2017 NAIA National Championships: Women’s Finals Day 2 Live Recap

2017 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet

Women’s 200 Free Relay – Final

  • Meet Record – 1:32.15: 3/7/2014, Oklahoma Baptist University (Galarza, Forbes-Milne, MacManus, Antonissen)
  1. Olivet Nazarene: 1:34.69 (Andrea Vega, Deirdre Gerke, Amanda Moran, Leanne Latocha)
  2. SCAD: 1:35.49 (Abigail Richey, Annie Weber Callahan, Sara Lacusky, Julie Woody)
  3. Biola: 1:36.42 (Haley Baker, Rebecca Brandt, Emily Silzel, Lisa Tixier)

Olivet Nazarene made their first major move of the meet tonight, showing that they will be a formidable opponent for SCAD, with all four of their swimmers splitting under 24. Andrea Vega (23.86) lead off the team, followed by Deirdre Gerke (23.69), Amanda Moran (23.78), and Leanne Latocha (23.36) for a total 1:34.69.

Olivet Nazarene led the way throughout, though SCAD made a formidable comeback at the end. After yesterday morning’s incredible comeback in the men’s 800 free relay, it appears that the team is moving forward with a slingshot, back-half relay strategy. Tonight, Abigail Richey (24.53) and Annie Weber Callahan (24.61) teamed up for a 49.14 first half, compared to Sara Lacusky (23.85) and Julie Woody‘s (22.50) 46.35 back half. But, it wasn’t enough to catch the Tigers, and the team ended up second with 1:35.49.

Third went to Biola’s Haley Baker (25.11), Rebecca Brandt (24.36), Emily Silzel (24.38) and Lisa Tixier (22.57) with 1:36.42.

Woody and Tixer had the top splits of the field. Idaho’s Madison Kelly (23.64),  Lindenwood-Belleville’s Claire Featherstone (23.19), Brenau’s Yanne Toussaint (23.97) and B finalist out of Wayland Baptist Claire Goodrum all broke 24 off flying starts.

It’s also worth noting that Woody went 23.11 this morning off a flat start, and that Vega swam 23.86 off a flat start tonight.

Women’s 500 Free – Final

  • Meet Record – 4:52.24: 2011, Alex Peters
  1. Abigail Richey, SCAD: 4:59.00
  2. Suzanna Gonzalez, Morningside: 5:00.00
  3. Sierra Rhodes, Olivet Nazarene: 5:01.58

After last night’s 800 free relay victory as anchor of the winning team, and just minutes after becoming the national runner-up in the 200 free relay, SCAD sophomore Abigail Richey dove back into the pool to score her first individual national championship of the meet in the 500 freestyle. Richey finished just ahead of second-place Suzanna Gonzalez of Morningside with 4:59.00, dropping over a second from the time that won her third last year.

Gonzalez, a junior and NAIA newcomer, fought hard throughout and ended up missing the title by exactly one second with 5:00.00. This was a landmark swim for the Morningside Mustangs, as Gonzalez becomes the school’s first-ever All-American with the team’s highest finish in school history.

Third went to 2016 B finalist and Olivet Nazarene sophomore Sierra Rhodes in 5:01.58. Defending champion Courtney Haywarda senior out of Brenau, came up fourth in 5:03.08, just slower than her prelims time.

Olivet Nazarene scored major A final points in this event, with senior Hayley Ronci (5:04.96) and junior Deirdre Gerke (5:06.82) taking fifth and sixth.

Women’s 200 IM – Final

  • Meet Record – 2:02.75: 3/5/2015, Christine Tixier
  1. Tiffany Ray, ONU: 2:05.07
  2. Sara Lacusky, SCAD: 2:06.73
  3. Christina Klouda, Cumberlands: 2:07.45

Olivet Nazarene senior Tiffany Ray defended her NAIA title in the 200 IM, swimming 2:05.07 to drop some time off last year’s winning 2:05.84. Her best leg was a 30.88 split in the backstroke, and we will see her in the 200 back later this weekend.

