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Owls claim relay title during NCAA second day

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Despite finishing Thursday evening with a relay win, the Kenyon College Owls slid to third place at the halfway point of the four-day NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, being held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

At the end of the day, Denison University owned the top spot with 281.5 team points. Emory University has a loose grip on second place with 196 points and Kenyon sits third with 191 points. At the end of the first night of competition, Emory and Kenyon shared second place with 90 points apiece. 

The Owls opened the Thursday-night finals with a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Ella Campbell, Sydney Geboy, Lisa Torrecillas-Jouault, and Alexandra White clocked in at 1:32.31. With the Emory team taking the top spot in the event, the Eagles vaulted to top of the leaderboard, pushing Denison to second place and Kenyon from second place to third.

That all changed with the next event, the 400-yard individual medley. Kenyon had two swimmers finish the consolation final and one finish the championship final. Gabrielle Wei led the Kenyon crew with an eighth-place finish in a time of 4:26.00. In the consolation final, it was Sophie Schmitz in 10th place and Sarah Hoffman in 15th. They stopped the clock at 4:23.51 and 4:30.50, respectively. That trio gained 20 team points for their efforts and pulled the Owls back into second place, while Denison regained first place.

Kenyon and Emory again flipped spots following the 100-yard butterfly. Kenyon received a ninth-place finish from senior Olivia Smith, who completed the race in 54.56. Emory had a fifth-place finish in the same event and moved ahead of Kenyon by six points in the team standings.

Denison then used the results of the 200-yard freestyle to add plenty of cushion to its lead. The Big Red scored 48 points in the event. Kenyon had no swimmers in the evening session of the event, while Emory mustered a 12th-place finish for five points. That left Denison with 253.5 team points. Emory held on to second place with 162 points and Kenyon remained in third with 151 points.

Just the 400-yard medley relay remained on the NCAA day-two schedule. Kenyon used it to go out with a bang, winning the race with a time of 3:39.28. The Owls’ title-winning quartet consisted of Smith, Jennah Fadley, Ania Axas, and White. The NCAA title was a first for Axas, the second for White, and the third for both Smith and Fadely.

Kenyon will try to gain some ground Friday, when the third day of the NCAA Championship gets going at 10 a.m. with preliminary heats and resumes at 6 p.m. with finals.

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