Dienstag posts best finish by a Brandeis swimmer at NCAAs, finishing fourth in 1,650

TEXT: BRANDEIS SWIMMING AND DIVING ALL-AMERICAN, Sam Dienstag, 1,650-yard free, 4th place, 15:26.49
IMAGE: Sam Dienstag in his swim suit posing for the camera

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Brandeis University junior Samuel Dienstag of Wilmette, Illinois, turned in the best finish in Judges swimming and diving history at the NCAA Division III Championships today, finishing in fourth place in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Dienstag, who was seeded fourth in the event, earned a spot in the evening session's fastest heat. He was able to hold a spot in the top five of the race from start to finish. After swimming his first seven splits under 28 seconds, he was able to add two more splits at that pace to finish with a time of 15:26.49, just over half a second of his school-record time. Dienstag finished behind only defending champion Kellen Roddy of Johns Hopkins, Mason Kelber of Washington University, and Connor Vincent of NYU, the UAA champion. He was able to defeat Thomas Pritchard of NYU, who finished one spot ahead of Dienstag at the conference championships.

This is the third All-America honor of Dienstag's career. He placed 13th in the 500-yard freestyle on Wednesday and was named an All-American in that event as a first-year after the Division III Championships were not held. Last year in the mile, he placed 19th after entering the meet as the 11th seed. This year, he was able to live up to his exact seeding, as he trailed only the two NYU swimmers and Roddy in the national rankings entering the meet.

The fourth-place finish is the highest in school history by a Brandeis swimmer, surpassing the sixth-place finish by Maya Marx '04 in the 100 breaststroke in 2003.

In all, Dienstag was responsible for scoring 19 points, putting Brandeis 25th in the final team rankings.