2020 Men’s NAIA Fan Guide: Another Tight Battle Brewing Between Keiser and SCAD

2020 NAIA Men’s Swimming & Diving National Championship

The 64th annual NAIA Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championship will take place from Wednesday, March 4 through Saturday, March 7, 2020. This year, the meet will move to Knoxville, Tennessee after having spent the last four in Columbus, Georgia.

Approximately 29 teams and 214 individual entries qualified for the men’s championships. Defending champion Keiser University (Fort Lauderdale, FL) will field a full roster of 18, while 2019 runner-up Savannah College of Art & Design (Savannah, GA) will bring 17 qualifiers. There will be a number of new teams at the meet this year: Lincoln College (Lincoln, IL), Simpson University (Redding, CA), Sterling College (Sterling, KS), Westmont College (Santa Barbara, CA), and Williams Baptist University (Walnut Ridge, AR).

Keiser returns national champions Lukas Macek (100 breast, 200 breast), Marcel Nagy (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly), Pol Roch (500 free, 400 IM), and Jan Suchan (200 back). The Seahawks, only in their fourth year of existence, won all 5 relays in each of the last two years. SCAD’s national title-winners Zoltan Monori (200 IM) and Gio Zachar (100 back) will look to defend their titles this year, and Joel Thatcher, the meet record-holder in the 500 and 1650 freestyles, has returned from his two-year mission and should help the Bees in their quest to unseat Keiser.

While it’s difficult to seed the meet, since many teams haven’t yet had the chance to swim fully tapered (unlike NCAA swimmers going into their championships), we have tried to predict outcomes based on last year’s results in conjunction with this year’s top times.

Stars

Diving

The College of Idaho’s Nick Carrier is the only diver entered in the men’s meet.

Freestyle

The top entrants in the 50 free all come in with sub-21s. Led by Scott Cain of Midland (20.48), they also include Keiser’s Jared Ingram and SCAD’s Irvin Hoost. Defending champion Nagy is seeded 7th with 21.20. (SCAD’s Zoltan Monori is on the psych sheet but last year he swam the 200 IM and 100/200 free so we did not include him in the 50 free calculations this year.) Ingram tops the list of qualifiers in the 100 free with 45.16). Zoltan Monori (45.17), Lindsey Wilson’s Calvin Coetzee (45.19), and Cain (45.30) are next. Nagy is 21st with 47.38. Coetzee is seeded first in the 200 free (1:38.16), followed by Thatcher (1:38.34), Andrew Clifford (1:40.17) from College of Idaho, and Kristof Monori (1:40.63), Zoltan’s younger brother. Thatcher is the top seed over Coetzee by nearly 2 seconds in the 500 free (4:25.65 to 4:27.47), and by 7 seconds over Kristof Monori in the 1650 (15:53.24 to 16:00.11). Roch (4:34.15/16:28.53) and John McDonald (4:36.10/16:09.30) from Cumberlands are also names to watch in the 500 and the mile.

Backstroke

Defending champions Zachar of SCAD (100 back) and Suchan of Keiser (200 back) are ranked in the top 3 of both the 100 back and 200 back. They come in seeded with 49.29/1:50.58 and 49.64/1:48.42, respectively. Ingram (49.33), Garrett Green (50.65) of Keiser and James de Goede (51.84) of Lindsey Wilson round out the top 5 in the 100. Keiser’s Marti Ranea (1:50.92) and Green (1:52.68) and Asbury’s Clay Bisher (1:52.23) are among the fastest seeded 200 backstrokers.

Breaststroke

Midland’s Tyler Penney comes in with the fastest seed times in the 100 breast (55.37) and 200 breast (2:00.34). Those times are significant improvements over his A-final performances last year of 57.31 and 2:05.00. Triple-defending champion in both distances, Macek of Keiser, is seeded 5th and 4th, with 56.18 and 2:01.80, respectively. Other top-5 seeds in the 100 are Tom Higdon of Simpson (55.55), Paulo Dias Ignacio Jr of West Virginia Tech (55.60), and Levente Sardi of Keiser (56.09). Dias Ignacio Jr and Sardi are joined by SCAD’s Dan Chevere among the top 5 qualifiers for the 200 breast.

