Women Third, Men Eighth After Day 1 At 2012 NCAC Championships
CANTON, Ohio — It was a record-breaking opening day at the 2012 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship meet. When the last races were completed, the Tiger women stood third, while the men checked in at eighth.
Most of the highlights were provided by the women, who checked in with 250 points, trailing only Denison and Kenyon — two of the top three ranked teams in the nation. The Tigers emerged atop a made scramble for the No. 3 spot, edging DePauw by two points and Wooster by 12 with two days remaining.
On the men's side, Wittenberg is part of a pack of five teams trailing perennial national powerhouses Denison, Kenyon and DePauw. The Tigers stand eighth, but they are only 53 points out of fourth place, where Allegheny currently resides.
The meet opened for the women with a school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay as the quartet of senior Sinjin McNicholl (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis), senior Rachel Lee (Hickory, NC/Hickory), junior Ward McNulty (Glencoe, Ill./New Trier) and junior Jane Tsivitse (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming) touched the wall in a time of 1:37.56 to finish fourth. The time is less than one second off the NCAA B qualifying standard.
The perfect bookend was provided by the four members of the women's 400-yard medley relay, which placed third to earn All-NCAC honors for sophomore Sarah Wilson (Centennial, Colo./Arapahoe), sophomore Molly Gustafson (West Hartford, Conn./Conard), senior Keaton Hannon (Peachtree City, Ga./McIntosh) and Tsivitse. The time of 3:54.08 was good for both a school record and an NCAA B qualifying standard.
In between, several outstanding individual performances were turned in by Tiger women, topped by McNulty in the 50-yard freestyle. Her time of 24.33 in the prelim race broke her own school record en route to an eighth-place finish overall. McNicholl added a 12th-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, while sophomore Courtney Carani (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest) contributed eighth-place points in the 500-yard freestyle. She stood fifth after the prelim after posting a personal-best time of 5:06.97.
Rounding things out for the women, the diving duo of freshman Cali Clayton (Jacksonville, Fla./Douglas Anderson) and junior Katie Reed (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) scored big points for the Tigers. Clayton placed eighth and Reed took ninth in the 3-meter event.
For the men, the best individual finish was actually turned in late Wednesday. Senior Gus Appenbrink (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) placed ninth in the 3-meter diving event, followed closely by sophomore Eric Roberts (Willits, Calif./Willits) in 11th.
The team's best finish was supplied by the 200-yard freestyle relay, which included freshman Jared Crum (Galveston, Ind./Lewis Cass), junior J.B. Easley (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seven Hills), senior Zach Stewart (Vincennes, Ind./Vincennes) and freshman AJ Burt (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming), which took fifth place.