To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Sam Dienstag ’24 with Brandeis’ highest NCAA finish in history

After a full season, junior Sam Dienstag ’24 headed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Swimming and Diving Championships starting on March 15 at Greensboro, North Carolina. At the event, he was set to compete in the 500-yard, 200-yard and 1650-yard freestyle. 

His competition started with the 500-yard freestyle on March 15. In the preliminaries, he finished fifth in his heat and 12th overall. His time was 4:27.88, which was just behind his school record. He later competed in the consolation finals and placed fifth in his heat again. The final time was 4:28.31, which placed him 13th overall. This placing earned the Judges four points, as it made Dienstag the first Judge to score points at the NCAA Championships since 2004. Furthermore, he earned his second career All-American with this place. The next day he swam the 200-yard freestyle. In his heat, he finished eighth with a time of 1:42.01. Overall, he placed 34th, which was not enough to qualify for the evening finals.

On the final day of the event Dienstag competed in his speciality. The 1650-yard freestyle was his best event and he was seeded fourth in the event. This put him in the fastest heat of the finals that evening. He held a top five spot throughout the entire race. His first seven splits of the race were all under 28 seconds and this led to a final time of 15:26.49. This was good for fourth place in the event. Dienstag was just three seconds behind third place. This finish gave him his third All-American honor of his career. 

Dienstag’s fourth place finish was the highest finish in Brandeis’ history for a swimmer. He finished exactly too his seeding as he trailed only two swimmers from New York University (NYU) and one from Johns Hopkins University. Overall, his finishes gave the Judges 19 points. The school finished 25th overall at the event. This marks the end of the Brandeis swimming and diving season. There are eight swimmers graduating this year. On the men’s side this includes Brenton Ferebee ’23, Joshua Liu ’23, Leone Kisler ’23 and James Smith ’23. The women’s team is graduating Bailey Gold ’23, Becky Goodfellow ’23, Ema Rennie ’23 and Aria Smith ’23. Looking toward next season, the men’s and women’s teams will look to build off the 2022-2023 season.

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