In her national championship debut, Crile Hart ’21 helped propel the Ladies to a runner-up finish in the 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, held at Indiana University Natatorium. The Lords closed the men’s competition in third place.
Hart, who won four event titles at the meet, was named NCAA Division III Women’s Swimmer of the Year, making her the 10th in program history to earn the top honor and the first to do so since Elizabeth Galloway in 2004.
Hart and the Ladies scored a total of 500 points to land the silver trophy. Emory University tallied 603 points and won the team title for the ninth-straight season. Williams College was third with 412 points.
During Saturday’s final session, Hart claimed the 200-yard backstroke crown in record-setting fashion. Her time of 1:55.67 was an NCAA record, breaking the previous mark of 1:55.83 set last season by Olivia Jackson of Williams. Hart also won the 100-yard backstroke title, becoming the first Lady to sweep the stroke titles since Erica Carroll in 1999.
Those two titles were only half the story for Hart. In her first-ever NCAA race, she won the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1:58.86. Earlier, during the preliminary heats, she set the NCAA standard in the event with a time of 1:58.29. Additionally, Hart swam a leg on the Ladies’ title-winning 400-yard medley relay team, which clocked in with a Kenyon record time of 3:39.95.
While Hart took the lead, the Ladies had plenty of other contributors, including Kendall Vanderhoof ’20, Julia Wilson ’18 and Delaney Ambrosen ’19. All three garnered third-place finishes Saturday night, with Vanderhoof and Ambrosen earning personal-bests.
In Saturday’s consolation finals, the Ladies had a pair of swimmers in nearly every event. The depth of the squad overflowed into relays events as well. The Kenyon women capped off the meet with a second-place swim in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Hart, Emmerson Mirus ’21, Hannah Orbach-Mandel ’19 and Princess Vilan Ferguson-Nguyen ’20 turned in a time of 3:22.16, yet another Kenyon record.
The Lords closed out the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship in third place with 322 points. Denison University won the team title with 596.5 points, while Emory University, the defending national champion, claimed this year's runner-up spot with 369.5 points.
A testament to the strength of Kenyon’s program, this season’s third-place finish marked the first time since 1978 that the Lords did not finish either first or second at the national meet. In that same span, the Lords collected an NCAA record 34 national titles, including 31 consecutive titles from 1980 through 2010.
For the first time since 1982, the Lords concluded this year’s championship without an event title. Their best finish came Friday when they earned second place in the 800-yard freestyle relay.
In individual events, the Lords had a trio of fourth-place finishes throughout the meet. Tim Hagemeister ’21 was fourth in the 500-yard freestyle, David Fitch ’21 was fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and sophomore Mick Bartholomew ’20 was fourth in Saturday's 200-yard backstroke. Bartholomew’s backstroke result of 1:46:86, a personal record, highlighted the final day of NCAA competition for the Lords.
The Lords ended the meet with a sixth-place showing in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Fitch and Robert Williams ’19 paired up with Matthew Cooper ’18 and Tommy Weiss ’20 to post a time of 2:59.34, giving the Lords their fourth top-eight finish in the meet's five relay events.