Ledwith swims to All-American in the 1,650 free at NCAA Championships
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. 3/24/12 – The Keene State men's swim team has its first three-time All-American. Sophomore Drew Ledwith (Keene, N.H.) earned his third overall and second All-American honor this season with his second place finish in the 1,650 freestyle race at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships being held at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) on Saturday.
Ledwith, who finished third in the event last season, moved up one spot, posting a school record time of 15:18.70. "I felt really good today," Ledwith said. "I had a different strategy than I normally do. I went out easier and then tried to bring it home and that's what I did."
"He swam a very smart race," said KSC Coach Jack Fabian. "He knew exactly what pace he wanted to hold. He was really patient and it paid off for him."
Allen Weik a sophomore from Denison won the race in a NCAA record time of 15:04.85.
Ledwith had a busy four days at the national meet. In addition to racing in three individual events (400 I.M., 500 free and 1,650 free), he also competed in the 200, 400, and 800 free relays and the 400 medley relay. He earned his first All-American at the meet with his fifth place finish in the 500 free race.
"I was hoping to do this well, but it was definitely a long shot, "said Ledwith, who already holds five individual Owl records and one relay mark. "Now that's its happening it's really exciting."
"What Drew has done in just two years is incredible, 'said Fabian. "It's great that a local kid from Keene is able to compete the best swimmers in the country. It's amazing."
Now with a third and second place finish in the 1,650, Ledwith has one more rung on the ladder to climb – a national championship. "That's the goal," Ledwith said.
Senior Jillian Whitaker (Gilford, N.H.) and sophomorea Jared Hyde (Tolland, Conn.) and James Black (Lynn, Mass.) also raced on Saturday. Whitaker placed 27th in the 200 breast (2:26.24) while Hyde and Black fiinished 36th (66.11) and 49th (46.74) respectively in the 100 free.
The team of junior Austin Harris (Essex Junction, Vt.), Hyde , Black and Ledwith wrapped up the meet for the Owls by earning honorable mention All-American honors with their 14th place finish (3:04.38) in the 400 free relay. "We're real happy with the time," said Fabian. "Jared had a tremendous split time 45.10 in that race. That's really fast.
The foursome earned honorable mention All-American in three relays at the championship meet.
The Keene State men finished 17th in the team standings with 55 points. Denison won its second straight title with 600 points. "We were hoping for top 16, but that's pretty close, "said Fabian. "Hopefully, we can move up to top-10."