2014 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet
- Dates: Wednesday, March 5 – Saturday, March 8, 2014; prelims 10:00 am, finals 6:00 pm
- Location: Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City, OK (Central Time Zone)
- Defending Champions: Oklahoma Baptist University (results)
- Live Results: Available
- Live Video: Available
- Championship Central
Day Two of the NAIA National Championships tends to be huge for Oklahoma Baptist, as their program lends itself more to the shorter distance strokes and sprint frees. The Lady Bison had put a stunning 12 swimmers into championship finals this morning, and tonight they seized the opportunity, outscoring their morning positions by 19 points. Other big gains from prelims included The College of Idaho who picked up 19 points as well, Soka University who added 16, and Olivet Nazarene with a gain of 12.
Two national records were broken in the women’s meet tonight: the 200 free relay and the 100 fly, and there was fast swimming going on in the other races as well. Here’s the wrap-up:
200 free relay
This is probably Oklahoma Baptist’s strongest event; they fielded five in the championship final of the 50 free last night so it was likely they’d have a strong relay. The Lady Bison certainly lived up to expectations tonight. Laura Galarza jumped out to an early lead with 23.11, nearly a full second ahead of the next-fastest competitor. Emma Forbes-Milne (23.08) extended their lead to 1.5, and Lisa MacManus (22.83) and Andrea Antonissen (23.13) brought them home to a record-setting time of 1:32.15. Concordia took second with 1:35.94.
The next four teams all touched within a half-second; Olivet Nazarene got to the wall first among them to earn the bronze medal. SCAD was .16 back but .03 ahead of Cumberlands, who was .18 ahead of Biola, who touched .27 in front of Union. The women’s 200 free relay was a great start to the meet; the noise was deafening as the crowd got into the excitement of the race.
Courtney Hayward of Brenau won her second race of the meet, going 4:30.53 with a great second half. OBU’s Jannette Morales had taken it out first with a 58.39 fly leg; Norra Stroh (SCAD), Tiffany Ray (ONU), and Hayward trailed by more than two seconds. Ray had an outstanding backstroke leg, outsplitting the rest of the field by about two seconds, and pulling even with Morales and putting four seconds between herself and Hayward. Ray maintained the lead through the breaststroke, although Hayward made up about 1.5 seconds and was now trailing by only 2.5. She split a 29.8 on the final 50 to win by a second. Ray got second with 4:31.58 and Morales finished third in 4:33.21.
Biola’s Christine Tixier won her third consecutive national title in the 100 fly in a dramatic race that looked like it was going in a totally different direction. OBU’s MacManus took it out a half-second faster than in the morning and had a .9 lead on Tixier at the 50, 24.62 to 25.75. But just when the announcer mused there might be an upset, Tixier shifted gears and brought it home in 28.6 to set a new NAIA record of 54.35. She had set the previous meet mark of 54.60 in 2012.
McManus held on and finished second in 55.79. Michelle Billeaud of Brenau took third in 56.73.
Defending champion Galarza of OBU led wire-to-wire in her second consecutive national championship in the 200 free. She was out first but Union’s Callie Harrigan, swimming in lane 2, was only a couple tenths behind. Harrigan stayed up with Galarza through the 100 when OBU’s Lexie Keller began to make her move. By the 150 Keller had passed Harrigan; not willing to settle for second, Harrigan put up a 29.0 final 50 and edged Keller 1:52.39 to 1:52.42.
Kerryn Mullin of OBU made it two-for-two with a successful defense of her 2013 national title in the 100 breast. She led the field for the first 50; ONU’s Sydney Harris was .7 behind and Heidi Greener (OBU) and Melissa Peplinski (Cumberlands) were a second back. Harris began to make her move and outsplit Mullin by a half-second over the final 50 but Mullin had built up too much of a lead and won 1:04.29 to 1:04.67. Greener took third, .20 ahead of Peplinski.
MacManus of OBU dominated the 100 back from start to finish and notched up her second consecutive national title in the event. Her 54.69 was 1.5 ahead of second-place Talia Sola of Brenau (56.15). OBU’s Alena Titenkova took third in 56.73.
400 medley relay
OBU won the medley relay by a huge margin, 9 seconds in front of the field at the finish. MacManus (55.71), Mullin (1:04.56), Galarza (54.60), and Keller (51.41) combined for a first-place 3:46.28. ONU, Brenau, and SCAD had an exciting race in the middle of the pool for second place. In the end, ONU got there first with a 3:55.50. Brenau edged out SCAD for third, 3:55.86 to 3:55.87 despite a 51.67 anchor leg from the Bees’ Haley Thompson, who just ran out of pool.
Standings After Day Two
There are some very tight races going on in the middle of the pack. SCAD Savannah is solidly in second but ONU made up ground in tonight’s final. Brenau and Concordia, separated by a mere 6 points, are locked in a fierce battle for fourth. Cumerlands and Biola are fighting for sixth at the moment, only 8 points apart.
- Oklahoma Baptist 625
- SCAD Savannah 351
- Olivet Nazarene University 291
- Brenau University 238
- Concordia University 232
- University of the Cumberlands 188
- Biola University 180
- Union College 157
- The College of Idaho 109
- Lindsey Wilson College 83
“The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics.
In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character building aspects of sport. Through Champions of Character, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values.”