Second went to SCAD sophomore Sara Lacusky in 2:06.73, followed by sophomore Christina Klouda of the Cumberlands third in 2:07.45.

SCAD was able to grab points for second and fourth (and eighth, for that matter;Lydia Reinhardt rounded out the A final in 2:10.51), with junior Rebecca Justus taking fourth in 2:08.19.

Women’s 50 Free – Final

  • Meet Record – 22.29: 2012, Cheyenne Coffman
  1. Lisa Tixier, Biola: 23.01
  2. Julie Woody, SCAD: 23.11
  3. Andrea Vega, ONU: 23.78

Biola junior Lisa Tixier emerged victorious in a 50 free showdown between NAIA veterans, outswimming SCAD senior Julie Woody‘s 23.11 by a tenth with 23.01.

The duo each improved one placement from their performance last year, when Tixier was the runner-up and Woody tied for third. However, both saw vast improvements with their times. Last season, it took 23.92 for Tixer to take second and 24.06 for Woody to be third.

Olivet Nazarene duo Andrea Vega (23.78) and Leanne Latocha (23.82) came up third and fourth.

Women’s 1-Meter – Final

  • Meet Record: 417.75 2005 Hayley Rosenlund, Simon Fraser
  1. Vanessa VanOost, ONU: 203.70
  2. Shanynn Santos, ONU: 188.25
  3. Danielle Dehl, Cumberlands: 171.30

Vanessa VanOost, an Olivet Nazarene sophomore, took the top spot on the women’s 1-meter with 203.70, followed by her senior teammate Shanynn Santos with 188.25 and sophomore Danielle Dehl of the Cumberlands with 171.30.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Final

  • Meet Record – 3:44.56: 2012, Fresno Pacific (Coffman/Malthaner/Moreno/Gjemmestad)
  1. SCAD: 3:48.93 (Julie Woody, Sara Lacusky, Cadie Crow, Abigail Richey)
  2. Olivet Nazarene: 3:50.11 (Tiffany Ray, Andrea Vega, Amanda Moran, Deirdre Gerke)
  3. Brenau: 3:54.12 (Lindsay Dowling, Yanne Toussaint, Alisha Hodgetts, Courtney Hayward)

The women of SCAD bit back in the 400 medley relay, avenging their 200 free loss with a one-second victory over Olivet Nazarene. Julie Woody started the relay off with a 56.65, the quickest backstroke leg in the field (this compared to her 6th-place 58.49 from the individual event last year). Then, Sara Lacusky pulled out a 1:03.17 for the fastest breaststroke split of the field. Cadie Crow was third with a 57.48 fly leg, followed by Abigail Richey who brought back the fastest 100 free split in the race with 51.63. The team totaled 3:48.93

Second went to the Tigers, Tiffany Ray (57.72), Andrea Vega (1:03.86), Amanda Moran (56.39), and Deirdre Gerke (52.14), and Brenau was third, with Lindsay Dowling (57.98), Yanne Toussaint (1:06.03), Alisha Hodgetts (57.40), and Courtney Hayward (52.71) teaming up for 3:54.12.

Biola finished fourth in 3:55.21, boosted by a massive 54.29 fly leg from 100 fly defending champion Lisa Tixier

Women’s Scores after Day 2

Olivet Nazarene has taken the lead over SCAD after day two of competition. However, it’s worth noting that the Tigers, one of two teams with divers at the meet, scored 37 unmatched points in the diving competition.

  1. Olivet Nazarene University 245
  2. SCAD 200
  3. Biola University 144
  4. Brenau University 125
  5. University of the Cumberlands 115
  6. College of Idaho 106
  7. Lindsey Wilson College 105
  8. Lindenwood U- Belleville 59
  9. West Virginia University-Tech 48
  10. Asbury University 45
  11. Union College 37
  12. Columbia College 37
  13. Morningside College 33 / St Andrews University 33 / Keiser University 33
  14. Loyola New Orleans 27
  15. Soka University 17
  16. Wayland Baptist University 16
  17. Thomas University 15
  18. Campbellsville University 4
  19. Tabor College Bluejays 4

“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 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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