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Frank Applebaum closes out his second national title in as many years (photo by Aaron Gray)
Frank Applebaum closes out his second national title in as many years (photo by Aaron Gray)

Frank Applebaum Breaks Own DIII Record to Repeat as National Champion in 200 Fly

Greensboro, N.C. - Frank Applebaum trimmed five-hundredths of a second off of his own NCAA Division III record to repeat as the national champion in the 200-yard butterfly on Friday afternoon at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Applebaum finished in 1:43.96 to edge out Justin Finkel of Connecticut College in 1:44.32. A year ago, Applebaum led comfortably on his way to a 1:44.01, which was a half-second faster than anyone has swam in it NCAA Division III history. 

During prelims, Applebaum swam a solid time of 1:46.22 to place second and earn his way into the finals comfortably. He took control of the finals race and led wire-to-wire, holding off a late surge from Finkel to win by a half-body length. Jesse Ssengonzi of Chicago, the runner-up a year ago, was third in 1;46.96. 

Applebaum finished 10th in the 100 fly yesterday, and didn't make the evening session of the 200 IM on the first day, but he had his best swim in his signature event, and broke the NCAA record for the second year in a row. 

"Last year, I didn't have any real expectations," said Applebaum. "I just kind of jumped in and let the adrenaline carry me. This year, it was a lot harder, a lot more painful, but just as rewarding. I'm just really glad I pulled it out."

It was the second national title in as many days for the CMS swimming and diving program, after Augusta Lewis took the 400 IM championship yesterday. Applebaum also became the first Stag to repeat as national champion since Gary Simon won the 200 IM in 1997 and 1998. 

The Stags will try to win one more title tomorrow as Lucas Lang swims in the 1650, an event in which he finished second a year ago.