2018 NAIA Women’s National Championships – SCAD Leapfrogs into Lead on Day 3

2018 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet

After loading up the 200 free championship final with 5 Bees, the Savannah College of Art and Design women’s swimming and diving team took over the lead from Olivet Nazarene on Friday. While the Tigers were able to make up some of the deficit with strong swimming performances and one diver, SCAD didn’t make any mistakes and look poised to take home their second national title in three years on Saturday.

Women’s 200 Yard Medley Relay – Final

  • Meet Record: 1:41.40, 2012, Fresno Pacific, Fresno Pacific (Coffman/Malthaner/Swanson/Brown)
  1. Olivet Nazarene 1:43.75
  2. SCAD 1:45.14
  3. Lindsey Wilson 1:47.96

Olivet Nazarene senior Amanda Moran (26.42), junior Andrea Vega (28.60), senior Kara DeLong (25.57), and sophomore Leanne Latocha (23.16) combined to win the medley relay in 1:43.75. The Tigers got out to an early lead and never let up, with only SCAD on their heels.

SCAD finished second in 1:45.14 with Julie Henninger (26.94), Sara Lacusky (28.90), Cadie Crow (25.32), and Chloe Hui (23.98). Lindsey Wilson (Bailey Seitz, Jessica Macdonald, Laura Stephenson, and Alexis Kessler) touched out Cumberland, Keiser, and College of Idaho over the final 50 yards to earn the bronze medal.

Women’s 400 Yard Individual Medley – Final

  • Meet Record: 4:24.03, 1993, Laurette Hakansson, Drury
  1. Karla Islas, Olivet Nazarene 4:24.42
  2. Rebecca Justus, SCAD 4:25.98
  3. Christina Klouda, Cumberlands 4:28.96

ONU freshman Karla Islas broke her school’s record en route to winning the first individual event of the evening. Islas trailed SCAD’s Rebecca Justus by a few tenths after the butterfly but had a strong backstroke leg to move ahead of Justus by nearly 3 body lengths at the halfway mark. Meanwhile, Christina Klouda of Cumberlands had moved to the front with an even stronger backstroke. Islas took back over the lead with the breaststroke, but Justus was inching up on her. Justus passed Klouda on the breast and tried to run down Islas with her freestyle, moving to within a half body length of the leader. Islas notched it up a gear over the final 50 yards and wound up all alone at the end. Islas got the win in 4:24.42, a new ONU program record. Justus took second with 4:25.98, while Klouda hung on to take third in 4:28.96.

Loyola’s Paige Carter (4:31.29), Keiser’s Annamaria Zombai (4:35.38), Nikoletta Alvanou of Brenau (4:36.46), Lindenwood’s Alina Geck (4:36.75), and Kiana Molina of Thomas (4:44.10) rounded out the final.

Women’s 100 Yard Butterfly – Final

  • Meet Record: 53.70, 2017, Lisa Tixier, Biola
  1. Alexis Kessler, Lindsey Wilson 56.07
  2. Mendy De Rooi, Cumberlands 56.27
  3. Amanda Moran, Olivet Nazarene 56.53

Lindsey Wilson’s Alexis Kessler won the 100 fly in a tight battle down the stretch. At the end she touched out Cumberlands freshman Mendy De Rooi, 56.07 to 56.27 for the win. 2017 runner-up Amanda Moran of ONU, swimming in lane 4, nearly even-split her race; last at the 50 wall, she passed everyone but the two leaders over the second half to finish third with 56.53.

SCAD sophomore Lydia Reinhardt touched fourth in 56.68. Her teammate, senior Cadie Crow, was fifth with 57.09. Madison Kelly from College of Idaho (57.50), ONU’s Kara DeLong (58.10), and Lindenwood-Belleville’s Amelie Essman (58.21) placed 6th through 8th.

