Kenyon Butterflyer David Fitch Does Flip Turns in Medley Relay at High-stakes NCAAs

2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships

Freshman David Fitch of Kenyon did flip turns on his butterfly leg of the 400 medley relay in heats on Thursday morning at the highest-stakes meet of the year, the NCAA Division III Championships. While an unorthodox method for turning in butterfly and breaststroke, where open turns are the rule, flip turns are perfectly legal as long as the swimmer still touches the wall with both hands prior to turning.

Using flip turns in fly and breast, while still the exception to the rule, is becoming a thing. Purdue’s Joe Gardner did flip turns in his 100 breast at B1G Championships in February and the ensuing video stirred up a great deal of interest. You can watch Gardner’s race here, and read the interview with SwimSwam in which he discusses his technique.

The jury is still out on whether or not flip turns or open turns are faster in breast and fly. Fitch split 22.60/26.43 for 49.03 in the medley relay heats this morning. He went 48.18 at the Kenyon-hosted Total Performance Invitational in December, when the Lords won with 3:16.56. That is a misleading figure, though, because all four of the Kenyon legs were slower here at NCAAs than at Total Performance Invite in December. Fitch’s best flat-start 100 fly is 48.49, also from December 2017.

  NCAAs Prelims 3/2018 Total Performance Invite Finals 12/2017
Back Ben Baturka 48.69 Ben Baturka 48.15
Breast Alexander Law 55.78 Humphrey Pruett 55.56
Fly David Fitch 49.03 David Fitch 48.18
Free Tommy Weiss 45.38 Reilly Shields 44.56
    3:18.88   3:16.56

The Kenyon quartet finished ninth out of heats in Indianapolis, which was another blow in an already difficult day that saw the Lords fail to qualify any 200 freestylers for the A final, effectively allowing Emory to slip past them into a projected second place in the team standings.

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3 years ago

Ok but he added the most time

3 years ago


Steve Nolan
3 years ago

Pics or shens.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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