2018 NAIA Women’s National Championships – ONU Moves to Lead on Day 2

2018 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet

Women’s 200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Finals

  • Meet Record: 1:32.15, 2014, Oklahoma Baptist University (Galarza, Forbes-Milne, MacManus, Antonissen)
  1. Olivet Nazarene 1:35.68
  2. SCAD 1:36.50
  3. Lindsey Wilson 1:36.80

Union College freshman Jessica Axford put the Bulldogs out in front with a 24.17 leadoff, but SCAD, Cumberlands, and Olivet Nazarene took over halfway through. ONU and SCAD each dropped 6/10 to finish in their top-seeded spots from prelims, while Lindsey Wilson moved up to third to close out the championship final of the women’s 200 free relay. ONU switched it up from prelims, leading off with senior Deirdre Gerke (24.60) and anchoring with sophomore Leanne Latocha (23.17). Between the two were sophomore Jordan Enders (24.36) and junior Andrea Vega (23.55).

SCAD (Chloe Hui, Julie Henninger, Anne Weber Callahan and Sara Lacusky) switched things up, too, and swam to a second-place finish, .30 ahead of Lindsey Wilson (Laura Stephenson, Bailey Seitz, Jessica Macdonald, and Alexis Kessler). Kessler anchored the Blue Raiders in 22.77, by far the fastest split in the field.

Women’s 500 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • Meet Record: 4:52.24, 2011, Alex Peters, Concordia
  1. Suzanna Gonzalez, Morningside 4:56.15
  2. Karla Islas, Olivet Nazarene 5:02.86
  3. Paige Carter, Loyola 5:04.27

2017 runner-up, senior Suzanna Gonzalez of Morningside, jumped out to the early lead in the final of the 500 free. She led by about a second at the 50 and by just over 2 at the 100. Gonzalez never took her foot off the accelerator; she finished in 4:56.15, the only sub-5 in the field. ONU freshman Karla Islas broke away from a crowded field at the 300 wall to come home all alone in the second position. Loyola sophomore Paige Carter (5:06.53) closed well to claim third over Deirdre Gerke of ONU (5:04.95) and SCAD freshman April O’Gorman (5:05.74). SCAD also scored points at sixth from junior Shayna Salzman (5:06.78).

Women’s 200 Yard Individual Medley – Finals

  • Meet Record: 2:02.75, 2015, Christine Tixier, Biola
  1. Sara Lacusky, SCAD 2:05.93
  2. Kendra Monnin, Wvu-Tech 2:07.25
  3. Christina Klouda, Cumberlands 2:07.47

2017 silver medalist Sara Lacusky of SCAD claimed the gold this time around with 2:05.93. Lacusky went out with Lindsey Wilson sophomore Jessica Macdonald in 27.0 on the butterfly, but fell to 4th after the backstroke (32.86). Lacusky won both the 100 breast and 200 breast last year, and she outsplit the field by nearly a body length on the third leg of the IM (35.80). She came home in the 5th-fastest freestyle split of the field (30.24), but with a 2 body-length lead on the breast-to-free turn, she easily made it home first. WVU-Tech’s Kendra Monnin also back-halved her race; she moved from 7th at the 100 to 3rd at the 150 to 2nd at the finish. Cumberlands junior Christina Klouda passed ONU’s Andrea Vega over the final 50 yards to touch third, repeating her position from a year ago.

Women’s 50 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • Meet Record – 22.29: 2012, Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific
  1. Alexis Kessler, Lindsey Wilson 23.36
  2. Leanne Latocha, Olivet Nazarene 23.43
  3. Olivia Salome, Union College 23.89 / Madison Kelly, College of Idaho 23.89

Lindey Wilson’s Alexis Kessler, whose 22.77 anchor in the 200 free relay foretold her likely performance in the individual race, cracked a 23.36 to snatch victory away from top qualifier Leanne Latocha from ONU. Latocha hit the wall just after Kessler in 23.43, nearly a half-second ahead of both Madison Kelly from College of Idaho and Union College senior Olivia Salome, both of whom touched in 23.89.

Cumberlands had two A-finalists and two B-finalists in this event, which helped establish the Patriots firmly in third place in the team standings.

Women’s 1-Meter Diving – Finals

  • Meet Record: 417.75 2005 Hayley Rosenlund, Simon Fraser
  1. Andrea Adam, St Ambrose 230.00
  2. Taylor Madison, St Ambrose 207.50
  3. Stephanie Casaus, College of Idaho 190.9

Andrea Adam and Taylor Madison of St. Ambrose led the Fighting Bees to a 1-2 finish in 1-meter diving, with 230.00 points and 207.50 points, respectively. College of Idaho’s Stephanie Casaus and Emily Gahn took third and fourth. ONU and Cumberlands were the only other schools to earn diving points.

Women’s 400 Yard Medley Relay – Finals

  • Meet Record: 3:44.56: 2012, Fresno Pacific (Coffman/Malthaner/Moreno/Gjemmestad)
  1. Olivet Nazarene 3:55.53
  2. SCAD 3:56.71
  3. Cumberlands 3:53.30

Olivet Nazarene’s Amanda Moran (56.64), Vega (1:02.92), Kara DeLong (56.44) and Gerke (51.74) combined for 3:47.74, improving their prelims performance by .79 and winning the 400 medley relay with 3:47.74. SCAD followed with Julie Henniger(57.84), Lacusky (1:03.28), Cadie Crow (55.88), and Chloe Hui (55.88), who combined for 3:49.45. Third went to Cumberlands (3:50.32) with Klouda (57.67), Julia Hnidenko (1:04.16), Mendy De Rooi (56.00), and Brittany Litke (52.49).

Women’s Scores After Day Two

  1. Olivet Nazarene University 191
  2. SCAD Savannah 188
  3. University of the Cumberlands 168
  4. Lindsey Wilson College 119
  5. Keiser University 117
  6. College of Idaho 112.5
  7. Loyola New Orleans 101
  8. Asbury University 74
  9. Indiana Wesleyan University 67
  10. Brenau University 64
  11. WVU-Tech 59
  12. Union College 58.5
  13. Lindenwood Belleville 48
  14. St Ambrose 37
  15. Milligan College 35
  16. Morningside College 28
  17. Bethel University 9
  18. Thomas University 8
  19. Soka University 4
  20. Life University 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.”


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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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