Pac-10 Transfers Capture Pair of Division III Titles

Day two of the 2013 NCAA Division III Championships was highlighted by a pair of NCAA records, a pair of Pac-10 transfers  winning titles in their first Championship meet, a longtime bridesmaid earning her first individual NCAA title, and the Kenyon men and Emory women maintaining  leads that should hold through the fourth and final day.

Hannah Saiz kicked off the meet with a dramatic win in the 200 butterfly.  The Kenyon senior, who earned a NCAA title the night before in the 400 Medley Relay finally notched her first individual win taking the 200 Butterfly in 1:57.42.  Saiz left nothing to chance taking the race out in 55.56 – nearly three seconds ahead of Emory’s Nina Zook.  Saiz touched the wall first in 1:57.54, but nearly passed out at the end of the race.  Denison’s Michelle Howard finished second in 2:01.53, just ahead of Illinois Wesleyan’s Katie McHugh (2:01.65).

The margin of victory in the men’s 200 butterfly was as narrow as the difference was wide in the women’s.  Emory’s Douglas Miller led the race from start-to-finish..  The University of California-Berkeley transfer held off a late charge by UMW's Hugh Anderson to avenge his second-place finish from a year ago.

Kenyon got its second event title of the night when Celia Oberholzer upset defending champion Maggie Rosenbaum of Hamilton.  Oberholzer (53.46) broke Brittany Sasser's Division III record and improved upon her third-place finish from a year ago.  Rosenbaum (54.18), despite swimming nearly a second faster than her championship time from a year ago, finished second with Johns Hopkins' Taylor Kitayama third (54.57).

Hopkins, however, was not finished when it came to backstroke.  Dylan Davis, who finished 15th a year ago, touched first in 48.62, just 0.01 ahead of Denison's Sean Chabot and 0.03 ahead of Conn's Samuel Gill.  It was Davis' first title with his best event yet to come.  In November the Hopkins sophomore set the NCAA record in the 200 backstroke with a 1:46.01 to better Quinn Bartlett's previous record.

UW-Whitewater's Amy Spaay captured the women's 100 breaststroke.  The Arizona transfer returned to the Badger state a year ago to rededicate herself to academics.  The move paid off as she schooled the field and broke Lindsay Payne's meet record with a time of 1:00.85  Calvin's Elizabeth Counsell finished a distant second in 1:0279, with Stevens' Brittany Geyer finishing third in 1:03.09

If Spaay came a long ways in the past year it doesn't compare to the men's 100 breaststroke champion Simas Jarasunas.  The Lithuanian joined the Stevens team at mid-year, but when he and St. Olaf's COlby Kubat there was a sense of deja vu.  One couldn't help but draw comparisons between another St. Olaf swimmer stepping up against  CSI's Pavel Buyanov.  Again, it was the Eastern European topping the Ole.  Jarasunas came from behind to edge Kubat 54.57 - 54.96 to earn Stevens' their first NCAA title since Laura Barito won the 50 freestyle (and 100m dash in track).