Two national championships took place over the weekend. The men’s and women’s Division III NCAA National Championship in Indianapolis, and the women’s Division I NCAA National Championship. Multiple former Maine swimmers competed in the Division III championship.
Kenyon College continued its domination of Division III by winning the 2014 Division III Championship. Their victory was made possible by former Maine standout Arthur Conover. Conover holds the Maine state USA record in the 1650. Conover posted spectacular times midseason and went on to break those times significantly at the championship. He proved to be one of Kenyon’s fastest distance swimmer this year when he placed 3rd in both the 500 and 1650 overall. In the 500 he finished in 4:27.40 which, because of his age, likely counts as a new Maine USA state record. Conover returned in the 1650 to capture bronze with a spectacular time of 15:19.33. Kenyon went on to win their 33rd national championship by only eight points over Denison.
Four Bates College swimmers competed at the women’s Division III Championship. Sarah Daher, Caroline Depew, Julia Smachlo, and former Maine high school swimmer Lindsey Prelgovisk competed in the 800 freestyle relay. While setting a new team record of 7:32.20 and placing 10th in the event they became the first relay in school history to earn All-American honors. Freshman Sarah Daher placed 5th overall in the 400 IM with a time of 4:23.84, 6th overall in the 200 IM at 2:04.31, and placed 13th in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:02.28, all phenomenal swims. Julia Smachlo, another freshman, placed 15th in the 1650 with a time of 17:11.72. She went on to place 15th in the 500 with a 5:02.14. For the men Junior Matthew Gagne competed in the 200 IM and broke his own team record in the event with a time of 1:55.08. In the 100 butterfly he broke the 50 seconds barrier touching in 49.91 placing 20th.
Many other former Maine swimmers continued to improve this year. Congratulations for all the great times this season at conference and regional championships. Swimmers to remember and watch out for next year:
1) (Arthur Conover, Lindsey Prelgovisk)
2) Jenny Roberts – NCAA Division I Alternate for the University of New Hampshire (Senior)
3) Genna Worthley – Eastern Michigan
4) Ian Carbone – Texas
5) James Wells (Senior) –
The 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship will be held this weekend in Austin, Texas. Former Morse High School and Long Reach club swimmer James Wells will be competing in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Wells was the Big 10 Champion in the 100 backstroke in 2012 and 2013. Last year he was the 8th fastest backstroker in the nation and at one point held the fastest time in the nation. Fast times can be expected from him and the rest of the Indiana Hoosiers this weekend.