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Lucas Lang stands atop the podium after winning by just .07
Lucas Lang stands atop the podium after winning by just .07

Lucas Lang Wins National Title in 1650-Yard Freestyle for Stags Swim and Dive

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Lucas Lang earned the national championship in the 1650-yard freestyle by a margin of just seven-hundredths of a second in a thrilling finish to highlight the final day of the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatics Center.

Lang, who was the runner up in the 1650 as a freshman in 2022, and then finished fifth a year ago, earned the title by taking 9.33 seconds off of his time time this season with a 15:17.48, edging Connor Vincent of NYU with a 15:17.55. 

Lang trailed by almost four seconds after 1000 yards, but then made his move to surge ahead at the 1300-yard mark. He led by 1.3 seconds with 50 yards to go, but Vincent made a final push to try to catch him and it came down to the final reach to the wall after over 15 minutes of racing, with less than a tenth of a second separating them. 

Lang's title makes it three years in a row that CMS swimming and diving has won a national championship, with Frank Applebaum winning the 200 fly in both 2022 and 2023, and Augusta Lewis winning the 400 IM for the Athenas in 2023. Applebaum came up just .18 shy of his attempt for a third straight title in the 200 fly yesterday, although he swam almost a half-second faster than he ever had before. 

Anderson Breazeale earned second-team All-America honors in the 200-yard backstroke for the Stags on Saturday by qualifying for the consolation final and finishing in 15th place. Breazeale was also part of a 400-yard freestyle relay team that capped off the meet with second-team All-America honors by coming in 12th place, along with Dylan Krueger, Spencer Merodio and Applebaum with a time of 3:00.39. 

CMS ended up in 13th place in the team competition with 141 points over the four-day meet with 141 points. It was a big drop-off from 13th to 14th, where Johns Hopkins finished with 90.