Helped by sophomore Joey Duronio of Chapel Hill, the Kenyon College Lords surged to the top of the standings last weekend and claimed the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship in Indianapolis. The trophy was Kenyon’s second in a row and its NCAA-record 33rd in the last 35 seasons.
The Lords finished with a total of 480 team points in a close finish with runner-up Denison University (472 points). Emory University took third with 246.5 points.
Denison entered the fourth and final day of the championship with a 28-point lead over Kenyon.
Kenyon closed to within 5 points after the 100-yard freestyle, where Kenyon junior Austin Caldwell (44.46) was second and Duronio 12th (in 45:01).
Kenyon took the lead by outscoring Denison 37.5 to 7 in the 200-yard breaststroke and was ahead 454-438 going into the final event — the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Duronio led off the relay — followed by Percy Gates, Austin Pu and Caldwell — as the Lords finished with a time of 3:00.10. Denison surged to second place in the 400 relay, but Kenyon’s sixth place was more than enough to claim the team championship.
Duronio wasn’t the only Chapel Hill High School alum at the Division III championship meet.
Swimming for Lake Forest College, CHHS alum Sam Freedberg closed his freshman season with a school and Midwest Conference record time of 1:51.33 in the 200-butterfly preliminaries, where he placed 22nd.
Freedberg had not competed in the event since Jan. 25, and his seed time of 2:00.15 was recorded in December. He was one of just three swimmers in the first of five heats, which he won by nearly 3 seconds.
His team record was Freedberg’s third of the season, and it was 1.69 seconds faster than Lake Forest senior Garr Punnett’s mark, set at the MWC Championships on Feb. 16.
Freedberg’s other program records are in both individual medleys and were set at the conference meet. He also competed in both events at the national meet, placing 43rd in the 200 IM and 21st in the 400 IM.
Smith wraps up at UNC
At the NCAA Division I championships, North Carolina backstroke record-holder Carly Smith swam the best she has since undergoing ankle surgery her sophomore year.
Smith, another CHHS alum, led off the 200 medley relay team that set a new school record in the prelims (1:37.76) – which was .11 faster than the record they set at ACCs. Their 1:38.06 in the finals was good for 15th place and earning All American honors
Individually, she also placed 24th in the 100 back (52.88) and 26th in the 200 back (1:55.06.)
Smith earned All ACC and All American honors all four years she competed for UNC.
The Kenyon and Lake Forest athletics departments contributed to this report