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
The seniors of Oklahoma Baptist have never lost a national championship; the Bison men have won the NAIA team title every year since the program’s inception four years ago. 2015 will be their last, however, as OBU is transitioning into Division II of the NCAA beginning with the 2015-16 season.
There were several interesting story lines going on in the team competition this year. Olivet Nazarene University, after finishing 2014 a mere 5 points ahead of SCAD Savannah, rocketed to a 172.5-point differential this year. SCAD finished solidly in third, repeating their position from last year. After fourth-place Concordia University of Irvine, six teams were jockeying for position: St. Andrews University, University of the Cumberlands, Union College, Wayland Baptist University, WVU Institute of Technology, and Biola University. In the end, Cumberlands and Union tied, only 13 points behind St. Andrews. WBU beat WVU Tech by 1, and Biola was only 11 back. In general, the 2015 field was much deeper than it had been in the past.
Saturday’s events began with a repeat from SCAD’s Joel Ax (15:32.23) in the 1650, making two years in a row that the sophomore has swept the distance freestyle events. Union’s Cameron Donaldson had a strong surge at the end to finish second with 15:33.33. Lasezlo Perlaky of Concordia went 15:59.01 for third.
Matheus Mortarroyos of WVU Tech (16:01.60), Sam Borgman of ONU (16:02.76), Union’s Dalton Baxter (16:06.72), ONU’s Joshua Bouma (16:07.60), and Lucas Dengler-Harles of Lindenwood-Belleville (16:10.00) made up the rest of the top eight.
In a stunning come-from-behind victory, much like the way he won the 400 IM, SCAD freshman Tyler Prescott shot past OBU’s Nico Bruno over the last 50 yards to take the 200 back title in 1:45.87. Prescott split a 52.35-53.52, coming back from a 1.3-second deficit at the 100. Bruno touched second at 1:47.12; ONU’s Jacob Anderson swam a 1:48.30 for third, just out-touching SCAD’s Karl Hegwein (1:48.37).
OBU’s Andrew Nelson (1:48.86), Ryan Searles of SCAD (1:50.30), Union’s Bradley Moore (1:50.98), and Victor Vassallo of Thomas (1:53.07) rounded out the podium.
The 100 free was arguably the most exciting race of the meet. Two-time defending champion and current record-holder, Daniel Ramirez of OBU, rocketed out to a .2 lead over the field at the 50 with 20.55, but leading into the 75 wall it wasn’t clear that he would emerge with his third straight national title. But Ramirez is a tough competitor and he dug in and got the job done, finishing with 43.79, 6/10 ahead of the next finisher.
Second and third places went to OBU teammates JP Goyetche (44.44) and Marc Sambolin (44.64). Simon Pheasant of ONU (44.70), 50 free champion David Lambert of St. Andrews (44.83), Javier Sossa of OBU (45.06), and ONU’s Joshua Lercel (45.13) and Ty Jacobs (45.49) followed.
OBU’s Fernando Morillas, swimming out of lane 5, destroyed the meet record, blasting a 1:56.96 for the win. Morillas was out in a speedy 56.2 but still had plenty left in the tank, coming home in a pair of 30s to the roars of the crowd. Teammate Calvin Price picked up the silver medal in 2:00.72, while Connor Wilson of SCAD placed third in 2:01.88.
Jacob Lear of Concordia (2:02.76) took fourth, ahead of Jack Cavanagh of WVU Tech (2:02.77), WBU’s Bjoern Globke (2:03.48), and Manuel Serrano Laguna of WVU (2:06.43).
ONU scored a 1-2 podium sweep in the last individual swimming event when Frank Tapia came to the wall in 1:47.87 ahead of teammate Andrew Fischer’s 1:50.59. Igor Dozortsev of Cumberlands (1:51.09) placed third.
OBU teammates Juan Cuellar (1:52.22) and Javier Sossa (1:52.42) came to the wall together, in front of Geoffrey Gauneau of WVU Tech (1:52.85), Andrew Gurley of St. Andrews (1:53.38), and Elliot Bilsland of Concordia (1:54.30).
OBU’s Zac Rowton swept the diving events, winning the 3-meter with 350.80 points and the 1-meter with 312.65.
Biola’s Shane Brinson was runner-up on the 3-meter board, finishing with 272.20 points. OBU’s remaining divers, Mark Pontier (221.95), Jarod Haynes (213.65), Khoi Ngo (199.20), and Adam Cribbs (191.20) made up the rest of the field.
In 1-meter diving, Pontier eked out the silver medal over Brinson by .20, scoring 215.60 points to Brinson’s 215.40. Ngo (202.95), Haynes (193.15), and Cribbs (176.65) also scored for OBU.
400 Freestyle Relay
Clearly, the OBU-ONU battle in the men’s 100 free final gave us a sense of what was to come in the 400 free relay. First off, though, it was SCAD’s distance standout, Joel Ax, who set the pace for the field with his leadoff leg of 44.79. Both OBU and ONU had caught the Bees by the second exchange, and headed into the anchor leg, OBU had a .34 edge on ONU. Suddenly it was Ramirez vs Pheasant, for the umpteenth time over the last four years. The two seniors have faced off in individual events and relays, and are both intense competitors. Ramirez split 20.0-22.8; Pheasant went 20.3-22.8.
OBU broke the meet record, clocking a final time of 2:56.93. ONU finished with 2:57.56 for second, while SCAD got the bronze in 3:01.88. The rest of the podium consisted of Concordia (3:03.38), St. Andrews (3:06.04), Biola (3:06.57), WVU Tech (3:07.74), and Cumberlands (3:07.86).
Final Standings – Men
|1||Oklahoma Baptist University 876.5|
|2||Olivet Nazarene University 575.5|
|3||SCAD Savannah 403|
|4||Concordia University 324|
|5||St. Andrews University 210|
|6||University of the Cumberlands 197|
|6||Union College 197|
|8||Wayland Baptist University 174|
|9||WVU Institute of Technology 173|
|10||Biola University 162|
|11||Lindenwood University 119|
|12||Thomas University 100|
|13||College of Idaho 77|
|14||Lindsey Wilson College 54|
|15||Asbury University 43|
|16||Morningside College 20|
|17||Soka University 15|
|18||Saint Gregory’s University 2|
“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.”