2017 NAIA National Championships: Women’s Day 4 Up/Down Report

2017 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet

Anne Lepesant contributed to this report. 

Following last night’s races, the margin between Olivet Nazarene and SCAD has gotten even tighter, with 24 points separating the two NAIA powerhouses. The ONU Tigers have the lead. SCAD is really hurting in the mile, typically a strong event for them, but they have no swimmers entered this time around.

After this morning’s performances (see predictions below), the women of Olivet Nazarene are likely to win the meet for the first time in team history.

Biola, much to the credit of leading woman Lisa Tixier, sits solidly in third with 257. Lindsey Wilson in fifth place with 172 points will have to reach to challenge Brenau, fourth with 203, and, they’ll also have to fight to hold off a challenge from the Cumberlands (161) and the College of Idaho (141).

200 Back – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 1:58.20 2012 Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific
  1. Amanda Moran, ONU: 2:00.77
  2. Megan Monahan, Columbia: 2:02.86
  3. Tiffany Ray, ONU: 2:04.60
  4. Christina Klouda, Cumberlands: 2:05.70
  5. Lindsay Dowling, Brenau: 2:06.39
  6. Cydney Donnelly, Columbia: 2:06.78
  7. Kara DeLong, ONU: 2:07.66
  8. Julie Henninger, SCAD: 2:07.74

Five of eight ‘A’ finalists from last season will make their return to the top NAIA competition in the women’s 200 backstroke. Defending champion and last night’s 100 backstroke winner Amanda Morana junior out of Olivet Nazarene, is the one to beat, after going 2:00.77 this morning. However, Columbia’s defending runner-up Megan Monahan is in great shape, already a second faster than her finals time last year with 2:02.86.

Olivet Nazarene senior Tiffany Ray will also be in the mix for the top three, after taking second last year and qualifying third this morning with 2:02.31. Last year’s sixth-place finisher Christine Klouda will fight to improve her placement; she qualified fourth this morning. Also returning from last year’s final is Brenau’s Lindsay Dowling (2:06.78). 

Columbia’s Cydney Donnelly (2:06.78), Kara DeLong of ONU (2:07.66), and SCAD’s Julie Henninger (2:07.74) round out the A final.

100 Free – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 49.33 2012 Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific
  1. Lisa Tixier, Biola: 51.39
  2. Julie Woody, SCAD: 51.67
  3. Madison Kelly, College of Idaho: 52.26
  4. Abigail Richey, SCAD: 52.35
  5. Deirdre Gerke, ONU: 52.64
  6. Jessica MacDonald, Lindsey Wilson: 52.93
  7. McKenna Rafferty, Lindenwood- Bellville: 53.19
  8. Brittany Litke, Cumberlands: 53.28

Last season, Lisa Tixier of Biola won easily by nearly a second, finishing in 51.12. After this morning’s performances, it seems like SCAD’s 2016 consolation final winner Julie Woody is going to rise to challenge her. Tixier swam 51.39 this morning and Woody was 51.67.

The remaining finalists are unlikely to catch the two veterans in the middle lanes, but there should be a tight fight for third among the College of Idaho’s Madison Kelly (52.26), SCAD’s 2016 fourth-place finisher Abigail Richey (52.35), and ONU’s 2016 12th-place finisher Deirdre Gerke (52.64).

Jessica MacDonald (52.93), McKenna Rafferty (53.19), and Brittany Litke (53.28) round out the ‘A’ final field.

200 Breast – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 2:14.90 1993 Laurette Hakansson
  1. Sara Lacusky, SCAD: 2:20.65
  2. Andrea Vega, ONU: 2:21.49
  3. Ronni Borders, Lindsey Wilson: 2:23.36
  4. Mckayla Stevens, College of Idaho: 2:24.49
  5. Alle Ragland, SCAD: 2:25.25
  6. Ines Khiyara, Lindsey Wilson: 2:25.60
  7. Emilia Rittenbach, SCAD: 2:26.03
  8. Kendra Monnin, WVU Tech: 2:26.41

SCAD sophomore Sara Lacusky put up the fastest time this morning with 2:20.65. The second, third, and fifth qualifiers were each returners from the 2016 ‘A’ final; 2016 runner-up Andrea Vega qualified second in 2:21.49, 2016 third-place finisher Ronnie Borders qualified third in 2:23.36, and 2016 fifth-place finished Alle Ragland finished fifth in 2:25.25. The College of Idaho’s Mckayla Stevens finished fourth this morning in 2:24.49.

