2019 NAIA Nationals: SCAD Women, Keiser Men Out Front on Day 1

2019 NAIA National Championships

Day One

The defending champions from the 2018 women’s and men’s nationals led the way on Wednesday in Columbus, Georgia at the 2019 NAIA National Championships. Savannah College of Art and Design jumped out to an early lead in the women’s meet, while Keiser University led the men’s contest.

The first session in Columbus consisted of timed finals of the 800 free relays. 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 Keiser with 32. The Keiser men lead with 40 points; SCAD and ONU trail with 34 and 32 points, respectively.

Day One Results

Women’s 800 Yard Freestyle Relay – Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 7:26.93, 2012, Fresno Pacific (Coffman / Turner / Gjemmestad / Carter)
  1. SCAD Savannah (Spencer Sheridan, Shayna Salzman, Sarah Dostie, Julie Henninger): 7:32.57
  2. Cumberlands (Leah Thomas, Christina Klouda, Katy Smeltzer, Mendy De Rooi): 7:36.36
  3. Keiser (Annamaria Zombai, Ori Freibach, Emma Sofie Augustsson, Stefania Sofouli): 7:39.94

SCAD held their number 1 seeding and won the 800 free relay in 7:32.57, about 2.2 seconds faster than their winning time from 2018. Freshman Spencer Sheridan opened with a 1:51.57, which is 8/10 faster than her seed time in the 200 free individual event. She was followed by seniors Shayna Salzman (1:54.52), Sarah Dostie (1:53.47), and Julie Henninger (1:53.01). The victory marks SCAD’s fourth-consecutive NAIA national title in the event.

University of the Cumberlands touched second with 7:36.36, a 10.6-second improvement from their seed time. The Patriots’ quartet consisted of freshman Leah Thomas, seniors Christina Klouda and Katy Smeltzer, and sophomore Mendy De Rooi, who clocked a 1:49.53 anchor. Keiser junior Annamaria Zombai and freshmen Ori Freibach, Emma Sofie Augustsson, and Stefania Sofouli rounded out the podium with a third-place finish of 7:39.94.

The College of Idaho dropped 16 seconds and Loyola New Orleans dropped 15; both made it into the top-8. Midland improved 15.7 from their seed time to finish 15th, while Soka took 14.7 off their seed time to place 16th. St. Ambrose went 26 seconds faster than their entry time but fell .11 short of scoring in 16th place.

Other big performances came from Milligan (-17), Tabor (-25.5), and Arizona Christian (-22).

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)
  1. Keiser (Marcel Nagy, Csaba Vekony, Konstantin Byshnev, Pol Roch): 6:39.60
  2. SCAD Savannah (Zoltan Monori, Gergely Harsanyi, Miles Kredich, Gergo Zachar): 6:43.32
  3. Olivet Nazarene (Iran Cavalcante-Almeida, Xavier Bordes Adell, Erik Firganek, Seth Cripe): 6:48.75

Defending team champion Keiser scored the first win of the meet with a 6:39.60 in the 800 free relay. That’s an improvement of 2.8 seconds off their 2018 performance which landed them a silver medal behind Olivet Nazarene. Junior Marcel Nagy (1:38.70), sophomore Csaba Vekony (1:41.68), senior Konstantin Byshnev (1:41.40), and freshman Pol Roch (1:37.82) contributed to the win. The Seahawks dropped 14.6 seconds to get the win.

SCAD placed second in 6:43.32 with the same quartet that had taken 3rd last year: sophomores Zoltan Monori (1:40.04), George Harsanyi (1:40.87), Miles Kredich (1:40.37), and Gergo Zachar (1:42.04).

Olivet Nazarene University, who won this event a year ago, came in 3rd in 6:48.75 behind sophomore Iran Cavalcante-Almeida, junior Xavier Bordes Adell, freshman Erik Firganek, and junior Seth Cripe.

Loyola New Orleans jumped into the top-8 with a 13.6-second drop from their seed time. West Virginia Tech improved by 13.7 to finish 10th, while St. Ambrose took 10.6 seconds off their entry time for 12th. Milligan improved by 22 seconds and scored at 16th place.

Women’s Team Scores – Day 1

  1. SCAD Savannah – 40
  2. University of the Cumberlands – 34
  3. Keiser University – 32
  4. Olivet Nazarene University – 30
  5. The College of Idaho – 28
  6. Loyola University New Orleans – 26
  7. Lindsey Wilson College – 24
  8. Indiana Wesleyan University – 22
  9. Asbury University – 18
  10. Lindenwood University-Belleville – 14
  11. Brenau University – 12
  12. Thomas University – 10
  13. College of Saint Mary – 8
  14. Life University – 6
  15. Midland University – 4
  16. Soka University of America – 2

Men’s Team Scores – Day 1

  1. Keiser University – 40
  2. SCAD Savannah – 34
  3. Olivet Nazarene University – 32
  4. Lindenwood University-Belleville – 30
  5. Loyola University New Orleans – 28
  6. Union College – 26
  7. University of the Cumberlands – 24
  8. Lindsey Wilson College – 22
  9. Thomas University – 18
  10. West Virginia University – Tech – 14
  11. The College of Idaho – 12
  12. St Ambrose University – 10
  13. Asbury University – 8
  14. Midland University – 6
  15. Life University – 4
  16. Milligan College – 2


Leave a Reply

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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 …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!