2019 NAIA Women’s Nationals – Day 4 Prelims Recap

2019 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet

Day Four

Women’s 200 Yard Backstroke – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 1:56.87, 2017, Amanda Moran, Olivet Nazarene
  1. Kamryn Gallowich, Keiser – 2:04.11
  2. Christina Klouda, Cumberlands – 2:05.26
  3. Allie Rassenfoss, SCAD – 2:07.28
  4. Gaja Kristan, Keiser – 2:07.62
  5. Lindsay Dowling, Brenau – 2:08.01
  6. Margaret Halloran, Milligan – 2:08.75
  7. Shayna Salzman, SCAD – 2:08.77
  8. Sydney Darneyy, Indiana Wesleyan – 2:09.72

Second-seeded Kamryn Gallowich of Keiser put up the morning’s leading time in the 200 back, going 2:04.11 for a PB by .26. Cumberlands senior Christina Klouda, 2018’s runner-up and the top seed coming into the meet with a seed time of 2:03.25, earned lane 5 for tonight’s final with 2:05.26. SCAD freshman Allie Rassenfoss held on to her #3 seeding with a 2:07.28, while Keiser freshman Gaja Kristan went 2:07.62 for the 4th spot.

SCAD senior Shayna Salzman dropped 3.7 seconds from her entry time to make the A final. She was 4th in this event a year ago. Maggie Halloran of Milligan also had a nice drop to make finals; she improved her seed time by 1.5 seconds.

Women’s 100 Yard Freestyle – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 49.24, 2017, Julie Woody, SCAD
  1. Spencer Sheridan, SCAD – 51.29
  2. Mendy De Rooi, Cumberlands – 51.40
  3. Madison Kelly, College of Idaho – 51.74
  4. Jessica Macdonald, Lindsey Wilson – 52.10
  5. Ori Freibach, Keiser – 52.73
  6. Katy Smeltzer, Cumberlands – 52.76
  7. Emma Sofie Augustsson, Keiser – 52.81
  8. Jessica Axford, Union – 52.94

SCAD freshman Spencer Sheridan, who won the 200 free last night, led the morning heats in the 100 free with 51.29. Cumberlands sophomore Mendy De Rooi dropped .23 from her seed time to qualify second in 51.40. De Rooi won the 500 free on Thursday and followed with a victory in the 100 fly on Friday; she is looking to sweep her third event so this should be one of the more exciting events on tonight’s schedule.

College of Idaho’s Madison Kelly, who has finished third in this event in each of the last two years, dropped 1.7 seconds from her entry time to qualify 3rd in 51.74.

Union sophomore Jessica Axford, who won the 50 free on Thursday and was runner-up in the 200 free on Friday, barely squeeked into the A final, qualifying 8th with 52.94, nearly 1.2 seconds off her entry time.

Women’s 200 Yard Breaststroke – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 2:14.90, 1993, Laurette Hakansson, Drury
  1. Andrea Vega, Olivet Nazarene – 2:20.58
  2. Sara Lacusky, SCAD – 2:20.78
  3. Vikte Labanauskaite, Arizona Christian – 2:21.08
  4. Payton DeZur, Olivet Nazarene – 2:22.52
  5. Julia Hnidenko, Cumberlands – 2:22.75
  6. Caroline Yannelli, College of Idaho – 2:22.81
  7. Kirsten Coetzee, Life University – 2:23.59
  8. Sarah Scargill, SCAD – 2:25.28

Defending champion and ONU senior Andrea Vega led the morning qualifiers in the breaststroke, going 2:20.58. SCAD’s Sara Lacusky, who won in 2017 and was runner-up to Vega in 2018, took 1.44 off her seed time to qualify second with 2:20.78. Arizona Christian’s Vikte Labanauskaite, who was entered with the #1 seed time of 2:19.78 and swam 2:21.08 in prelims, will be in lane 3 tonight battling Vega and Lacusky who have gone 1-2 in this event in each of the last 2 years.

Julia Hnidenko of Cumberlands, who won the bronze in last night’s 100 breast final and finished third in this event a year ago, qualified for the A final, as did College of Idaho’s Caroline Yannelli, 4th here last year.

The most dramatic morning swim came from ONU freshman Payton DeZur. She dropped 6.05 seconds from her entry time to qualify 4th with 2:22.52.

