111 named to NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team
Justin Finkel ’25 finished as national runner-up in the 500 freestyle on the opening day of competition at the 2023 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on Wednesday, March 15.
Finkel broke his own school record with a time of 4:21.47—shaving more than three seconds off his preliminary time—and finished behind only Emory University’s Patrick Pema. The second-place finish was the highest by a Conn men’s swimmer since Sam Gill in 2014. Finkel’s time also broke the oldest NESCAC record on the books, eclipsing the mark set by Alex Fraser from Amherst in 2009.
Finkel’s day began with a strong swim in the morning prelims. He turned in the fourth-fastest time of the session (4:24.49), becoming the first Camel to earn a spot in the championship finals since 2016.
In the finals, Finkel hung back for the first half of the race but steadily moved up the standings. By the 400 mark he had climbed into fourth place, and with 50 to go he was virtually even for second. He closed the gap against Pema in the home stretch but ultimately ran out of time.
By virtue of his top-eight finish, Finkel earned All-America honors for the second time in his career. Last season he was an honorable mention All-America selection in the 200 butterfly. In February, he was named New England Small College Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year after winning three individual races at the 2023 NESCAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships.
On the second day of NCAA action, after barely missing out on qualifying for the championship final, Finkel finished first in the consolation final to take ninth place overall. He broke his own school record with a time of 1:36.35, finishing faster than all but the top two swimmers in the championship final. He was awarded All-America honorable mention for his performance.
The squad of Finkel, Mitchell Lockwood ’23, Tadeusz Trzewik-Quinn ’23 and Marc Stern ’23 also competed in the prelims of the medley relay, placing 22nd with a time of 1:32.13, and in the 200 free relay, placing 23rd in a time of 1:23.67.