that Denison has won the women's 200 free relay and the 12th time in the last 13 years.
Hopkins defended her crown in the 50 freestyle with a new Trumbull Aquatics Center and NCAC record time of 22.84. That also tied the Denison varsity record she shares wit Carolyn Kane who posted the same time in 2015. This is the 10th time a Denison swimmer has won the NCAC championship in the 50 free and it is the ninth conference title for Hopkins. Nutter followed Hopkins in second place with a season-best 'B' cut time of 23.03 and Kirby took home sixth place in 23.60.
On the 1-meter dive, senior Naomi Clayton captured her first NCAC championship after two runner-up finishes and one third-place showing. Clayton posted an 11-dive score of 426.05 to outdistance her own teammates, Mattie Stauss and Ally Peterson, who locked up second and third place. Clayton nailed her final dive of the night, a back 1 ½ somersault pike (203B) with a 2.3 degree of difficulty that landed her 49.45 points. Stauss was second with a score of 395.80 while Peterson took home third with a score of 378.95.
In the 200 IM, Kustritz and Michaela Morrison went 2-3 in the standings leading a group of five Big Red swimmers to top-7 finishes. Kustritz posted a runner-up time of 2:00.84 and Morison touched in 2:05.33. Fourth-place went to Savvy Sargent in 2:05.76 while Bridget Horton (2:05.86) and Natalie Zaravella (2:06.07) placed fifth and seventh, respectively.
The Big Red placed six swimmers in the top-nine of the 500 freestyle, led by senior Caroline Colville who earned an all-conference certificate by placing third in 4:59.45. That was a 'B' cut time for Colville who trimmed 3.77 seconds off her previous season-best in the event. Fellow senior Hannah Rusinko checked in fourth in 5:00.12. The event was rounded out by Mia Chiappe (6th – 5:02.40), Tara Culibrk (7th – 5:02.47), Erica Hsu (8th – 5:04.56), Grace Kacmarek (9th – 5:07.22).
In the last event of the night, the team of Angela Le, Kustritz, Hopkins and Nutter won the 400 medley relay with a new varsity record and NCAC record time of 3:40.48. The previous varsity record was set by Hopkins, Kustritz, Kirby, and Chiappe in 2019. Nutter closed out this year's victory with a 49.47 100 free split. This was Denison's 16th NCAC title in the 400 medley relay.
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.