Women’s 200 Yard Butterfly – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 2:00.89, 2015, Christine Tixier, Biola
  1. Lydia Reinhardt, SCAD – 2:05.30
  2. Marie Geck, Lindenwood-Belleville – 2:07.76
  3. Maggie Davis, Thomas – 2:08.84
  4. Anna Herbst, Keiser – 2:09.51
  5. Alina Geck, Lindenwood-Belleville – 2:10.85
  6. Amelie Essman, Lindenwood-Belleville – 2:11.35
  7. Casey Walin, Cumberlands – 2:11.50
  8. Victoria Acosta, Life University – 2:11.57

Once upon a time the 200 fly final was a playground for SCAD. The Bees had 5 A-finalists in 2016, 4 in 2017, and 3 in 2018. Now, the 200 fly final is a showcase for Lindenwood-Belleville talent. To be fair, the Lynx were already a force in 2018, matching SCAD with 3 A-finalists. But this year they stand out as the only team with multiple finalists.

Five of the 2019 top-8 contested the championship final last year. Lydia Reinhardt, a junior from SCAD, is the double-defending champion and she went 2:05.30 to lead the qualifiers by over 2.4 seconds. Lindenwood sophomore Marie Geck, 4th in 2018, qualified second in 2:07.76, a 3.4-second improvement from her seed time. Her sister Alina Geck, 5th last year, qualified 5th with 2:10.85. Sophomore Maggie Davis from Thomas (although she swam for Brenau last year when she placed 7th) improved her seed time by 1.4 to qualify 3rd. And Lindenwood’s Amelie Essman, 8th last year, made the cut again this year with 2:11.35.

Newcomers include Keiser freshman Anna Herbst, Cumberlands junior Casey Walin, and Life freshman Victoria Acosta.

Women’s 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 3:23.11, 2015, Oklahoma Baptist University (L Galarza, E Forbes-Milne, A Antonissen, L Keller)
  1. SCAD – 3:32.38
  2. Keiser – 3:33.24
  3. Indiana Wesleyan – 3:35.65
  4. Loyola New Orleans – 3:35.95
  5. Olivet Nazarene – 3:36.00
  6. Cumberlands – 3:36.10
  7. College of Idaho – 3:36.99
  8. Asbury – 3:37.88

SCAD and Keiser, seeded with the two fastest times, held their seedings after morning heats and will occupy the middle lanes tonight. SCAD swam .84 slower than their seed time, using the quartet of Kaylen Hou (53.82), Sarah Dostie (53.41), Salzman (52.65), and Julie Henninger (52.50). Presumably they will use Spencer, the top seed heading into tonight’s 100 free final, in tonight’s relay configuration. Seniors Henninger and Dostie, as well as freshman Anna Kate McGinty, are all swimming in the 100 free B final tonight.

Keiser used Lydia Kontinopoulou (55.87), Gallowich (51.98), Stefanie Sofouli (52.89), and Augustsson (52.50) this morning. Freshmen Ori Freibach and Augustsson are both A-finalists in the 100 free tonight, while junior Annamaria Zombai is swimming in the B final.

There were a number of significant time drops in prelims that vaulted several teams into the top-8. The College of Idaho (Maya Murphy, Reina Watkins, Yannelli, and Kelly) took 7.24 seconds off their seed time to qualify 7th. ONU improved their seed time by 4.65, while Loyola dropped 4.5. Indiana Wesleyan went 3.65 seconds faster than their seed, and Asbury improved by 2.96.

Women’s 1650 Yard Freestyle – Slower Heats

  • Meet Record: 16:43.37, 2007, Kathryn Rosberg, Simon Fraser

The slower heats of the women’s mile produced several big swims, including from Union freshman Victoria Carta (-22.6 seconds), Soka freshman Sydney Sansbury (-23.13 seconds), and ONU sophomore Guadalupe Vega (-24.64 seconds).

  1. Victoria Carta, Union – 18:02.12
  2. Sydney Sansbury, SOKA – 18:03.36
  3. Guadalupe Vega, Olivet Nazarene – 18:07.80
  4. Laurel Rowe, College of Idaho – 18:30.45
  5. Emily Wood, Lindsey Wilson – 18:33.70
  6. Natalie Vasilakos, Indiana Wesleyan – 18:38.91
  7. Emma Phillips, Lindsey Wilson – 18:49.13
  8. Casey Walin, Cumberlands – 18:51.13
  9. Alexa Milholland, Indiana Wesleyan – 18:59.09
  10. Kodi Cabral, Keiser – 19:18.61
  11. Maci Montgomery, Milligan – 19:27.72
  12. Grace Nordquist, Morningside – 19:31.86
  13. Alisia Woodward, Morningside – 20:01.12
  14. Megan Cutting, St. Mary – 20:13.73


“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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