2022 NAIA National Championships: Day 3 Finals Recap

2022 NAIA National Swimming and Diving Championships

Back for finals and it’s time to see how the morning strategies played out. Despite a fair number of scratches this morning, no one appears to have abandoned their finals spot – even those swimmers taking on some challenging doubles tonight.

There are five individual events and a relay, which means there are a lot of points to be had. Plenty of opportunity for teams to shuffle the standing and shake up the tallies. And, if you’re into record watches, the best bet tonight will be in the men’s 100 breaststroke, where top seed Emerson Zaplatar was just a half-second off of the mark this morning. There will be a lot of moving pieces tonight and all of them will be moving fast.


  • NAIA Record: 1:41.40 – Fresno Pacific (2012)
  • 2020 Champions: 1:43.06 – Keiser


  1. Keiser – 1:44.65
  2. Cumberlands – 1:46.58
  3. Olivet Nazarene – 1:46.77

The women from Idaho took the first heat on some strong back half contributions, including a speedy 23.53 freestyle leg from senior Maya Murphy. Their time of 1:51.91 doesn’t advance them into the points based on the psych sheet, but there’s always a possibility. Heat two proved that possibility true as Idaho and Life University moved up the ranks into the top sixteen. At the front of heat two was a 1:48.79 from the St. Thomas women, which bodes well for them. Sterling College also dipped below 1:50, posting a time of 1:49.89 to claim second in the heat.

The final heat began with a duel that gave us a preview of the 100 back as Maaike Broersman and Maria Basto blasted off 26-mids to give Lindsey Wilson and Cumberlands an early advantage. Ori Freibach shut down the field with an unmatched 28.70 breaststroke leg, however, which gave Keiser the needed boost to carry the team to victory with a final time of 1:44.65. Lindsey Wilson fell to fourth as Allison Pearson propelled Olivet Nazarene into third, posting a 23.70 anchor split that just missed running down Rebecca Loftus of Cumberlands.


  • NAIA Record: 1:26.83 – Oklahoma Baptist (2014)
  • 2020 Champions: 1:28.66 – SCAD


  1. Keiser – 1.27.42
  2. Thomas – 1:29.26
  3. Milligan – 1:32.01

Williams Baptist University’s time of 1:34.84 in the first heat of the men’s relay was good enough to win and ranks them at eleventh based on the psych sheet. The top time in heat two went to Simpson as the quartet combined for a 1:33.77 to finish almost a second ahead of the competition. Midland took second place, followed by Campbellsville.

Keiser and St. Thomas took the final heat out quickly and built leads with solid splits throughout. Keiser’s time of 1:27.42 was within a second of the meet record and St. Thomas’s 1:29.26 was almost three seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Third place came down to the wire, though, as Milligan, Olivet Nazarene, and Cumberlands battled back and forth until Milligan got a hand on the wall first, with a time of 1:32.01.


  • NAIA Record: 4:24.03 – Laurette Hakansson, Drury (1993)
  • 2020 Champion: 4:26.80 – Karla Islas, Olivet Nazarene


  1. Marine Lecomte (Keiser) – 4:27.97
  2. Ella Chaisson (Westmont) – 4:31.36
  3. Alexandra Giourtzidou (Keiser) – 4:33.77

Paula Ronda Bou and Ella Sackett squared off in the B Final but Ronda Bou’s late push on the final 50 proved the deciding factor as she finished with a 4:38.47 to Sackett’s 4:38.59. MIlligan’s Emma Rae Phillips led early but fell slightly behind during the breaststroke leg and couldn’t make up the ground, finishing third with a time of 4:41.83.

Top seed Marine Lecomte charged ahead of the field with a strong backstroke leg and left little doubt who the champion was, clocking a 4:27 97 for the win. Ella Chaisson turned in a 4:31 for second place. Alexandra Giourtzidu claimed third, despite an intense effort from Allison Pearson, who came home almost three full seconds quicker on the freestyle leg.

MEN’S 400 IM

  • NAIA Record: 3:52.02 – Pol Roch, Keiser (2020)
  • 2020 Champion: 3:52.02 – Pol Roch, Keiser


  1. Stephen Gilbert (Milligan) – 3:51.08
  2. Marti Ranea Vila (Keiser) – 3:54.09
  3. Alex Kusik (Keiser) – 3:56.69

Maik–Sebastian Rieffenstahl won the B final in a time of 4:06.89, just ahead of three 4:07s posted by Kaleb Harriott, Jaremi Aubin, and Reece Kincaid. Harriott and Aubin swam to a tie after trading places in the heat several times. Their time of 4:07.41 was just enough to outpace Kincaid’s fourth place effort of 4:07.61.

On to the A final and that didn’t take very long. Three minutes, fifty–one point zero eight seconds, to be exact. That’s all it took for top seed Stephen Gilbert to claim the title and set a new NAIA national record in the event. Gilbert took the event out fast, leading off with a 51.72 butterfly split followed up with a 57.54 backstroke to build a nice cushion of almost four seconds heading into breaststroke, where he lost a little ground before charging home in a 54.65, the fastest closing speed in the pack.

Marti Ranea Vila took second in the event with a 3:54.09, followed by teammate Alex Kusik, who turned in a 3:56.69. Pol Roch, who set the previous record at the 2020 National Championships, finished fourth here today.


