2019 NAIA Women’s Nationals – SCAD Bees Win 2nd Consecutive Team Title

2019 NAIA National Championships – Women’s Meet

Day Four

Women’s 1650 Yard Freestyle – Fastest Heat

  • Meet Record: 16:43.37, 2007, Kathryn Rosberg, Simon Fraser
  1. Karla Islas, Olivet Nazarene – 17:18.54
  2. April O’Gorman, SCAD Savannah – 17:33.38
  3. Marie Geck, Lindenwood-Belleville – 17:37.25
  4. Stefania Sofouli, Keiser – 17:39.99
  5. Abigail Tankersely, SCAD Savannah – 17:44.61
  6. Jamie Haught, Thomas – 18:02.04
  7. Victoria Carta, Union – 18:02.12
  8. Sydney Sansbury, SOKA – 18:03.36

ONU sophomore Karla Islas picked up her second gold medal of the weekend with a 17:18.54 win in the 1650 free. After finishing second in the 500 free, Islas won the 400 IM and the mile to pick up 2/3 of the distance events at 2019 NAIA Nationals. Last year she won the 400 IM but finished second in both the 500 free and 1650 free. Her time this year was almost 8 seconds faster than a year ago. SCAD sophomore April O’Gorman improved by 4.9 seconds over her time from a year ago, moving up from 4th in 2018 to second on the podium this year. Marie Geck of Lindenwood took third in 17:37.25, just ahead of Stefania Sofouli from Keiser, who came into the meet seeded 1st. SCAD freshman Abigail Tankersely dropped 35.8 seconds from her seed time to give the Bees a second top-8 finisher.

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). Carta and Sansbury finished among the top-8 overall.

Women’s 200 Yard Backstroke – Finals

  • Meet Record: 1:56.87, 2017, Amanda Moran, Olivet Nazarene
  1. Christina Klouda, Cumberlands – 2:02.85
  2. Allie Rassenfoss, SCAD Savannah – 2:03.68
  3. Kamryn Gallowich, Keiser – 2:04.17
  4. Lindsay Dowling, Brenau – 2:07.90
  5. Gaja Kristan, Keiser – 2:08.16
  6. Sydney Darnell, Indiana Wesleyan – 2:09.11
  7. Margaret Halloran, Milligan – 2:09.49
  8. Shayna Salzman, SCAD Savannah – 2:11.41

Cumberlands senior Christina Klouda, who has been a 200 back A-finalist four years in a row, finishing as high as 2nd in 2018, earned her first gold medal in the event with a 2:02.85, her best time by half a second. Keiser junior Kamryn Gallowich was out first, turning .16 ahead of Klouda at the 50 wall with 28.77. Klouda evened up at the 100, with both women flipping at 59.6. Klouda pulled ahead over the 3rd 50 and led by half a body length going into the final 50. SCAD freshman Allie Rassenfoss, meanwhile, outsplit Gallowich over the final 50 yard to eke out a second-place finish.

Women’s 100 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • Meet Record: 49.24, 2017, Julie Woody, SCAD
  1. Mendy De Rooi, Cumberlands – 51.45
  2. Spencer Sheridan, SCAD Savannah – 51.57
  3. Jessica Macdonald, Lindsey Wilson – 51.66
  4. Madison Kelly, College of Idaho – 51.73
  5. Jessica Axford, Union – 51.90
  6. Ori Freibach, Keiser – 52.37
  7. Emma Sofie Augustsson, Keiser – 52.52
  8. Katy Smeltzer, Cumberlands – 52.82

Cumberlands sophomore Mendy De Rooi followed national titles in the 500 free on Thursday and the 200 free on Friday with a third win in the 100 free on Saturday. It was a very tight battle in the middle of the pool, though, with the top 5 finishers all touching within less than half a second. Both De Rooi in lane 5 and SCAD freshman Sheridan Spencer, who was next to her in lane 4, took it out in 24.5. 3/10 behind them were College of Idaho’s Madison Kelly and Union sophomore Jessica Axford, who in turn were about 1/10 ahead of Lindsey Wilson junior Jessica Macdonald. Macdonald had the fastest second 50 in the field, coming home in 26.51. That propelled her from 5th at the 50 to 3rd overall. De Rooi pulled ahead of Sheridan, going 51.47 to Sheridan’s 51.57. Both were faster in prelims. Kelly, 3rd in this event a year ago, finished 4th while Axford, who won the 50 free on Thursday and was runner-up in the 200 free yesterday, finished 5th with 51.90.