Women’s 200 Yard Freestyle – Final

  • Meet Record: 1:49.58, 2011, Alex Peters, Concordia
  1. Jessica Axford, Union College 1:53.27
  2. Julie Henninger, SCAD 1:53.30
  3. Sarah Dostie, SCAD 1:53.40

The most exciting race of the night was the women’s 200 free, in which the top six swimmers all came in to touch at the same time. Morningside senior Suzanna Gonzalez, who had won the 500 free on Thursday, led through the first 150. The field began to tighten up over the back half, though, and it was anyone’s race over the last 50 yards. Union College freshman Jessica Axford, who led off the 800 free relay on Wednesday night in 1:58.89 but went 1:53.92 to qualify second in prelims this morning, had moved up to second at the 150. She slid past Gonzalez over the final 50 and held off a hard-charging Julie Henninger from SCAD to get the win with 1:53.27. Henninger was second in 1:53.30, having come home in 28.98. SCAD junior Sarah Dostie got her hand to the wall third, out-touching Gonzalez, 1:53.40 to 1:53.42.

Lindsey Wilson sophomore Jessica Macdonald also came home with a sub-29 and finished fifth in 1:53.57, stopping the clock just .07 ahead of SCAD junior Shayna Salzman (1:53.64). SCAD freshmen Chloe Hui (1:54.52) and April O’Gorman (1:54.82) rounded out the field.

Women’s 100 Yard Breaststroke – Final

  • Meet Record: 1:02.09, 2012, Catherine Duquet, SCAD
  1. Andrea Vega, JR Olivet Nazarene 1:02.99
  2. Sara Lacusky, JR SCAD 1:03.66
  3. Julia Hnidenko, Cumberlands 1:04.91

ONU junior Andrea Vega avenged her 2017 second-place finish to SCAD junior Sara Lacusky by winning 1:02.99 to 1:03.66 a year later. Vega was out first at the half and never took her foot off the accelerator. Lacusky trailed by 7/10 after the first 50, and although she came home in a 33.4 like Vega, it wasn’t enough to make up the difference. Julia Hnidenko (1:04.91) of Cumberlands reached to the wall third ahead of Kendra Monnin from WVU-Tech (1:05.66).

SCAD’s Alle Ragland (1:06.02), College of Idaho’s Caroline Yannelli (1:06.31), Asbury’s Hannah Springer (1:06.36), and Emily Rozar of SCAD (1:06.72) came in all bunched up for fifth through eighth places.

Women’s 100 Yard Backstroke – Final

  • Meet Record: 52.76, 2012, Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific
  1. Amanda Moran, Olivet Nazarene 57.06
  2. Lindsay Dowling, Brenau 57.57
  3. Julie Henninger, SCAD 57.96

Double-defending champion Amanda Moran of ONU made it back-to-back-to-back 100 back titles with a 57.06 win on Friday night. Brenau junior Lindsay Dowling was second from lane 3, touching in 57.57. SCAD junior Julie Henninger came in third with 47.96.

Loyola freshman Kamy Alexander finished fourth in 58.32, about 2/10 off her morning time. Milligan freshman Margaret Halloran took fifth in 58.72, a mere .05 ahead of ONU senior Kara DeLong. Chelsea Merfol of Lindenwood (58.86) and Sara Farmer of Milligan (59.07) rounded out the A final.

Women’s 3 Meter Diving – Final

  • Meet Record: 444.81, 1987, Cynthia Miller, Wisconson-Milwaukee
  1. Andrea Adam, St Ambrose 225.85
  2. Taylor Madison, St Ambrose 184.75
  3. Vanessa VanOost, Olivet Nazarene 184.55

The divers from St. Ambrose held onto their lead from prelims to sweep the top two spots in 3-meter diving. Andrea Adam, who also won 1-meter diving on Thursday, was the top diver with 225.85 over teammate Taylor Madison’s 184.75. Vanessa VanOost of ONU came within .20 of second place, scoring 184.55 for third.

Women’s Scores After Day Three

  1. SCAD Savannah 412
  2. Olivet Nazarene University 378
  3. University of the Cumberlands 269
  4. Lindsey Wilson College 187
  5. Keiser University 180
  6. College of Idaho 171.5
  7. Loyola New Orleans 169
  8. Brenau University 126
  9. Asbury University 125
  10. Lindenwood Belleville 104
  11. Union College 93.5
  12. Indiana Wesleyan University 88 / WVU-Tech 88
  13. St Ambrose 74
  14. Milligan College 64
  15. Morningside College 43
  16. Thomas University 21
  17. Life University 19
  18. Bethel University 9
  19. Soka University 4
  20. Columbia College 3


“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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Southern Swim Mom
5 years ago

SCAD women are doing very well. Is there coverage for the men as well?

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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