Butterfly

It was tricky trying to figure out who might swim in the butterfly events, given the over-entering of the top seeds, but based on last year’s results we expect the top 5 seeds to include Keiser’s Nagy (seeded 14th with 51.07) and SCAD’s Zachar (#1 with 49.03), along with Jack Jackson (49.87) from Loyola New Orleans, Asbury’s Alex Wu (49.98), and Wiktor Perkowski of Union (50.04). In the 200, defending champion Wu (5th with 1:51.14) will be challenged by Miles Kredich (#1 with 1:49.88) and George Harsanyi (1:51.30) of SCAD, and Keiser’s Niklas Nyblom (1:50.34) and Csaba Vekony (1:52.08).

Individual Medley

Keiser’s Ranea (1:50.09) comes in ranked ahead of teammate Macek (1:50.70) and defending champion Zoltan Monori (1:50.88) of SCAD in the 200 IM. Anton Smal from Life University ranks 4th with 1:51.96. In the 400 IM, Ranea sports the fastest seed time of 3:55.70. Defending champion Roch (3:59.28), SCAD’s Harsanyi (4:01.95), Smal (4:03.17), and Haakon Syrrist of Keiser (4:03.20) round out the top 5 seeds.

Team Race

The top teams, scored more-or-less from the psych sheet, are as follows:

  1. Keiser University 753
  2. SCAD Savannah 627
  3. University of the Cumberlands 255
  4. Lindsey Wilson College 244
  5. Midland University 230
  6. College of Idaho 228
  7. Loyola New Orleans 199
  8. Union College 178
  9. Asbury University 174
  10. St Ambrose University 119
  11. West Virginia University of Technology 106
  12. Life University 94
  13. Olivet Nazarene University 84
  14. Morningside College 78
  15. St Andrew University 62

4-DAY SCHEDULE

Wednesday:
800 Freestyle Relay

Thursday:
200 Free Relay
500 Freestyle
200 Individual Medley
50 Freestyle
400 Medley Relay
1 Meter Diving (Women)

Friday:
200 Medley Relay
400 IM
100 Fly
200 Freestyle
100 Breaststroke
100 Backstroke
3-Meter Diving (Women & Men)

Saturday:
1-Meter Diving (Men)
1650 Freestyle
200 Backstroke
100 Freestyle
200 Breaststroke
200 Butterfly
1 Meter Diving (Men)
400 Freestyle Relay

2019 NAIA National Champions

Event   Winner
2 1m Diving Thomas Crawford, Cumberlands 204.20
4 3m Diving N/A
6 800 Free Relay Keiser 6:39.60
8 200 Free Relay Keiser 1:20.97
10 500 Free Pol Roch, Keiser 4:26.30
12 200 IM Zoltan Monori, Zoltan SCAD 1:50.29
14 50 Free Marcel Nagy, Keiser 19.97
16 400 Medley Relay Keiser 3:15.94
18 200 Medley Relay Keiser 1:29.11
20 400 IM Pol Roch, Keiser 3:53.47 *meet record*
22 100 Fly Marcel Nagy, Keiser 48.04
24 200 Free Ante Dany, Lindenwood-Belleville 1:39.85
26 100 Breast Lukas Macek, Keiser 54.57
28 100 Back Gio Zachar, SCAD 48.86
30 1650 Free Niels Engeln, Lindenwood-Belleville 15:30.65
32 200 Back Jan Suchan, Keiser 1:47.18
34 100 Free Marcel Nagy, Keiser 43.92
36 200 Breast Lukas Macek, Keiser 2:00.49
38 200 Fly Alex Wu, Asbury 1:47.89
40 400 Free Relay Keiser 2:59.46

2019 NAIA Nationals Final Results (top 10 men’s teams)

  1. Keiser University 622
  2. SCAD Savannah 599.5
  3. Lindenwood Belleville 300
  4. University of the Cumberlands 284
  5. Loyola New Orleans 249
  6. Union College 213
  7. Lindsey Wilson College 193
  8. Asbury University 190
  9. West Virginia Tech 177.5
  10. Midland University 177

“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 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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