Kiss claims first at NCAA Championship swim meet

As the NCAA Division III Championships finished action on Saturday, the women’s swimming season was sealed with a “Kiss.”

Competing in the finals of the 100-meter butterfly event, senior Ava Kiss posted a time of 55.08, earning national bragging rights and a spot in the NCAA Division III record books. Kiss’s time gave her the NCAA national championship for the 100-meter butterfly and broke both the College’s and Division III’s national records.

This year’s national championships were held at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Both Kiss and senior Lauren Pfeifer competed in the 100-meter freestyle but only Kiss qualified for the consolation finals. She was seeded 12th after posting a trial time of 52.29. In the finals, Kiss finished with a time of 51.92, giving her 10th place and an All-America Honorable Mention honor.

Pfeifer also competed in the 100-meter breaststroke. She finished 21st with a time of 1:07.25 but did not qualify for the finals. Pfeifer finishes her career at the College with a school record in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:06.81) and is a part of the foursome that holds the school record for the 200-meter medley relay as well.

Kiss, a five-time All-American, is the College’s sole owner of women’s swimming NCAA Division III National Championship.

“I’m extremely proud to be the first (College) national champion from the women’s swim team,” Kiss said. “I hope this shows everyone what the swim team is capable of.”

“It feels incredible,” Kiss continued. “It’s just started to sink in and the feeling is indescribable. This is something I’ve worked for since freshman year and to finish my senior year like this, leaving nothing in the pool, is more than I could’ve asked for.”

Women’s head coach Jennifer Harnett was impressed by Kiss’s performance.

“You could tell from the moment she got up behind the block she wanted to win, and it showed in her first few strokes,” Harnett said. “She showed an inner confidence before her 100-meter butterfly that I had not seen as much in other years.”