2015 NAIA National Championships – Women’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 2015 NAIA National Championships in Oklahoma City got off to a rocky start thanks to some inclement weather that postponed Wednesday diving events and canceled altogether the Athletes’ Dinner on Wednesday night, but Thursday’s swimming preliminaries went off without a hitch.
It’s no surprise that two-time defending champions Oklahoma Baptist University got off to a big start, leading the field with 6 A finalists and 3 B finalists. 2014 runner-up SCAD Savannah placed 5 in A finals and 4 in B finals, but the biggest “gain” from a seedings standpoint belonged to Olivet Nazarene University and College of Idaho, both of whom picked up points in a variety of events.
Ups/Downs – Day One
|Team||A Final||B Final|
|Oklahoma Baptist University||6||3|
|Olivet Nazarene University||2||5|
|University of the Cumberlands||2||2|
|College of Idaho||1||1|
|Lindsey Wilson College||0||1|
|St. Andrews University||0||1|
|WVU Institute of Technology||0||1|
200 Medley Relay
Many of the gained points came from improved performance over seed time in the 200 medley relay.
OBU led the field with a 1:44.67 prelims swim from Tammy Price, Leslie White, Andrea Antonissen, and Hannah Cantrell. At a minimum, the Bison will likely use Laura Galarza and Emma Forbes-Milne in finals. In 2014 they missed the meet record by 0.25 and will be chasing it down this year.
Brenau qualified second in 1:45.16 with Talia Sola, Mary Katherine Jabbia, Michelle Billeaud, and Alisha Hodgetts. Cumberlands (Brittany Litke, Melissa Peplinski, Charlotte Parent, and Blandine Tantart) dropped 3.9 seconds and qualified third. Other teams contesting the championship final tonight will be ONU, Biola, Concordia, SCAD, and Union.
2014 champion Courtney Hayward of Brenau earned the right to lane four for tonight’s final with her prelims swim of 4:58.69. Grace Van Ryckeghem of Cumberlands dropped 8 seconds and qualified second in 5:04.02, while SCAD’s Caroline Lepesant was third with 5:04.57.
The rest of tonight’s championship final will consist of Baliee Blankemeier of Concordia, who swam to a fourth-place finish in prelims with 5:05.46; Union College’s Lara Kaufmann, who dropped 5.5 to qualify fifth; Lexie Keller of OBU, whose 9-second drop put her at sixth; SCAD’s Emma McKinley, who improved her seed time by 8.5 for seventh; and Ella Kleinschmidt of Brenau, who qualified eighth.
The 500 free is shaping up to be a more evenly-matched final this year than in the past, and it could prove to be a very exciting start to the meet.
We tried to speculate which of the Tixier sisters would compete in the 200 IM but in the end they both did. However, it was Parent of Cumberlands who put up the fastest time in the morning with 2:05.57 and will occupy lane 4 in tonight’s final. On either side of her will be Biola senior Christine Tixier (second with 2:05.64), and her sister, freshman Lisa Tixier (2:06.87).
One of the more impressive morning swims came from McKayla Stevens of College of Idaho. Swimming out of lane 2, she shut down the field with a strong second half to win her heat, dropping 5.3 seconds in the process. Tiffany Ray of ONU qualified fifth; Rebecca Justus of SCAD dropped 7 to make sixth; Ines Remersaro from OBU and Jabbia of Brenau round out the championship final.
As in years past, OBU loaded up the championship final of the 50 free. Forbes-Milne clocked a 22.94 to lead the field, with teammates (23.09) and Antonissen (23.59) just behind.
SCAD’s Julie Woody was the fourth-fastest qualifier with 23.67, then came Michelle Billeaud of Brenau, Heather Partlow of SCAD, OBU’s Tammy Price, and Kelsey Weener of ONU.
800 Freestyle Relay
While the fastest heat will swim with finals, there were some notable 800 free relays swum in prelims. The College of Idaho dropped more than 31 seconds and are now the time (7:49.37) to beat headed into finals. Soka University improved their seed time by 26.7 seconds, finishing second in the morning session. Lindenwood-Belleville went 12.5 better than their seed time for third.
Tonight’s finals session begins at 6 p.m. Central time.
“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.”