2017 NAIA Nationals: Men’s Meet Day 3 Up/Down Report

2017 NAIA National Championships – Men’s Meet

Day Three

Olivet Nazarene (+53), Lindsey Wilson (+13) and University of the Cumberlands (+13) had the strongest performances, relative to their psych sheet seedings, on Day Three of the 2017 NAIA National Championships. SCAD Savannah, meanwhile, gained some ground on Keiser University, currently expected to finish second behind ONU. There are exciting battles going on for the next spots, with Cumberlands, Lindenwood-Belleville, Wayland Baptist, Thomas, and Lindsey Wilson all jockeying for position.

200 Medley Relay – Prelims

  • Meet Record: * 1:26.83 3/6/2014 Oklahoma Baptist University (D Ramirez, G Penny, G Sullivan, L Lassley)

Top-seeded Keiser outperformed the field in the medley relay, with Danny Hartley (23.04), Lukas Macek (25.17), Evin Zekthi (22.96), and Wyatt Engler (20.79) combining for 1:31.96. St. Andrews turned in the second-fastest time, improving by 2 full seconds to post a 1:32.18. Thomas dropped 1.5 to qualify third with 1:32.32.

ONU (1:32.39), Wayland Baptist (1:32.73), SCAD (1:32.82), Lindsey Wilson (1:33.80), and Lindenwood-Belleville (1:34.97) make up the rest of the championship final.

  1. Keiser 1:31.96
  2. Andrews 1:32.18
  3. Thomas 1:32.32

400 Individual Medley – Prelims

  • Meet Record: * 3:53.86 2010 Kevin Sellars, Cal Baptist

Defending champion, ONU sophomore Daniil Kuzmin clocked a 3:59.31 to pace the field in the men’s 400 IM. Lindenwood-Belleville freshman Nico Tscherner posted the next-best qualifying time of 4:00.84. Asbury sophomore Keith Jessee, fourth in last year’s final, went 4:02.53 to round out the middle lanes.

The championship final will also consist of 2016 finalists Charles Bennett of ONU (4:05.01), Union College sophomore Ivar de Jong (4:07.88), and College of Idaho junior Thomas Sheridan (4:09.55). Freshmen Joel Westerlind of Cumberlands (4:05.37) and Niels Engeln of Lindenwood-Belleville (4:08.95) qualified fifth and seventh, respectively.

Quite a few IMers made the B final on big drops, including ONU’s Brandon Bell (-7.9), Wayland Baptist’s Ethan Nicholson (-7.2), Loyola New Orleans’ Cole Moreno (-3.5), and St. Andrews’ Max Hamilton (-3.1).

  1. Daniil Kuzmin, ONU 3:59.31
  2. Nico Tscherner, Lindenwood-Belleville 4:00.84
  3. Keith Jessee, Asbury 4:02.53

100 Butterfly – Prelims

  • Meet Record: * 46.12 3/6/2015 Daniel Ramirez, OBU

There are a lot of new faces in the top 8 of the men’s 100 fly this year; only two (seniors Josiah Morales of Wayland Baptist and Igor Dozortsev of Cumberlands) contested the A final last year. They qualified fifth (50.04) and eighth (50.28), respectively. The rest of tonight’s championship final will consist of newcomers, including top qualifier Magnus Poulson of ONU, who clocked a 49.08 in prelims. Keiser junior Danny Hartley was second with 49.62, just ahead of St. Gregorys’ Jason Schroeder (49.85), who dropped .90 to make the top three.

The rest of the A final will comprise ONU freshman Magnus Anderson (50.01), Lindonwood-Belleville sophomore Timo Billmann (50.06, a 1.2-second improvement), and St. Andrews senior Georgi Krastev (50.21).

While they didn’t make the B final, Sah Ayric of Thomas (-1.7) and freshman Trey James of Loyola New Orleans (-1.1) both had big mornings.

  1. Magnus Poulsen, ONU 49.08
  2. Danny Hartley, Keiser 49.62
  3. Jason Schroeder, SGU 49.85

200 Freestyle – Prelims

  • Meet Record: * 1:34.90 3/4/2016 Joel Ax, SCAD

In what is sure to be one of the top showdowns of tonight’s final session, SCAD’s two Joels will be battling for the national title, and possibly the meet record, in the 200 free. Defending champion and national record-holder, senior Joel Ax, who has won 9 of the 10 individual events he has contested in his four-year career as a Bee, is handing the torch to the freshman, Joel Thatcher. Thatcher got off to a good start on Thursday when he won the 500 free and broke Ax’s national record in the process. Tonight the two will face off in the middle lanes, with Thatcher in lane 4 (1:39.22 in prelims) and Ax in lane 5 (1:39.95).

ONU junior Joshua Bouma dropped 2.8 from his seed time to qualify third with 1:40.55, just ahead of Keiser junior Engler (1:40.89) and Lindenwood-Belleville junior Tim Schmalzreich (1:41.09). Schmalzreich dropped 1.4 to make the A final. Also improving on their seed times, and rounding out the championship final, are Iker Larzabal, a senior from Lindsey Wilson (1:42.20), SOKA junior Michael Nunn (1:43.23), and Cumberlands freshman Alex Zolotukhin (1:42.36).

