Owls take sole possession of first after day two

GRANVILLE, Ohio — The Kenyon College women’s swimming and diving team took sole possession of first place after the second day of the 2024 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship. The Owls claimed two titles and held off hosting Denison University despite three Big Red crowns, breaking the tie the teams shared after day one.

The Owls opened the evening with a win in the 500-yard freestyle. First-year Bengisu Caymaz continued her fantastic inaugural intercollegiate campaign by claiming the NCAC Championship in the event, posting a time of 4:49.26 that bested her own NCAA Division III-leading mark of 4:50.39. Sophomore Molly Haag helped Kenyon rack up even more points with her third-place finish, clocking in at 4:50.44, a personal best. Sarah Hoffman (5:01.99) and Sophie Schmitz (5:05.20) finished seventh and ninth, respectively, to add to Kenyon’s team total, and the Owls remained tied with the Big Red for the top spot in the Championship standings.

Jennah Fadely made it two in a row for Kenyon after pacing the field in the 200-yard individual medley. The victory marked the second championship race for the junior in three events over the first two days after contributing to a relay title on night one. Fadely touched with a time of 2:02.06, a season-best, and she repeated as champion after winning the event last season.

Denison placed second and third to help take a 19-point advantage on the scoreboard, but Gabrielle Wei (2:04.03) and Sydney McCallie (2:04.13) both posted season-best times in fourth and fifth to keep Kenyon close. Additionally, senior Anna Clare Fleenor touched seventh with a time of 2:07.27.

After placing at least two Owls on the podium in the first two events, Denison dealt a big blow by taking the top three times in the 50-yard freestyle. Kenyon swimmers finished 4-5-6, but the Owls’ deficit swelled to 33 before a break in the swimming action. First-year Kate Bogan swam a personal-best 23.53 to earn an NCAA ‘B’ Cut and place fourth, while Sydney Geboy (23.60) touched fifth and Lisa Torrecillas-Jouault (23.61) tied for sixth. Rounding out the Kenyon swimmers in the championship heat was Gwen Eisenbeis, who placed ninth at 23.91.

With individual swimming events in the books, the focus shifted to the diving boards. Kenyon’s lengthy list of divers helped the Owls flip the scoreboard as Kenyon divers slotted fourth through ninth. Seniors Katarina Ilic and Claire Fergusson led the way, tallying 412.10 and 395.60 points, respectively, followed by first-years Olive O’Dorisio and Lucy Cassell-Kelley and sophomores Bryn Tiernan and Brooke Heis. Despite Denison divers securing the top three scores, Kenyon turned their 33-point deficit into a 30-point, 650.5-620.5 advantage with one event remaining.

Kenyon could not pull further away as the Big Red touched 1.14 seconds sooner in the evening’s final race, the 400-yard medley relay. Still, the Owls maintained their lead thanks to the quartet of Caleigh Wukitch, Fadely, Celia Ford, and Geboy, who finished second at 3:43.14, a season-best time for Kenyon.

With two days of competition remaining, Kenyon sits atop the standings with 712.5 points. Denison ranks second with 690.5 points, and the programs have pulled away from The College of Wooster (418) and DePauw University (383) on the leaderboard. 

Day three of the NCAC Championship resumes tomorrow morning at the Trumbull Aquatics Center, with preliminary heats and final heats again scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.

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