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Frank Applebaum finished second with his fastest-ever 200 fly (photo by Josh Brown)
Frank Applebaum finished second with his fastest-ever 200 fly (photo by Josh Brown)

Applebaum Breaks Own 200 Fly Record, But Finishes as National Runner-Up

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Frank Applebaum took almost a half-second off of his NCAA Division III record time in the 200-yard butterfly, but ended up in second place with a 1:43.39 on the third day of the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

CMS ended the day in 10th place in the team standings with 107 points, just behind Tufts in ninth with 111.5, and just ahead of MIT (106), TCNJ (105) and WashU (104).

Applebaum was the two-time defending national champion in the 200 fly, setting an NCAA record with a 1:44.01 in 2022, and edging it last year with a 1:43.96. He then set the record a third time with a 1:43.87 in a dual meet against Pomona-Pitzer in December, and went .48 faster at the NCAA Championships in his bid to win a third title.

However, Justin Finkel of Connecticut College, who was two lanes away, was able to catch him over the final 25 yards and finish in 1:43.21 to take first place to set a new NCAA Division III record.

Applebaum was third in the 100 fly earlier this week to take first-team All-America honors, as well as tenth in the 200 IM to take second-team All-America honors. He also added first-team All-America honors as part of the 400-yard medley relay team.

Evan Deedy set a new CMS record in the 100 breast during prelims with a 54.76, edging past the previous CMS mark of 54.88 held by Walter Limm. Deedy just missed qualifying for the evening session by .14. Thayer Breazeale also competed in the 200 fly in prelims and set a personal best with a 1:49.52, which places fourth in CMS history.

The final event of the day saw the Stags' 800-yard freestyle relay team (Anderson Breazeale, Thayer Breazeale, Spencer Merodio, Lucas Lang) earn second-team All-America honors, finishing in 15th place with a 6:41.38. 

The final day of the NCAA Championships will take place tomorrow, as the Stags will have Lucas Lang in the 1650, where he will try to win All-America honors for the third straight season. Anderson Breazeale will swim in the 200 back, Deedy will be back in action in the 200 breast, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team will cap off the meet.