NCAA Division III Team Standings Analysis (Since 1996)

In the last twenty years or so, we’ve seen dominance from seemingly the same few teams year after year at the NCAA Division III Championships. The Kenyons and Denisons and Emorys of the D3 world, of course, have had a stronghold on the men’s and women’s championship titles recently, but teams like Williams, Amherst, UCSD, and Johns Hopkins have consistently put up big numbers in the spring to maintain top 10 or top 5 rankings nationally.

First, we’ll take a look at the men. Since 1996, 36 different teams have placed in the top 10 nationally at D3 Championships.

  • Kenyon
  • Denison
  • Union (NY)
  • Johns Hopkins
  • UCSD
  • Kalamazoo
  • Williams
  • Hope
  • Rowan
  • Wisconsin (Stevens Point)
  • Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • Middlebury
  • Emory
  • Wisconsin (Eau Claire)
  • Hamilton
  • Wheaton (IL)
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Calvin
  • Whitworth
  • TCNJ
  • Amherst
  • WashU (Mo.)
  • Gustavus Adolphus
  • MIT
  • Springfield
  • St. Olaf
  • Tufts
  • Washington & Lee
  • Grove City
  • NYU
  • Redlands
  • Staten Island
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Keene St.
  • U Chicago

Since 1996, in the years 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016, no teams finished in the top 10 who hadn’t already done so in a previous year.

Only 18 teams, however, have made it into the top 5 nationally since ’96.

  • Kenyon
  • Denison
  • Union (NY)
  • Johns Hopkins
  • UCSD
  • Williams
  • Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
  • Wisconsin (Stevens Point)
  • Middlebury
  • Emory
  • Hope
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Gustavus Adolphus
  • St. Olaf
  • Kalamazoo
  • Amherst
  • MIT
  • Redlands

Since 1996, no new unique teams finished in the top 5 teams during the years 2003-2006, and 2013-2016. AKA, we haven’t had a top five with a team that hasn’t previously been in the top five since 2012. That would make it seem like those teams at the top have been in dominant control recently, which is true.

Now for the women.

In the last twenty-odd years, 38 different teams have finished in the top 10 at the end of the year:

  • Kenyon
  • Denison
  • Union (NY)
  • Johns Hopkins
  • UCSD
  • Williams
  • Hope
  • Rowan
  • Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
  • UC Santa Clara
  • Middlebury
  • Emory
  • Hamilton
  • Wheaton (IL)
  • Calvin
  • Whitworth
  • TCNJ
  • Amherst
  • WashU (Mo.)
  • Gustavus Adolphus
  • MIT
  • Springfield
  • St. Olaf
  • Grove City
  • NYU
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • U Chicago
  • Allegheny
  • Ithaca
  • Wooster
  • Case Western
  • Puget Sound
  • Carleton
  • Wisconsin (La Crosse)
  • Colby
  • Depauw
  • Carthage
  • MIT

Only in 2004, 2007, and 2016 were there no new teams to the top 10.

17 different teams have finished within the top 5 of the women’s champs since 1996:

  • Kenyon
  • UCSD
  • Denison
  • Williams
  • Hope
  • Middlebury
  • Wheaton (IL)
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Emory
  • Wooster
  • Wisconsin (La Crosse)
  • Amherst
  • WashU (Mo.)
  • Calvin
  • Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
  • TCNJ
  • Stevens

Like for the men, there hasn’t been a new team to the top 5 since 2012, and in 1998, 1999, and 2002, there were no new teams, either.

So, while there have been a pretty large amount of unique teams that have finished in the top 10 since 1996, and about half as much in the top 5, the same teams have been pretty dominant since the turn of the century, and especially so in this decade. Top-end excellence has been shown more so on the men’s side– Kenyon has won the NCAA D3 title every year (except for 2011, 2012, and 2016) since 1980. Denison won each of those three years, and were runners-up each year since 2010 that they didn’t win.

The women have had a similar sort of top-end dominance, too. Only four teams have ever won the national title: Emory, Kenyon, Denison, and Williams. Emory has won every year since 2010, while Kenyon went from 1984-2000 without losing. Additionally, since 2002, only Kenyon and Emory have won national titles.

The top 10 or even top 5 has seen many teams since 1996– it’s the top 1 or 2 positions each year that continue to go to Emory, Kenyon, and Denison.

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BaldingEagle

Only teams from THREE colleges have won D-3 championships, since 1996. Kenyon, Denison, and Emory. Only Kenyon and Denison have won the men’s titles. Emory women are on the longest streak since Kenyon’s original streak, now at 7. The Denison women showed it could be done by breaking the Kenyon streak in 2001. Until the last 7-8 years, all-star teams from non-Kenyon men’s teams would have lost a dual meet to the Kenyon national team. In a similar case, this time taking the all-time Kenyon championship roster of 18 swimmers, vs the rest of the D3’s top 18 swimmers all-time, would still have resulted in a Kenyon win. Names like Rushton, Courtney-Brooks, Mulvihill, Monteiro, Born, etc, vs Boss, Cole, Travis… Read more »

Annette Luetzow

by the way, UCSD is not a DIII team anymore, they moved to DII in the 1999-2000 season.

Bop Bop

Hopkins State is on the track to crash that Kenyon Denison Emory party in the top three

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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