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Four Records Tumble as Emory Still Leads Men's, Women's Race at NCAA Division III Championships

Emory continues to pull away on the women’s side, while its men widened their cushion over second-place Kenyon College as the third day of the 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships came to a conclusion Friday evening at the Conroe ISD Natatorium.

Heading into the final day of action, the Emory women, who are seeking the program’s eighth straight national title, have 471.5 points, while Williams is in second with 327 points. Kenyon is in third with 270 points and Denison rounds out the top four with 234 points.

On the men’s side, Emory increased its lead over Kenyon and now holds a 325 to 278.5 lead heading into the final day of competition. Johns Hopkins improved to third and has 250 points while defending champion Denison sits in fourth with 243 points.

Four more records were set on Friday, including new marks in all three men’s finals races. A total of 11 new records have been established this week in Shenandoah.

Perhaps the most impressive swim of the night came from Emory’s Andrew Wilson in the 100 breast as he swam to his second individual title of the 2017 meet and the fifth of his career. The senior crushed his own NCAA record set earlier in the day during prelims. Wilson took first place in a time of 50.94 — making that swim the fifth-fastest on the all-time list. Washington (Mo.) senior Michael Lagieski went 53.86 to finish second, while Johns Hopkins senior Evan Holder was third in a time of 54.04.

Emory’s women’s 800 medley relay team — consisting of Fiona Muir, Julia Wawer, Marissa Bergh and Cindy Cheng — barely out-touched Kenyon in a back-and-forth showdown that produced a new NCAA Division III record time of 7:14.98. The victory gave the Eagles their fourth women’s relay win of the meet and their ninth straight dating to the 2016 championships. Kenyon placed second in a time of 7:15.08 and Washington (Mo.) was third in a time of 7:21.92.

Individually, Cheng took home her second individual title of the meet with a victory in the 100 back in a time of 54.41. The junior, who won the 200 free on Thursday, has two individual and two relay titles and is just the second swimmer in NCAA Division III history to post victories in the 200 free and 100 back in the same championship meet. Cheng barely out-touched her teammate Caroline Olson, who finished second with a time of 54.42. Emma Paulson of St. Thomas was third in a time of 54.54.

All told, and in addition to its 800 medley relay teams, Emory had eight All-America swims on Friday: Megan Campbell in the women’s 200 fly, Christian Baker in the men’s 200 fly, Cheng, Caroline Olson and Claire Liu in the 100 women’s back, Sage Ono in the men’s 100 back, Hannah Lally in the women’s 100 breast and Wilson in the men’s 100 breast.

Brandon Lum of Washington (Mo.) and Ben Lin of Williams also set new NCAA Division III marks on Friday evening.

Lum earned the program its first-ever national title in the 200 fly when he took first place with a NCAA record-finishing time of 1:44.56. The victory also assured the Wash U program of at least one individual title over the last four consecutive championships. Bouke Edskes of MIT was second in a time of 1:45.69 and Carlos Colmenares of NYU placed third in a time of 1:47.13.

Lin took top honors in the 100 back with a NCAA Division III record-setting time of 46.62. He had set the previous record (46.93) Thursday while swimming the opening leg for the Williams’ 400 medley relay team. It is his second national title of these championships (he won the 100 fly on Thursday) and his third overall as he won the 100 back as a sophomore in 2015. Matt Williams of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps finished second in a time of 47.90 and Sage Ono of Emory was third in a time of 47.93.

The Denison men closed out the evening with a win in the 800 medley relay — the second consecutive championship in the event for the Big Red. The team of Walt Dauksher, Jackson Lindell, Stuart Hohm and Bradley Stevenson touched in a winning time of 6:30.72. The victory also marked the first time a team had repeated as 800 medley relay champions since 2011 and 2012. Johns Hopkins finished second in 6:32.56 and Kenyon was third in 6:33.64.

In the first event of the evening session, Megan Pierce of Williams picked up her second win of the championships with a victory in the 200 fly. The senior touched in a time of 1:59.76, and, coupled with her victory in the 400 IM on Thursday, became just the second swimmer in NCAA history to win both events in the same championship. Amy Williams-Heasley accomplished the same double in 1986. Shanny Lin of RPI was second in a time of 2:01.30 and Meggie Leitz of Ursinus placed third in a time of 2:01.63.

Defending champion Sam Senczyszyn of UW-Eau Claire backed up her title from a year ago in the 100 breast with another championship at this year’s meet, touching first in a time of 1:01.64. Senczyszyn is the first back-to-back winner in the 100 breast since Lindsay Payne of Williams in 2005 and 2006. KT Kustritz of Denison finished second in a time of 1:02.45 and Julia Wilson of Kenyon placed third in a time of 1:02.59.

After winning the 3-meter board on Wednesday, Maura Sticco-Ivins completed the diving sweep with a victory on the 1-meter board with a score of 475.40. She is the first woman to sweep both boards at nationals since 2011 when Danica Roskos of The College of New Jersey accomplished the feat. It is the junior’s third national title (she won the 3-meter title in 2015). Sarah Hayhurst of Centre finished second with a score of 445.75 and Vivian Zhou of MIT was third with a score of 434.80.

The 2017 championships conclude on Saturday with prelims beginning at 10 a.m., followed by finals at 6 p.m. This year’s championship event is being hosted by the City of Shenandoah and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

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