Strong to the Finish

The men take second at the NCAA DIII Swimming and Diving Championship while the women place third.


At the 2023 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, Kenyon’s men’s and women’s teams finished in second and third place, respectively.

Men's Swimming and Diving Results

Falling just shy of catching Emory University, the Kenyon College Owls gave it all they had over the course of the last four days and claimed the second-place spot during the 2023 NCAA Division III Men's Swimming and Diving Championship at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The Owls won three more event titles Saturday night and finished the championship with 494.5 teams points, an impressive advancement from last season's fifth-place finish with 282.5 points. Not counting the COVID years, the Kenyon men now boast three runner-up finishes and three national championships over the past nine seasons.

Emory was able to hold off Kenyon's charge and took home the team title with 532 points. Finishing behind Emory and Kenyon was third place University of Chicago, which closed with 318 points. 

One of the first highlights of Saturday evening for the Owls was a national championship swim in the 100-yard freestyle. First-year Djordje Dragojlovic took the crown with a time of 43.32. It was Dragojlovic's third title of the meet and was Kenyon's first title in the event since the 2013 season. Backing up Dragojlovic were senior Cherantha De Silva and junior Daniel Brooks. In the consolation final of the 100 they took ninth and 11th place, respectively. De Silva touched in 43.84 and Brooks finished in 44.29.

Despite that trio's efforts, the Kenyon men were outscored in the event by Emory, 43.5-35, putting the Eagles ahead by 10.5 points on the leaderboard.

Before that race, the Owls were within two points of the Eagles, thanks to the result turned in by senior Colin Bowling, who snared three points by finishing the 1,650-yard freestyle with a 14th-place time of 15:46.93.

Emory had four swimmers in the consolation final of the 200-yard backstroke, but Kenyon countered with two in the championship heat. With junior Yurii Kosian leading the way, the Owls moved to within seven points of Emory. Kosian clocked in at 1:44.94 for fifth place and senior Spencer Pruett landed in sixth place with a time of 1:45.39.

The Eagles all but sealed the deal in the next event, which was the 200-yard breaststroke. Emory had four swimmers in the race with three of them claiming top-four spots. Kenyon got a 14th-place finish from senior Bryan Fitzgerald, who completed the race in 1:59.87, but Emory's surge opened up a 61.5-point lead over the Owls.

Kenyon clawed back with a trio of All-America finishes on the three-meter diving board. That group was once again led by Israel Zavaleta, who, for the second consecutive year, swept the NCAA diving titles. He won his fourth straight event title Saturday night by taking the 2023 three-meter title with a final score of 595.15. At the conclusion of the meet, Zavaleta was named Diver of the Year and Ron Kontura was named Diving Coach of the Year by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

Zavaleta and the Owls got reinforcements in the diving well, as Mason Fishell finished eighth with a score of 437.95 and Drew Albrecht added a 14th-place finish, tallying 426.30 points.

That left the Owls 44.5 points behind Emory with just the 400-yard freestyle relay to go. Even facing that margin, Kenyon did not fade, but continued its strong finish, winning the relay in 2:54.34. Teaming up to post that top time were Marko Krtinic, Daniel Brooks, De Silva and Dragojlovic.

Women's Swimming and Diving Results

The Kenyon College Owls gained one more national event title Saturday and put together a strong run to solidify a third-place team finish at the conclusion of the 2023 NCAA Division III Women's Swimming and Diving Championship at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Kenyon's title-winning swim came from Jennah Fadely, who completed the sweep of breaststroke events by taking the 200-yard crown with a Kenyon record time of 2:11.22. That mark topped the previous Kenyon record of 2:13.27 set by Fadely's teammate, Gabrielle Wei, during the 2021 season. With the result, Fadely became the first Kenyon swimmer to complete the stroke sweep since Jeannine Gury did so in 1989. Wei was in the pool with Fadely on Saturday night and helped Kenyon's cause with a seventh-place time 2:16.54.

Throughout Saturday's session, the Owls pulled closer and closer to second-place Emory University, but the results of that 200-yard breaststroke, the fourth event of the night, finally pushed the Kenyon women into second place by four points over the Eagles.

That left only the 400-yard freestyle relay to determine whether Kenyon or Emory would finish second behind Denison University in the overall team standings. Emory came through with a fourth-place finish in the relay, enough to surpass Kenyon, which finished seventh. The Owls foursome of Olivia Smith, Sydney Geboy, Fadely, and Alexandra White clocked in at 3:26.29.

Following the relay, the team standings were finalized with Denison racking up 464.5 points and taking the title. Emory owned second place with 385 points and Kenyon landed third with 383 points.  

Back at the start of the session, first-year Molly Haag got the Owls going. She powered to an eighth-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle, clocking in at 17:01.60 and adding 11 points to the Kenyon team total. Not far behind was junior Sarah Hoffman, who completed the distance event in a 10th-place time of 17:05.52.

White, a senior, then dialed up a fifth-place swim in the 100-yard freestyle, clocking in at 50.41. She was Kenyon's lone swimmer in the event. Both Denison and Emory had two swimmers in the race and increased their leads over the Owls.

Smith, another Kenyon senior, narrowed the gap a bit in the next event, the 200-yard backstroke. She stopped the clock at 2:00.51, which was good for a fourth-place finish. She gained 15 points for her efforts and she pulled Kenyon within 24 points of second-place Emory.

That set the stage for the Owls' surge in the breaststroke and then Emory's answer in the relay.

Not counting the COVID years, the Kenyon women now boast one national title, five runner-up showings and one third-place finish over the past nine seasons.