The Emory University Men's Swimming and Diving program began the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships in style on Wednesday, winning three of the four swimming events contested and breaking one NCAA DIII record.
Junior Thomas Gordon won his first-ever national championship on the evening, taking home the top honors in the 500 Freestyle after finishing fourth as a freshman and third as a sophomore. Gordon cruised to the win, touching in a winning time of 4:23.70, almost a second and a half faster than the next closest finisher.
Senior Oliver Smith followed suit in the 50 Freestyle as he won the event for the third straight year. With the win, Smith became just the fourth male in Division III history to win the 50 Freestyle three times in a career, joining Head Coach Jon Howell (Kenyon, 1988-90), Eddis Singleton (Mount Union, 2002-04) and Zach Turk (Kenyon, 2009-10, 2012) as the only others to accomplish the feat. In prelims, Smith made a statement that this event was his to win as he broke the NCAA Division III record with a time of 19.37, .02 faster than his finals time of 19.39.
The Eagles rounded out the first night of competition with another win, this time in the 200 Medley Relay as Smith, sophomore Sage Ono, senior Cooper Tollen and junior Trey Kolleck touched first in a time of 1:27.63. The win was the second straight and fourth overall in the event for the Eagles in team history.
The 2018 Division III Men's Swimming & Diving 200-Yard Medley Relay National Champions! �� Congratulations Sage Ono, Cooper Tollen, Oliver Smith & Trey Kolleck of @EmoryAthletics! #d3swimdive pic.twitter.com/19wsAkvmO9— NCAA Division III (@NCAADIII) March 22, 2018
Kolleck added All-America honors on the evening as he finished fifth in the 50 Freestyle in a time of 20.15 while Ono was named an Honorable Mention in the 50 Free, placing 12th at 20.37.
Through day one of competition, Denison University leads the field with 138.5 points with the Eagles right on their tails in second at 99 points. Day two of action kicks off on Thursday with prelims at 10:00 AM with finals to follow at 6:00 PM and will feature the 200 Freestyle Relay, 400 IM, 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle and the 400 Medley Relay.