Women’s 200 Yard Breaststroke – Finals

  • Meet Record: 2:14.90, 1993, Laurette Hakansson, Drury
  1. Andrea Vega, Olivet Nazarene – 2:17.43
  2. Vikte Labanauskaite, Arizona Christian – 2:19.00
  3. Julia Hnidenko, Cumberlands – 2:20.08
  4. Sara Lacusky, SCAD Savannah – 2:20.55
  5. Kirsten Coetzee, Life University – 2:21.82
  6. Payton DeZur, Olivet Nazarene – 2:24.16
  7. Caroline Yannelli, College of Idaho – 2:24.39
  8. Sarah Scargill, SCAD Savannah – 2:26.81

For the second year in a row, ONU’s Andrea Vega swept the breaststroke events at NAIA National Championships. Fittingly, in her senior year, she was also the 2019 200 IM champion. Vega won in 2:17.43 this year, .12 faster than she’d been in 2018. But this time she won by over a body length. Arizona Christian’s Vikte Labanauskaite touched second in 2:19.00, wrapping up her season with a best time by .78. Julia Hnidenko of Cumberlands, who won the bronze in last night’s 100 breast, finished 3rd in 2:20.08. SCAD senior Sara Lacusky, national champion in 2017 and runner-up in 2018, took fourth with 2:20.55.

Women’s 200 Yard Butterfly – Finals

  • Meet Record: 2:00.89, 2015, Christine Tixier, Biola
  1. Lydia Reinhardt, SCAD Savannah – 2:04.23
  2. Anna Herbst, Keiser – 2:07.34
  3. Marie Geck, Lindenwood-Belleville – 2:08.49
  4. Victoria Acosta, Life University – 2:08.68
  5. Alina Geck, Lindenwood-Belleville – 2:08.78
  6. Maggie Davis, Thomas – 2:09.08
  7. Casey Walin, Cumberlands – 2:11.28
  8. Amelie Essman, Lindenwood-Belleville – 2:11.91

SCAD junior Lydia Reinhardt won her third consecutive national title in the 200 fly, this time by a margin of 3.15 seconds. Behind her was a furious battle for the remaining spots on the podium among four freshmen. Keiser’s Anna Herbst touched in 2:07.34 to come in second. She was followed in quick succession by Lindenwood-Belleville’s Marie Geck (2:08.49), Life’s Victoria Acosta (2:08.68), and Lindenwood-Belleville’s Alina Geck (2:08.78). Marie Geck swam in the fastest heat of the mile earlier in the session, where she placed third with a best time. She came into the meet seeded 8th in the 200 fly with 2:11.15, so all in all she had a rather successful day.

Women’s 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Finals

  • Meet Record: 3:23.11, 2015, Oklahoma Baptist University (L Galarza, E Forbes-Milne, A Antonissen, L Keller)
  1. Keiser – 3:29.28
  2. Cumberlands – 3:29.68
  3. SCAD Savannah – 3:29.69
  4. Olivet Nazarene – 3:31.44
  5. College of Idaho – 3:33.70
  6. Asbury – 3:36.55
  7. Indiana Wesleyan – 3:36.58
  8. Loyola New Orleans – 3:37.25

In a thrilling finish to an already-exciting final day at NAIA Nationals, Keiser eked out a win in the 400 free relay to secure their second-place team finish, moving up 3 slots from their 5th-place finish in 2018. Keiser freshmen Augustsson (52.66), Freibach (52.06), and Sofouli (52.47) handed off to junior Gallowich (52.09). The Seahawks touched with 3:29.28, nearly 4 seconds faster than their prelims time. That’s almost 2 seconds faster than their entry time (3:32.21) and it also took down the school record (3:32.19).

Cumberlands edged SCAD by 1/100 to take second place. Burgoon (54.27), Smeltzer (52.14), Klouda (52.41), and De Rooi (50.86) combined for 3:29.68.

SCAD took third with swims from Sheridan (51.80), Salzman (52.86), McGinty (52.67), and Julie Henninger (52.39).

Final Team Scores

Team Final Score vs prelim vs psych
SCAD Savannah 638.5 9.5 2.5
Keiser University 477.5 20.5 -66.5
University of the Cumberlands 392.5 -3.5 2.5
Olivet Nazarene University 306.5 12.5 -39.5
The College of Idaho 242 -1 93
Loyola University New Orleans 181 -20 41
Indiana Wesleyan University 176 -26 -13
Lindsey Wilson College 175 7 -15
Lindenwood University-Belleville 171.5 6.5 2.5
Brenau University 149 -31 -76
Asbury University 111 20 18
Arizona Christian University 107 1 -29
Thomas University 102 2 15
St Ambrose University 98 -6 24
Milligan College 77 -14 8
Life University 68.5 9.5 -19.5
Union College 63 2 -20
Midland University 33 9 1
College of Saint Mary 31 1 -10
Soka University of America 16 4 7
Columbia College 7 -3 5
Morningside College 4 -1 4
The Master’s University 4 2 -2
Bethel University 3 -3 3
Point University 2 0 2
St. Andrews University 2 1 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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Eric Skelly
1 year ago

Thank you Anne for all the great coverage!

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 …

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