Keiser freshman Nick Oh unleashed a big swim in prelims, dropping 4.5 seconds and making the B final. ONU’s Drew Logan (-5) and Seth Cripe (-3) also dropped, but just missed the B final. Other good swims came from Lindenwood-Belleville freshman Arthur do Nascimento Brilhante (-4.9), Lindsey Wilson junior Zac Patzer (-3.4), Asbury junior Joshua Fritz (-2.2), and Cumberlands junior Mikey Munday (-2).

  1. Joel Thatcher, SCAD Savannah 1:39.22
  2. Joel Ax, SCAD Savannah 1:39.95
  3. Joshua Bouma, ONU 1:40.55

100 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • Meet Record: * 53.06 2009 Bryan Haile, Cal Baptist

One of the tightest fields in the tonight’s final, if not the tightest, will be the men’s 100 breast. The top 8 qualifiers are only separated by 1.1 seconds, and seven of them dropped time to make the cut. Keiser freshman Lukas Macek led the field with 55.52. SCAD junior Anton Arvidsson, fourth in this event, turned in a 55.80 for second. Cumberlands sophomore Jacob Smith went 55.88 for third.

Next came Mitch Graham of Thomas (56.04), Lindsey Wilson junior Jonas Mueller (56.20), Lindenwood-Belleville freshman Maxime Eekhof (56.28), Wayland Baptist senior and 2016 runner-up Bjoern Globke (56.50), and WVU Tech freshman Paulo Ignacio Jr (56.64).

SCAD senior Styrbjorn Torell dropped 3 to make the consolation final; other improvements came from B finalists Elliot Boon of St. Andrews (-2.1), ONU’s Nate Peterson (-1.7), Christian Daniels (-1.5), and Guilherme Magnoler (-1.3), and SCAD’s Nick Wargo (-1).

  1. Lukas Macek, Keiser 55.52
  2. Anton Arvidsson, SCAD Savannah 55.80
  3. Jacob Smith, Cumberlands 55.88

100 Backstroke – Prelims

  • Meet Record: * 46.28 3/7/2014 Daniel Z Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist

ONU freshman Magnus Poulsen took 1.1 seconds off his seed time to swim the top 100 back with 49.82. Wayland Baptist junior Nico Ruiz-Rojas was 1.3 better than his entry time, going 49.94 for second. St. Andrews senior Georgi Krastev, who placed fifth in last year’s championship final, earned the right to swim in lane 3 with his 50.67 in prelims.

Lindsey Wilson sophomore Clemens Paetzold (50.84), SCAD sophomore Brogan Bunner (50.91), juniors Vladislav Khoroletc of ONU (51.25) and Hartley of Keiser (51.26), as well as Asbury freshman Clay Bisher (51.48), round out the slate for the 100 back final.

Notable swims to make the B final came from freshmen Trey James of Loyola New Orleans (-1.9) and Jake Kohorst of Morningside (-1.3). Biola freshman Matthew Roe dropped 1.5 but just missed getting a second swim.

  1. Magnus Poulsen, ONU 49.82
  2. Nico Ruiz-Rojas, Wayland Baptist 49.94
  3. Georgi Krastev, St. Andrews 50.67

Ups/Downs – Day Three

Team Day 3 Indiv Day 3 Relay
Asbury University 2/1 0/1
Biola University 1/0 0/1
Keiser University 4/9 1/0
Loyola University New Orleans 0/2 0/1
Lindenwood University – Belleville 5/1 1/0
Lindsey Wilson College 3/1 1/0
Morningside College 0/1 0/0
Milligan College 0/1 0/1
Nebraska Wesleyan University 0/0 0/0
Olivet Nazarene University 9/5 1/0
St. Andrews University 2/2 1/0
SCAD Savannah 4/4 1/0
St. Catharine College 0/0 0/0
Saint Gregory’s University 1/0 0/0
Soka University of America 1/0 0/0
The College of Idaho 1/1 0/1
Thomas University 1/3 1/0
Union College 2/1 0/1
University of the Cumberlands 5/3 0/1
Wayland Baptist University 3/2 1/0
WVU Institute of Technology 1/3 0/1

Top Ten Predictions

Team Final Points +/- Prelims +/- Psych
Olivet Nazarene University 575.5 6.5 130
Keiser University 425 -3 -39
SCAD Savannah 404.5 2.5 0.5
University of the Cumberlands 334 8 2
Lindenwood University – Belleville 311 12 -31
Wayland Baptist University 265 21 -12
Thomas University 256 -8 25
Lindsey Wilson College 223 -2 17
West Virginia University Institute of Technology 210 -21 -106
St. Andrews University 174 -4 22

Tonight’s finals session begins at 5 PM Eastern 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.”


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom 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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