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Swimmers perform well at NCAC Championships

Roger An
Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots Swimming and Diving team traveled to Granville, Ohio this weekend to compete at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships, a peaking point for much of the training and performances of the team.

For the women, the team finished third in the championships to the 2001 and 2009 DIII National Champions in Kenyon College and Denison University, their best performance since 2012.

The 400-free relay won all-conference honors with a third-place finish thanks to the efforts of Emma Fikse ’19, Lexi Riley-Dipaolo ’21, Maggie Layde ’18 and Sarah Padrutt ’18.

Fikse, Layde and Padrutt would go on to compete in the championship or finish in the top nine places in their heats at the championships, highlighted by Layde’s seventh place finish in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:11.05.

The Fighting Scots also had two more “A” heat performances in the 200 fly with an eighth-place effort from Anne Bowers ’21 at 2:11.05 and a ninth-place effort from Kalla Sturonas ’19 at 2:17.54.

The ladies had more “A” heat qualifiers from Brooke Brown ’19, who earned a ninth-place finish in the 100-yard IM with a program record 1:01.61 in the preliminary rounds.

Fikse and Padrutt both delivered standout performances in the 1,650 free (the mile) with eighth- and ninth-place finishes of 17:38.42 and 17:42.74. Fikse’s performance puts her in the top three all-time in the program, and Padrutt’s close ninth place was in the top 10 all-time.

Other notable performances included the team’s sole diver Cleo Potter ’20, who finished the finals qualifiers in the three-meter dive with a score of 233.70, good for ninth, and Hannah Langer ’21, who placed 10th in the 200 backstroke at 2:07.61.

The men’s team finished fifth overall, with the Denison Big Red taking its 10th consecutive conference title and 34-time DIII National Champion Kenyon College finishing as the runner-up. Wooster’s fifth-place finish was impressive given that the NCAC is arguably the most competitive conference in DIII swimming. The Wooster team featured three championship heat individual qualifiers and four top-nine times.

Griffin Campbell ’19, the all-time record holder from the program in the 100 IM, finished seventh overall in the finals with a time of 53.96 and 53.94 in the preliminaries. Trey Schopen ’20 and Garret Layde ’19 qualified for the “A” heat in the 200 fly given their No. 1 and 2 respective times in the Wooster program’s history.

Schopen finished in 1:53.73 to qualify for the finals, where he finished eighth, and Layde finished in the finals with 1:523.27, good enough for sixth.

Notably, Max Koch ’19 scored a top-10 time with a ninth-place finish of 16:31.72. The 400 free relay of Ryan Campbell ’19, Griffin Campbell and Layde worked together for a 3:04.57 finish, good for fourth.

The team competes this weekend at Kenyon College, as a final qualifier meet before the NCAA DIII National Championships, which will be held in Indianapolis this year.

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