Ines Khiyara (2:25.60), Emilia Rittenbach (2:26.03), and Kendra Monnin (2:26.41) round out the field.

200 Fly – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 1:49.58 – 2011 Alex Peters
  1. Lydia Reinhardt, SCAD: 2:03.77
  2. Rebecca Justus, SCAD: 2:07.07
  3. Samantha Dammann, Biola: 2:08.23
  4. Cadie Crow, SCAD: 2:09.53
  5. Hayley Ronci, ONU: 2:09.72
  6. Madeline Miller, ONU: 2:10.96
  7. Whitney Whitehead, ONU: 2:11.24
  8. Casey Walin, Cumberlands: 2:11.41

Both SCAD and ONU have the opportunity to score huge points in the women’s 200 fly, each placing three swimmers into the final. SCAD is more likely to cash in, however, especially after qualifying Lydia Reinhardt (2:03.77), Rebecca Justus (2:07.07), and Cadie Crow (2:09.53) first, second, and fourth, respectively.

Reinhardt, a freshman, is the swimmer to beat tonight; she qualified over three seconds ahead of the field and in a time .2 faster than 2016’s winning time. Justus is the defending runner-up, and Crow finished fourth last year.

Samantha Dammann of Biola is the only non-SCAD, non-ONU swimmer in the top seven, and she finished third with 2:08.23. ONU’s Hayley Ronci, Madeline Miller, and Whitney Whitehead will each have to drop time to challenge the SCAD squad and Dammann.

400 Free Relay – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 1:02.09 – 2012 Catherine Duquet
  1. SCAD: 3:32.62
  2. Biola: 3:33.31
  3. Olivet Nazarene: 3:34.35
  4. College of Idaho: 3:35.69
  5. Brenau: 3:36.56
  6. Cumberlands: 3:37.27
  7. Lindsey Wilson: 3:37.91
  8. Asbury: 3:38.02

Tonight’s women’s 400 free relay will be al battle among SCAD, whose team of Julie Henninger, Julie Woody, Sara Lacuskyand Abigail Richey went 3:32.62 this morning; Biola, whose team of Emily Silzel, Bethany Harper, Rebecca Brandt, and Lisa Tixier went 3:33.31 this morning; and Olivet Nazarene, whose team of Susan Stelmar, Sierra Rhodes, Meredith Lee, and Deirdre Gerke went 3:34.35 this morning.

The top splits of the field came from Henniger (flat-start 52.77), Tixier (flying-start 51.21), Gerke (flying-start 51.73), and Idaho’s Madison Kelly (flying-start 51.70).

Ups/Downs – Day 4

*including diving and the 1650, based on the psych sheet

 Team Day 4 Indiv Day 4 Relay
Asbury University 0/3 1/0
Biola University 2/8 1/0
Brenau University 2/4 0/0
Bethel University 0/0 1/0
Columbia College 2/1 0/1
Keiser University 1/1 0/0
Loyola University New Orleans 0/2 0/1
Lindenwood University – Belleville 1/1 0/1
Lindsey Wilson College 4/0 1/0
Morningside College 1/1 0/1
Olivet Nazarene University 9/3 1/0
St. Andrews University 0/1 0/0
SCAD Savannah 9/2 1/0
Soka University of America 0/1 0/1
The College of Idaho 2/2 1/0
Thomas University 2/1 0/1
Union College 1/2 0/1
University of the Cumberlands 3/2 1/0
Wayland Baptist University 0/2 0/0
West Virginia University Institute of Technology 1/3 0/1

Final Predictions

Team Final Score +/- Prelim +/- Psych
Olivet Nazarene University 632 31 138
SCAD Savannah 621 -11.5 27
Biola University 360 -19 16
Brenau University 257 0 -32
Lindsey Wilson College 249 6 -18
University of the Cumberlands 236 0 -16
The College of Idaho 217 -18 28
Columbia College 130.5 -6.5 -19
Lindenwood University – Belleville 123 12 50
WVU Institute of Technology 106 -1 -36
Asbury University 104 2 -27
St. Andrews University 89 11 2
Keiser University 80 8 4
Morningside College 74 2 -1
Thomas University 69 -14 -57
Union College 68 14 31
Loyola University New Orleans 67 -25 -11
Soka University of America 54 8 11
Bethel University 28 0 0
Wayland Baptist University 28 -25.5 -110
Campbellsville University 10 0 2
Life University 5.5 0.5 -11
Tabor College 4 2 4
Milligan College 2 0 0

 

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About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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