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Sport, NCAC, Athletics GAMBIER, OH — JANUARY 12: Kenyon College swimming and diving host Oberlin College and Cleveland State University at the James A Steen Aquatic Center, January 12, 2024, in Gambier, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes)..Event 6 women’s 200 Free.Lane 4 Geboy

Top-Ranked Kenyon Owls Women’s Swimming & Diving set to Take on NCAA Championship

GAMBIER, Ohio — A few weeks after winning the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship, the Kenyon College Owls are gearing up for a run at the 2024 NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship. The four-day meet begins Wednesday, March 20, at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Kenyon, which finished third last season after being crowned national champions in 2022, heads into the national finale as the No. 1-ranked team in the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America’s Top-25 poll. The Owls began the season in the top spot before bouncing between No. 2 and No. 3 for much of the year. However, ousting defending NCAA and NCAC champion Denison University in the 2024 NCAC Championship propelled the Owls to pole position in the final poll. The Big Red slotted in at No. 2 in the season’s final poll, followed by Williams College and Emory University, who placed fourth and second, respectively, at last year’s championship.

This year’s squad includes 17 swimmers looking to help the program claim its 25th NCAA crown. Kenyon’s 24 NCAA titles are a total that tops all other women’s programs across every sport and every division of the NCAA. The University of North Carolina women’s soccer team, a Division I program, ranks second with 21 all-time championships.

Kenyon’s 17-swimmer roster is tied with Emory for the largest in the field, one short of the maximum team size. Each class is well-represented as the roster is nearly split evenly across the four years. The Owls representatives include four swimmers apiece from the first-year, sophomore, and junior classes, and the senior class leads the way with five invitees. Despite the broad group, seven of the 17 swimmers are making their NCAA Championship debut, including first-years Kate Bogan, Bengisu Caymaz, Sofia Giordano, and Ashlyn Widmer, sophomores Gwen Eisenbeis and Cedya Yazici, and senior Sydney Buchman.

Jennah Fadely figures firmly into Kenyon’s title finish. The junior is the only Owl to garner gold on the national stage, winning the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke crowns last season. Fadely has posted the field’s fastest finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, and she has tallied the third-fastest 200-yard individual medley mark and the fourth-best 200-yard breaststroke time.

Fadely’s 11 career All-America awards are also tops on this year’s team. Kenyon’s other All-Americans include Sarah Hoffman with seven, Sydney Geboy and Gabrielle Wei with six, Molly Haag and Sophie Schmitz with three, and two apiece for Jordan Herrera, Sydney McCallie, and Lisa Torrecillas-Jouault.

Caymaz joins Fadely as Kenyon’s other top-seeded swimmer. The first-year comes in with the top time in the 500-yard freestyle, and she also holds the second-fastest finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle. For good measure, the freestyler checks in as the seventh seed in the 200-yard iteration.

Kenyon’s other swimmers with top-five seeds include Haag, McCallie, Schmitz, Wei, and Caleigh Wukitch. Haag, a sophomore, holds the fourth seed in the 500-yard freestyle, the fifth seed in the 1,650-yard freestyle, and the eighth seed in the 200-yard freestyle. McCallie, a senior, checks in at No. 5 in the 400-yard IM, No. 13 in the 200-yard IM, and No. 25 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Her classmate, Schmitz, secured the third seed in the 400-yard IM and the 11th seed in the 200-yard butterfly. Wei, a junior, enters with the second-fastest 200-yard breaststroke time and the sixth-speediest 100-yard breaststroke mark. Wukitch, another senior, holds a pair of top-five times, ranking third in the 200-yard backstroke and fourth in the 100-yard version.

In relay competitions, Kenyon teams enter the season finale with four top-five times. In freestyle relays, the Owls rank No. 2 in the 400, No. 3 in the 800, and No. 4 in the 200. Kenyon is the defending champion in the 400-yard medley relay, and they check in with the fifth-best time heading into this year’s final.

The championship schedule starts with preliminary heats at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20. Final heats kick off at 6 p.m., and the meet will follow the same two-session format for each of the four days in Greensboro.

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