2015 NAIA National Championships – Men – Ax Rocks 500 Record, OBU Heads Team Standings

2015 NAIA National Championships – Men’s Meet

  • Dates: Wednesday, March 4 – Saturday, March 7, 2015; prelims 9:00 am, finals 5:00 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

Given the way Oklahoma Baptist University has dominated NAIA Nationals since joining four years ago, perhaps the most astounding thing to come out of the 2015 NAIA National Swimming and Diving Championships in Oklahoma City so far is that Olivet Nazarene University is leading the Bison in swimming.

Indeed, without the 79 points OBU got from being almost the only team with divers in the meet (Biola has one diver; OBU, five), the Bison would be trailing the ONU Tigers by 8 points.

Concordia’s ability to get more swimmers than expected into finals, and then improve their prelims placements in finals, has given them an 8-point edge over SCAD for third place in the team standings at the end of Day One.

200 Medley Relay

JP Goyetche (22.90), Fernando Morillas (24.39), Daniel Ramirez (20.44), and Logan Lassley (19.40) won the men’s 200 medley relay with 1:27.13, .30 off their record-setting pace from 2014. ONU’s Jacob Anderson, Calvin Price, Anton Arvidsson, and Simon Pheasant (1:27.80) placed second. Concordia’s Kevin Reicel, Jacob Lear, Nolan Stimple, and John Dowd touched out St. Andrews, 1:30.11 to 1:30.44 for third.

Fifth place went to SCAD; they were followed by Wayland Baptist, University of the Cumberlands, and Thomas University.

500 Freestyle

Joel Ax’s 19.48 on the end of SCAD’s medley relay was a great tune-up for the 500 final. The defending champion led wire to wire, never leaving any doubt as to who would win the race. He had built up a nearly-two-body length lead by the 200 with 1:42.3, about 3/10 behind his pace from last year. The next 300, though, was something else. Ax began his descent at the 250 and continued to build his lead. He split his two halves 2:09.3-2:12.6 (compared to 2:08.6-2:17.0 last year). Ax’s final time of 4:21.93 broke the NAIA national record by 2.7 seconds; the old mark had been set in 2012 by SCAD’s Alex Graudins.

Union’s Cameron Donaldson traded stroke for stroke with ONU’s Frank Tapia for 300 yards; he pulled away over the last 200 and took second in 4:27.74. Lucas Dengler-Larles of Lindenwood passed Tapia over the last 50 for a third-place finish in 4:30.65. Tapia got fourth with 4:31.36.

Andrew Fischer of ONU came in fifth, ahead of Union’s Dalton Baxter, Concordia’s Laszlo Perlaky, and ONU’s Sam Borgman.

200 IM

The men’s 200 IM was as thrilling a finish as the women’s. Jacob Anderson of ONU, Karl Hegwein of SCAD, Concordia’s Kevin Reichel, and Alex Mundt of OBU all made the back-to-breast turn together and it looked like it was anyone’s race. Concordia’s Jacob Lear joined the leader group after the breaststroke leg, and they all raced for home.

When the waves settled, Anderson had won with 1:49.92. Hegwein was runner-up by a .02 margin over Reichel (1:50.74 to 1:50.74). Mundt was fourth with 1:50.99; and Lear placed fifth in 1:51.61, just ahead of Calvin Price of ONU, Fernando Morillas of OBU, and Marc Tahull of Cumberlands.

50 Freestyle

St. Andrews’ David Lambert held onto his prelims seeding and won the championship final of the 50 free over a field that featured five Bison, including 2014 champion and meet record-holder Logan Lassley of OBU. Lambert went in 19.81 to Lassley’s 20.07 for the win. Daniel Robbins (20.21) and his OBU teammate Jake Phillips (20.27) touched third and fourth, respectively.

The rest of the A final will comprise Simon Pheasant of ONU and Marc Sambolin of OBU tied for fifth with 20.32. OBU’s JP Goyetche and Josiah Morales of Wayland Baptist rounded out the championship final.

800 Freestyle Relay

ONU, OBU, and SCAD did battle in the middle of the pool but in the end it was Olivet Nazarene with the winning relay. Tapia (1:41.34), Anderson (1:40.44), Joshua Lercel (1:39.39), and Pheasant (1:38.56) clocked a winning 6:39.73 ahead of OBU’s Mundt, Morillas, Andrew Nelson, and Javier Sossa (6:40.13) and SCAD’s Hegwein, Ax, Tyler Prescott, and Connor Wilson. Ax split a 1:36.3, by far the fastest in the field.

Concordia picked up fourth, with Lindenwood-Belleville, Cumberlands, Union, and WVU Institute of Technology following.

Standings After Day One – Men

  1. Oklahoma Baptist University 262.5
  2. Olivet Nazarene University 191.5
  3. Concordia University Irvine 118
  4. SCAD Savannah 110
  5. Union College 75
  6. University of the Cumberlands 70
  7. St. Andrews University 65
  8. Biola University 52
  9. Lindenwood University-Belleville 52
  10. Wayland Baptist University 50


“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.”


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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