2018 NAIA National Championships
- Dates: Wednesday, February 28 – Saturday, March 3; prelims 9 am, finals 5 pm
- Location: Columbus Aquatic Center, Columbus, Georgia (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champions: Olivet Nazarene University (M/W) (results)
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results: Available here
- Live Video: Available here
- Championship Central
The Savannah College of Art and Design jumped out to an early lead in the women’s meet, while defending champions Olivet Nazarene University led the men’s meet after the first day of competition at the 2018 NAIA National Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Georgia.
The first session in Columbus was more of a mini-session, featuring only morning finals of the 800 free relays, as the NAIA moves closer to the NCAA National Championships schedule. Tonight, the athletes will have a night off to attend the NAIA Nationals Banquet, and they’ll be back in the water tomorrow for a full prelims/finals two-session day. Going into tomorrow, SCAD sits on top of the women’s point totals with 40 points, followed by Cumberlands with 34 and Olivet Nazarene with 32. The ONU men lead with 40 points; Keiser and SCAD trail with 34 and 32 points, respectively.
Women’s 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – Timed Final
- Meet Record: 7:26.93, 2012, Fresno Pacific (Coffman / Turner / Gjemmestad / Carter)
- SCAD Savannah (Rebecca Justus, Sarah Dostie, Julie Henninger, Shayna Salzman): 7:34.75
- Cumberlands (Katy Smeltzer, Mendy De Rooi, Christina Klouda, Brittany Litke): 7:37.58
- Olivet Nazarene (Deirdre Gerke, Susan Stelmar, Karla Islas, Andrea Vega): 7:43.41
The Bees successfully defended their title in the 4×200 free relay to open the national championship. Senior Rebecca Justus led off with 1:54.55, coming to the exchange in third. Juniors Sarah Dostie (1:54.78), Julie Henninger (1:51.83), and Shayna Salzman (1:53.59) propelled SCAD forward and kept the lead as several teams (notably Cumberlands and Lindsey Wilson) had strong back halves to their relays. ONU (Deirdre Gerke, Susan Stelmar, Karla Islas, and Andrea Vega), who had led by 1.2 seconds after the first exchange, faded to third behind SCAD and Cumberlands (Katy Smeltzer, Mendy De Rooi, Christina Klouda, Brittany Litke).
The most notable team performance came from Loyola New Orleans, who dropped more than 25 seconds to move from 13th seed to 4th place (7:47.05) behind sophomore Paige Carter (1:55.47) and freshmen Andrea Van Den Berg (1:58.59), Kamy Alexander (1:55.10), and Madeline Raue (1:57.89).
West Virginia University-Tech’s Kendra Monnin had the fastest lead off split (1:53.00), while SCAD’s Henninger (1:51.83), Cumberlands’ Mendy de Rooi (1:52.54), and Lindsey Wilson’s Jessica Macdonald (1:52.10) had the quickest flying-start splits.
Henninger, Gerke and Macdonald are all entered in the 200 free individual event.
Men’s 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – Timed Final
- Meet Record: 6:34.98, 3/6/2014, SCAD (Joel Ax / P Cardillo / R Searles / M Shvartsman)
- Olivet Nazarene (Daniil Kuzmin, Charles Bennett, Joshua Bouma, Iran Cavalcante-Almeida): 6:37.80
- Keiser (Marcel Nagy, Noah Oh, Nick Oh, Wyatt Engler): 6:42.42
- SCAD Savannah (Zoltan Monori, Miles Kredich, Gergely Harsanyi, Gergo Zachar): 6:42.64
Olivet Nazarene won the men’s 4×200 with 3/4 of last year’s squad and a time that was 6/10 faster than their second-place finish from 2017. Daniil Kuzmin (1:39.09), Charles Bennett (1:38.86), Joshua Bouma (1:39.88), and Iran Cavalcante-Almeida (1:39.97) combined for a rather easy win with 6:37.80. The race was a lot closer at the start, with ONU, Keiser and SCAD all posting sub-1:40 leadoff legs, and Lindenwood-Belleville and Thomas going 1:40s. But ONU’s consistency won the day and they came to the wall with a 4.5-second advantage over Keiser.
Meanwhile, Keiser and the all-freshmen SCAD relay were locked in a battle for second place. Keiser leadoff Marcel Nagy (1:39.01) had the fastest split in the meet, flat or flying start, to put the Seahawks out front by just a tick at the first exchange. SCAD’s Zoltan Monori was third to the wall with 1:39.41. Noah Oh (1:41.70) and Nick Oh (1:42.66) of Keiser kept things even with SCAD’s Miles Kredich (1:42.76) and Gergely Harsanyi (1:41.16). But Keiser’s Wyatt Engler outsplit Gergo Zachar of SCAD, 1:39.05 to 1:39.31 and locked up 34 points for the Seahawks.
ONU’s Bouma, Keiser’s Engler, Nick Oh and Noah Oh, and SCAD’s Monori are all entered in the 200 free individually, and all went a couple of seconds faster than their seed times in today’s relay.
Women’s Point Totals After Day 1
- SCAD Savannah 40
- University of the Cumberlands 34
- Olivet Nazarene University 32
- Loyola New Orleans 30
- Lindsey Wilson College 28
- Keiser University 26
- West Virginia University-Tech 24
- Brenau University 22
- Indiana Wesleyan University 18
- College of Idaho 14
- Asbury University 12
- Lindenwood Belleville 10
- Union College 8
- Thomas University 6
- Milligan College 4
- Morningside College 2
Men’s Point Totals After Day 1
- Olivet Nazarene University 40
- Keiser University 34
- SCAD Savannah 32
- Lindenwood Belleville 30
- Thomas University 28
- West Virginia University-Tech 26
- University of the Cumberlands 24
- College of Idaho 22
- Lindsey Wilson College 18
- Asbury University 14
- Union College 12
- Loyola New Orleans 10
- St Ambrose 8
- Morningside College 6
- Midland University 4
- Milligan College 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.”