Emory Women's Swimming & Diving wins ninth-straight NCAA championship

Emory Report | March 26, 2018

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The Emory women’s swimming and diving team celebrates March 24 after winning the NCAA Division III national championship.

The Emory University women's swimming and diving program captured its ninth-consecutive and 11th-overall team national championship Saturday night at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Eagles used six event titles and 32 All-America finishes over the four-day meet to win the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship by 103 points over second-place Kenyon College.

Emory's victory marks the 24th team national championship in the history of the department and joins former women's swimming and diving championship teams in 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In addition to the six event champions (three individual, three relay) and 32 All-America performances (28 individual, four relay), the Eagles set four NCAA DIII records and recorded an additional nine Honorable Mention All-America efforts.

Head Coach Jon Howell was named the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Women's Swimming Coach of the Year after the meet for the seventh time in his career and for the third consecutive year.

Junior Fiona Muir claimed the first of two national titles for the Eagles on the final day of competition as she defended her 100 freestyle crown. Muir led a contingent of four Emory swimmers in the championship final, winning the event at 49.29. Classmate Meg Taylor finished third at 49.96 followed by senior Ming Ong (7th, 50.83) and Julia Wawer (8th, 51.03).

The Eagles put an exclamation point on the meet as Muir, Taylor, Ong and senior Cindy Cheng registered the fourth NCAA Division III record of the meet, throwing down a time of 3:18.46 to win the 400 freestyle relay.

Cheng added All-America honors in the 200 backstroke, finishing as the national runner-up in a time of 1:58.37. Junior Ashley Daniels posted a fourth place effort in the 200 breaststroke at 2:16.71 while senior Rebecca Upton finished fifth in the 1,650 freestyle.

Sophomore Caroline Olson was one of four Eagles to earn Honorable Mention status on the evening, taking 10th in the 100 freestyle at 50.94. Junior Hannah Lally added honorable mention honors in the 200 breaststroke (15th, 2:22.07), as did senior Sia Beasley in the 200 backstroke (16th, 2:03.04) and classmate Megan Campbell in the 200 breaststroke (16th, 2:22.32).

Emory men are national runners-up

The Emory men's swimming and diving program collected three more national championships on Saturday night as the Eagles finished the 2018 season as the NCAA Division III national runners-up.

The Eagles closed out the meet with 369.5 points, trailing only first-place Denison University (596.5). The second-place finish is the sixth time since 2001 Emory has place second or better at the NCAA Championships.

Three event titles on the final day of competition brought Emory's four-day total to nine, which marked the most by any team at this year's national championships, as well as the most by an Emory team at a single NCAA championship meet, surpassing the 2017 squad's total of eight.

The Eagles tallied 15 All-America performances (10 individual, five relay) and earned three Honorable Mention All-America certificates.

Senior Oliver Smith was named the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Men's Swimmer of the Year after recording two individual titles in the 50 and 100 freestyles and assisting on four championship winning relays (200 free, 400 free, 200 medley and 400 medley). In the prelims of both the 50 and 100 freestyle, Smith set the NCAA Division III record with times of 19.37 and 42.98. With his time in the 100, he became the first male in Division III history to post a time under 43 seconds.

Junior Thomas Gordon began the evening by taking home his second individual title of the meet, winning the 1,650 freestyle in a time of 15:15.60. Gordon also won the 500 freestyle and was third in the 200 freestyle.

Smith followed suit in the next event and claimed the 100 freestyle with a finals time of 43.32. Junior Trey Kolleck tied for fourth at 44.11. Smith and Kolleck helped the Eagles wrap up the meet on a winning note as the pair along with senior Aaron Schwartz and sophomore Sage Ono won the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 2:56.72.

Junior Matt Rogers and Ono added All-America honors for the Eagles on Saturday in the 200 backstroke with Rogers placing sixth at 1:48.90 and Ono finishing eighth at 1:50.61. Senior Cooper Tollen rounded out the award winners for Emory, earning Honorable Mention acclaim in the 200 breaststroke, finishing 16th in a time of 2:03.93.