Granville, Ohio- Several athletes from the Wittenberg University men's and women's swimming & diving teams posted season-best efforts during the Thursday night finals session of the 2019 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships at Denison's Trumbull Aquatics Center.
After 14 total men's events, the Tigers sit in eighth-place in the team standings with 210 points, while the women's is seventh in the team standings after 13 total events with 217 total points. Denison holds the top spot in the team standings for both genders after the second night of competition with 714 points on the men's side and 705 points in the women's race.
On the men's side, the Tigers opened the night with an eighth-place finish in the 200 free relay after reaching the wall in a time of 1:27.77. Three men's swimmers combined to score 11 points for the Tigers in the finals of the 500 free, led by freshman Anthony Petruzzi finishing fourth overall in the "C" finals with a season-best time of 4:56.97. Following Petruzzi in the "C" finals of the 500 free was sophomore Connor Flanagan in seventh (5:02.31) and junior Nick Angeli in eighth (5:03.68), both season-best times for each athlete. Freshman Benjamin Hongell followed that trio by posting his first sub two-minute time of the season in the 200 IM as he finished seventh overall in the "B" finals with a time of 1:57.01, while junior Bradley Barren posted a fourth-place showing in the "C" finals of the 50 free with another season-best time of 21.74 seconds. Prior to posting his time of 1:57.01 in the "B" finals of the 200 IM, Hongell actually posted an even better time of 1:56.22 in his morning prelim swim. Freshman diver Noah Miller picked up the most points for the Tigers in an individual event on night two as he combined for a score of 269.60 points in the men's one-meter diving competition for a ninth-place finish and 24 total points. In the final event of Thursday night, the Wittenberg team of Flanagan, Hongell, sophomore Trey Gregory and Barren finished seventh overall in the "A" finals of the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:37.46, which was nearly 10 seconds faster than their time posted in the morning prelims.
The women's team opened Thursday night's final session by finishing eighth overall in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:46.32. Three women's swimmers picked up points for the Tigers in the 500 free, led by freshman Abigail Dunasky placing fourth overall in the "B" finals with a season-best time of 5:12.18 in the event. Two additional Wittenberg swimmers also logged season-best performances in the "C" finals of the 500 free, with senior Morgan Siefert finishing fourth overall in the heat at 5:31.79 and junior Claire Bergefurd finishing ninth in the "C" finals with a time of 5:40.47. The top finish of the night for Wittenberg came in the "B" finals of the 200 IM as junior Marita Banta-Long finished third overall in the semifinal heat with a season-best time of 2:12.23. Freshman Jessica Crowder also posted a season-best swim on Thursday night, finishing eighth overall in the "C" finals of the 50 free with a time of 26.01 seconds. Wittenberg closed out the night with a seventh-place showing in the "A" finals of the women's 400 medley relay as the team of Siefert, junior Annelise Gibson, Banta-Long and Dunasky hit the wall with a time of 4:15.36.
The 2019 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships continue through Saturday evening, February 16th, at Denison University. Preliminary events start at 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, while the final sessions begin each night at 6:00 p.m.