Two of the best Division III programs of all time, both in rural Ohio, held their annual showdown this past Saturday, November 16th. The Denison women, 2nd at last year’s NCAA championsip, won a tight meet over Kenyon, last year’s 4th place team, 157.5-142.5. The Kenyon men beat Denison handily, 196-104. The Lords are coming off their 34th NCAA Championship, Denison was the second place team.
These are two of the best in Division III every year, and both programs compete in the same conference. Kenyon has traditionally gotten the better of Denison, but the Denison men were responsible for breaking Kenyon’s unprecedented 31 year NCAA Championship winning streak.
In the men’s meet, Kenyon won the opening relay and never looked back. They won 13 out of 16 events, losing just the two diving events and the 200 backstroke. Kenyon had three swimmers who won two events on the day: junior Ian Reardon as well as seniors Ryan Funk and Joseph Duronio.
Funk would swim on four winning events in all. He swam fly (22.29) on the opening 200 medley relay, then followed up with wins in the 50 free (20.92) and 100 butterfly (50.91) before leading off Kenyon’s 200 freestyler relay in 20.86. For his efforts he was named North Coast Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week. Funk was just a background player on last year’s championship team but could be stepping up big time for this year’s Lords’ squad.
Duronio emerged victorious in both the 200 (1:41.96) and 100 freestyle (46.72). He was an A-Finalist at last year’s NCAA Championship at the Conroe ISD.
Reardon swam won the 200 breastroke (2:08.09) and the 400 IM (4:06.20). That result is not surprising given that he was an A-Finalist in both those events last year at NCAAs.
Other winners for the Kenyon Men:
- junior Arthur Connover in the 1000 freestyle (9:37.99)
- senior Percy Gates in the 100 backstroke (51.88)
- junior Trevor Manz in the 100 breaststroke (58.52)
- freshman Joe Zimdars in the 200 butterfly (1:53.80)
- sophomore David Perez in the 500 freestyle (4:41.85)
In the women’s meet, the meet was not so easily won by the Big Red. Denison put the finishing touches off with a final relay win, but was clearly the stronger team throughout, winning 11 out of 16 events.
Senior Ashley Yearwood was the top performer for Denison, swimming on both winning relays as well as touching first in the 100 backstroke (57.98) and 100 freestyle (52.23). Yearwood was a B-Finalist in both those events at last year’s NCAA Championship.
Also winning two individual events was senior Melissa Bednarek, who captured both the 100 (1:04.10) and 200 breaststroke (2:20.39). Bednarek was an A-Finalist in both those races in Texas last year.
Other winners for Denison on the day were:
- junior Carolyn Kane in the 50 free (23.72)- top time in Division III thus far, and the 100 butterfly (57.24)
- sophomore Haley Garza in the 200 butterfly (2:04.22)
- freshman Eva Vivero in both the 1M and 3m Diving
- junior Campbell Costley won the 500 freestyle (4:59.89)- top time in Division III thus far
The Denison men and women next swim in the Miami Invitational from December 3-5th. Kenyon will attend the University of Louisville invite next weekend (November 20th).