The men’s and women’s swimming rosters, psych sheets and alternates for Division III have been officially released. The rosters list each team alphabetically with the corresponding invited athletes and the events they were invited in. The psych sheet shows how the actual meet will fall out, and the list of alternates has the group of athletes who may end up participating in the meet if one of the invited athletes drops out for any reason.
On the women’s side, the only full roster is Emory’s – no surprise. They are sporting the talents of five senior women, including Nancy Larson (ranked second in the 100 freestyle) and McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg (ranked third in the 200 butterfly). The eighteen-swimmer roster also features the talents of first year swimmers like Cindy Cheng (ranked fourth in the 200 freestyle) and Rebecca Upton (ranked fourth in the 200 butterfly). The team’s sole national champion from last year – Elizabeth Aronoff – returns as well as a junior, ready to defend her title in the 200 breaststroke. As has come to be expected, Emory’s team covers the bases, leaving few – if any – weaknesses in their lineup. Can they be beaten this year? Nothing’s impossible, but let’s call it highly unlikely.
Kenyon’s roster is set at 17 swimmers, with two-time NCAA champion diver Maria Zarka taking a spot on the roster as well. After a stellar performance at Regionals, Zarka will be looking to become a three-peat champion on 3 meter and perhaps claim the victory on 1 meter as well. Included on Kenyon’s swimming roster are four senior talents, including 100 backstroke NCAA record holder and two time NCAA champion Celia Oberholzer and Hannah Cooper (ranked seventh in the 100 butterfly). Some up-and-coming Ladies to keep an eye on are first years Kanchi Desai (ranked fifth in the 200 butterfly) and Julia Wilson (ranked eighth in the 100 breaststroke). The Ladies come to the 2015 NCAA championship with a strong group of women who will be ready to get up and race.
The Denison roster also holds 17 swimmers. Michelle Howell returns for her fourth NCAA championship, seeded third going into the 400 IM. Yearmate Molly Willingham is ranked in the top sixteen in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke events. The Big Red will also be featuring the talents of first year swimmer Halli Garza (ranked fourth in the 200 IM) and two of the top-ranked distance athletes in the country: Taylor Johns and Campbell Costley. If you watch nothing else of the women’s NCAA meet, make sure to catch the 500 and 1650 where these teammates will push each other in what could be the most exciting races of the meet.
Johns Hopkins exploded onto the scene last year with a number of incredible senior talents who have since graduated. However, Ana Bogdanovski is around for one final year, and will be looking to claim the Female Swimmer of the Year award for the second season running. She comes into the meet the as the top seed in two of of her three events (100 and 200 freestyle) and as the only Division III woman to have posted an A cut. (And she’s got two.) With two other seniors, Bogdanovski will be leading a team of twelve women to attempt the same coup the Jays went for last season. With talented freshmen like Gwenyth Lamastra (ranked ninth in 100 breaststroke) and Anna Wisniewski (ranked third in 200 IM), the Jays will have another year to draw the attention of all of Division III.
The Kenyon Lords have the sole full roster at 18 on the men’s side going into the 2015 NCAA championship. They have five seniors leading the group, including two-time 200 freestyle NCAA champion Austin Caldwell. Going into this year’s championships, Caldwell is one of only two men with a Division III A cut. He posted a 1:36.91 at the NCAC meet (.07 faster than the NCAA meet record set in 2003 by Marc Courtney-Brooks) and will be looking to take down the national record in the 200 freestyle, set in 1988 by Kenyon’s Denis Mulvilhill (1:36.63). Harrison Curley is another powerhouse for the Lords, with an individual title in the 200 backstroke to defend this year. The Lords’ crop of first years bear watching, but it’s the sophomores who have really come into their power this year. Arthur Conover is currently the top dog in the 1650, nearly 10 seconds faster than he was at the NCAA meet last year, and only five seconds away from the NCAA record. Trevor Manz comes into NCAAs ranked fifth in the 100 breastroke, fourth in the 200 IM and second in the 200 IM.
Emory comes into the meet as the team with the second greatest number of swimmers at 15. The group is primarily underclassmen with two seniors – Hayden Baker and Eric Ruggieri – to lead them. Baker is ranked top 16 in both fly events coming into the 2015 NCAA championships, and finished 9th in the 100 last year. Ruggieri’s highest finish last year was 17th in the 200 breaststroke, though this year he comes in ranked 15th. Junior Andrew Wilson is the highest ranked athlete on the team, and the only other man in Division III to have posted an A cut this season. Wilson also now owns the Division III record in the 100 breaststroke after posting a 53.41 in season, and will have a shot at claiming the meet record (54.29 set in 2009 by Paul Buyanov) as well. Christian Baker is another top talent for the Eagles with the potential to score top 8 in the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyle events.
Denison has a mere 14 bodies coming into the 2015 NCAA championship…as swimmers. Big Red will be enlisting the powers of its diving team, including NCAA champion Connor Dignan. Dignan owns the national records on both boards, and will try to add meet records to his tally as well this year. On the swimming side, Damon Rosenburg and Daniel Hellman are the only seniors leading the team. The small group packs plenty of power, however, with first year athletes like Stuart Hohm (ranked top 8 in the 200 and 500 freestyles) and Aaron Saccurato (ranked tenth in the mile, seventh in the 500 freestyle).
MIT will be bringing thirteen athletes to the Big Meet, led by senior Austin Fathman who comes into the 2015 NCAA championships ranked seventh in the 100 freestyle. Junior Alexander Lednev is the highest ranked coming into the meet with the third fastest time in Division III in the 100 backstroke and the seventh best in the 400 IM. Year mate Luke Schlueter is ranked fourth in the 200 butterfly.
Williams also brings thirteen athletes to 2015 Division III NCAA championships. Their team is about half seniors – six – with a single freshmen in attendance. Senior Thad Ricotta tops the Division III top times list in the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly going into the 2015 meet. Yearmate Christian Gronbeck will also be right up there, coming in with sixth place seeds in the 500 and 1650 freestyle events. Ben Lin was Williams’ top individual finisher (third in the 200 back, fourth in the 100 back) last year and returns this year at the top of Division III in the 100 backstroke pre-NCAAs. He’s also ranked third going into the meet in the 200 backstroke.
NCAAs are drawing near! The meet officially begins March 18th in Shenandoah, TX and will conclude on March 21st.