Women's SwimmingGAMBIER, Ohio (March 13, 2006) In what turned out to be the closest NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship ever, the Kenyon College Ladies came up ten points short in a bid to upset defending champion Emory University. With a final tally of 428-418, the Ladies settled on silver for the second straight season.
Emory's victory marks the first time that a team other than Kenyon captured back-to-back national titles since Williams College did so in the first two NCAA Championships (1982 and 1983). The Eagles won a total of two individual events to hold off Kenyon, which won two relay events. Williams College placed third with 293 points, while Amherst College was fourth with 292 points, and Washington University was fifth with 218.
In Saturday's third and final night of the championship, Emory's Sam White won the 1,650-yard freestyle race and upped her team's lead over Kenyon to 68 points. The Ladies quickly cut into that margin using fourth- and fifth-place finishes from Rebecca Allison and Kate Coker in the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.89 and 2:04.92) and an eighth-place finish from Elizabeth Carlton in the 100-yard freestyle (53.08).
The Ladies continued to mount a charge as Jessica Connors claimed third place in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:19.06). Freshman Adrienne Amador then placed fifth in the 200-yard butterfly (2:06.43), while senior Danielle Korman wrapped up her career with an eighth-place finish (2:06.85) in the same event. Those three performances pulled the Ladies within 34 points of the Eagles with just one event left.
Going into the 400-yard freestyle relay, the best the Ladies could hope for was a win coupled with an Emory placement of 14th or worse. Unfortunately, neither happened. Kenyon's young team of Carlton, Tracy Menzel, Jessica Wise, and Allison Johnson swam to a second-place finish (3:29.55), while Emory touched the wall in 12th place during the consolation finals.
Although the Ladies, winners of 20 national titles in the past 23 seasons, fell just a bit short Saturday, their future looks bright. Among the team's championship roster of 18 swimmers, a dozen were either freshmen or sophomores.