Lords' reign extends to twenty-second season
The longest national championship run in collegiate history continued when the Lords won their twenty-second consecutive men's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Swimming and Diving title on March 17, 2001. Kenyon's championship streak is the longest in any sport, in any division of the NCAA.
The Lords ran away with the 2001 crown by chalking up 669 team points. Emory University was a distant second with 289.5, and Johns Hopkins University was third with 267. Rounding out the top five were Hope College with 257 and perennial rival Denison University with 213.5
Kenyon swimmers won fourteen of the championship's twenty events, including all five relays. In addition, the Lords broke meet records in the 1,650-yard freestyle, the 200- and 400-yard medley relays, the 400-yard individual medley, the 100-yard backstroke, and the 800-yard freestyle.
Day one of the three-day national competition, hosted by the State University of New York at Buffalo in the Flickinger Aquatic Center at Erie Community College, saw the Lords sweep all five events. Senior Tom Rushton won the 500-yard freestyle, while sophomore Read Boon won the 200-yard individual medley. Another senior, Lloyd Baron, claimed his first-ever individual title by winning the 50-yard freestyle. The Lords also took first place in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay, an event in which Rushton and Baron joined senior Estevao de Avila and sophomore Daniel Kiepfer to set the record at 3:19.65.
Day two opened with more record-setting performances from Kenyon swimmers. The 200-yard medley relay team of Avila, Boon, Baron, and first-year student Marc Courtney-Brooks set the standard in their event with a winning time of 1:28.75. Senior Brett Holcomb followed up by winning the 400-yard individual medley in a record time of 3:54.48. Boon chalked up another Kenyon win in the 200-yard freestyle, and Avila won the 100-yard backstroke with a record swim of 48.61. The Lords closed out the day with a 272-point lead and one more record. This time it was the 800-yard free-style relay team of Courtney-Brooks, Baron, Rushton, and Boon that clocked in at 6:36.40 and set a new NCAA mark.
Although there wasn't much suspense on the final day of competition, the Lords kept things exciting with three more victories. Junior Michael Bonomo topped his own 2000 record time by nearly nine seconds and won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:27.85. Avila won the 200-yard backstroke for the third straight year and then joined Courtney-Brooks, Baron, and Boon to close out the competition with a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Joshua Boss, of Hope, was named the NCAA III Swimmer of the Year, while Johns Hopkins's George Kennedy was named Coach of the Year. Middlebury College's Derek Chicarilli collected the Diver of the Year award after winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions.
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