Emory & Andrew Wilson, Kenyon’s Arthur Conover Smash D3 Records

There were speculations over the summer that Emory star Andrew Wilson might swim his last year of NCAA eligibility at Texas after training in Austin prior to the Olympic Trials, but he’s back at Emory and he’s tearing things up in Division III nonetheless. He has already been part of two Division III records (done in the same session) at the Miami Invitational, taking down records in both the 200 IM and the 400 medley relay.

Wilson swam a 1:45.57 in the 200 IM to break Jackson Lindell‘s record of 1:46.00, which the Denison senior set at last season’s Division III National Championships. Wilson set the record of 1:46.23 back in March of 2015, though Lindell took that record down this March. Yesterday, the Emory senior unhinged a 28.46 breaststroke split and actually beat Lindell by a considerable margin at Miami. Lindell was 2nd in 1:48.66, and is the defending 200 IM D3 champion.

Just to get an idea of what a 28.46 breaststroke split means in the midst of a 200 IM race, let’s compare Wilson’s split to the splits in last year’s Division I A final. Only D1 Champ Will Licon (27.84) and runner-up Josh Prenot (28.37) were quicker, and they were at a full taper in March. Of course, both men were on the brink of sub-1:40 performances, a level that Wilson has not yet reached in this race. A 28.46 split on the third leg of a 200 IM is, still, very impressive.

Speaking of breaststroke, it was Wilson who carried Emory to a new D3 record in the 400 medley relay just a few events later in Miami. Freshman Sage Ono (48.92) led off, with Christian Baker (48.26) swimming fly and Ollie Smith (45.01) anchoring. Wilson made mince meat out of the rest of the field’s breaststrokers, however, splitting a 50.84 after taking it out in a 23.40. Emory touched in 3:13.03, taking .46 off of Williams D3 record from 2015. Wilson should challenge his D3 records of 51.75 in the 100 breast and 1:52.97 in the 200 breast as the weekend progresses. Ollie Smith, for his part, popped a 19.67 to win the 50 free yesterday, not terribly far off of Zach Turk’s 19.38 D3 record. Check out live results in Miami here.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Arthur Conover was setting fire to distance free records in the mile. Competing in his senior year at Kenyon, at Kenyon‘s own TPSC Invite (live results here), Conover became the first man in D3 to break 15:00 in the 1650. His time of 14:56.44 destroys his old best time, which also happened to be the old record, of 15:01.24.

Though the 1000 free record for D3 isn’t recognized on their record page online, and because the 1000 is not swum at the national championship, there’s a good chance he broke the 1000 free D3 record, too. He clocked in at 9:03.58 after 40 lengths. Conover was incredibly consistent throughout– kicking off with a 52.12 in his first 100, he held 27’s the entire way through, save for one 26.8 towards the end of the race. On top of that, he only went over 27.5 once, a 27.54 in the 50 after the 1000 mark.

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What Wilson has done is simply sensational


It hasn’t happened yet in swimming, but it would be incredible if Wilson’s time in March at D-3 Nationals somehow was faster than the winner in D-1. It’s conceivable in the 100. I think it’s amazing that we can even anticipate that. A D-3 winner has had the best performance across all divisions a few times, near as I can tell: Edwin Moses, the 400m hurdles specialist, did so in 1976 or so, and a pole-vaulter accomplished that a few years ago, as well.


Ben Michaelson (D2) was faster than Ian Crocker in 2003 in the 100fly at their respective NCAA Championships (45.60 to 45.67)


It’s never happened at the D-3 swimming level. Back in the 80’s, D-3 national champs could swim at the D-1 meet, provided they met the standard. So far as I can remember, it was James Born (Kenyon, 50 free), Dennis Mulvihill (Kenyon, 200 free), and Chris Radpour (Emory, diving) who participated in the D-1 meet. Then the rules changed, and no one from D-2 or D-3 could swim in the D-1 meet. For the 1990’s and 2000’s, few, if any D-3 swimmers could have scored at the D-1 meet, but several could have contributed on relays. Travis Miller (UCSD, 1:36 split on an 800 FR), Pedro Monteiro (200 fly) could have contributed to D-1 teams. Now it seems that besides… Read more »

Andrew Majeske

I remember Born being in the mix in the “A” final in the 100 free at d1– might have gotten 4th.

Blue Jays

I recall Jon Blank of Johns Hopkins swimming breaststroke at D1 nationals in the early 80’s.


Also worth noting that the D-3 record-holder in the 50 and 100 free (Zachary Turk, Kenyon) used his last year of eligibility at Michigan when they won the team title. He contributed immediately, and made a big difference on their sprint relays. It’s conceivable to say that he made the difference for the entire team, as well, since his 19.0 splits were faster than other members of that team at the time, so adding him to the 200 MR (US Open record) and the 200 FR was worth lots more points at NCAA.

Andrew Majeske

Turk got as fast as 18.4, I think on the 200 medley (that relay still hold US Open and NCAA record)


What Andrew Wilson has done, and continues to do, is amazing. I think Jon Howell at Emory deserves a lot of credit; no disrespect to Eddie Reese, but Wilson’s progress appears to be all due to his time at Emory.

Also, bummer for Conover that such an amazing performance got overshadowed because wow, what a mile. 14:56 is a BIG swim! That is right off what typically scores at D1 nationals every year.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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