  • NAIA Record: 53.70 – Lisa Tixier, Biola (2017)
  • 2020 Champion: 53.99 – Mendy De Rooi, Cumberlands


  1. Sydney Schmidt (Sterling) – 55.00
  2. Noelia Garzon (Keiser) – 56.29
  3. Eva Garraux (Arizona Christian) – 56.90

The B final of the women’s butterfly was hotly contested. Greta Gonzalez ended up chasing down Anna Cook to take first place with a 57.85 to Cook’s 57.87. Jenna Copes actually came home faster but finished with a 57.99 for third.

The A final was a bit clearer as top seed Sydney Schmidt claimed first place with a 55.00. Noelia Garcia, who had just finished seventh in the 400 IM, turned in a second-place effort here in 46.29. Third place went to Eva Garraux whose 56.90 was just enough to out-touch Emma McMurray.


  • NAIA Record: 46.12 – Daniel Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist (2015)
  • 2020 Champion: 48.09 – Marcel Nagy, Keiser


  1. Alberto Garcia (Keiser) – 47.51
  2. (tie) Gergo Zachar (Keiser) / Liam Henry (St. Thomas) – 49.02

The B final of the men’s fly was an exciting race. Szymon Gilzynski broke 50 seconds and posted a 49.54. The remaining field was separated by 0.23, with Martin Herion (50.61) and Siaka Weidenbaum (50.65) taking second and third.

Alberto Garcia won the A final in convincing fashion, finishing in 47.51, a second and a half ahead of the field. Second place was shared by Liam Henry and Gergo Zachar, who swam to a tie at 49.02.


  • NAIA Record: 1:49.58 – Alex Peters, Concordia (2011)
  • 2020 Champion: 1:52.04 – Spencer Sheridan, SCAD


  1. Spencer Sheridan (SCAD) – 1:52.91
  2. Stefania Sofouli (Keiser) – 1:53.28
  3. Hanne te Velthuis (Cumberlands) – 1:53.58

Sloan Sizemore may have fallen out of the A final this morning, but she posted a winning time of 1:53.77 here in the B final, tonight. She was trailed by Danai Sofoulis and Mari Alvsaker, who posted 1:54.04 and 1:55.17, respectively.

In the A final, SCAD’s Spencer Sheridan reclaimed the top time with a 1:52.91. Stefania Sofouli, Hanne te Velthuis, and Maggie Blazo finished in a close group for second, third, and fourth place. Top seed Timea Aspegren fell to fifth with a 1:53.90.


  • NAIA Record: 1:34.89 – Joel Ax, SCAD (2017)
  • 2020 Champion: 1:37.00 – Calvin Coetzee, Lindsey Wilson


  1. Joel Thatcher (SCAD) – 1:36.09
  2. Ruben Gonzalez De Oliveira (Cumberlands) – 1:39.42
  3. Andre Bazzana (Milligan) – 1:40.07

The B final of the men’s 200 Free was claimed by Fabio Martin Rojo in a time of 1:40.95. Max Miller and JT Sears followed with second- and third-place showings.

Joel Thatcher cruised to another victory with a 1:36.09 swim that certainly looked more casual than it was. Ruben Gonzalez De Oliveira posted a second-place time of 1:39.42, followed by Andre Bazzana.

At the 2020 NAIA national championships, the 200 free was the only event Thatcher lost. With the 500 and 200 wins under his belt here and a top seed in the 1650, he looks like a sure bet for a sweep of the longer-distance freestyle events.


  • NAIA Record: 1:02.09 – Catherine Duquet, SCAD (2012)
  • 2020 Champions: 1:03.24 – Ori Freibach, Keiser


  1. Nikoline Biltoft-Jensen (Keiser) – 1:02.92
  2. Allison Pearson (Olivet Nazarene) – 1:03.40
  3. Lily Robinson (Keiser) – 1:03.71

Isabella Song earned a win in the B final for women’s 100 breaststroke with a 1:05.72. Milligan’s Kaylee Williams and Shawnee State’s Kenzie Pennington dueled for second place, with Williams touching first in 1:06.60.

For the A final, top seed Nikoline Biltoft-Jensen cracked 1:03 to post a winning time of 1:02.92. Allison Pearson took second place with a 1:03.40, followed by Lily Robinson, with a 1:03.71.


  • NAIA Record: 53.06 – Bryan Haile, Cal Baptist (2009)
  • 2020 Champions: 54.00 – Paulo Dias Ignatio, Jr, WVU–Tech


  1. Emerson Zaplatar (Keiser) – 53.38
  2. Inigo Marina (St. Thomas) – 53.75
  3. Niklas Nyblom (Keiser) – 55.36

West Virginia Tech’s Donat Fabian took an early lead in the B final and held on to take the win with a 55.74. Second place went to Zander Livingston of Midland who outpaced SCAD’s Kenneth Chism on the back 50 to hit home in a 56.40.

Emerson Zaplatar missed the NAIA record, but did lower his time from this morning to a speedy 53.38, more than good enough for the championship title. Joining him below 54 seconds was Inigo Marina, who clocked a 53.75 to take second. Next on the podium was Niklas Nyblom with a 55.36.


  • NAIA Record: 52.76 – Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific (2012)
  • 2020 Champions: 56.80 – Emma Sophie Augustsson, Keiser


  1. Maaike Broersma (Lindsey Wilson) – 54.80
  2. Maria Basto (Cumberlands) – 56.00
  3. Olivia Cummins (Indiana Wesleyan) – 57.00

Maggie Blazo took the early lead of the B final, but Madison Petricevic put together a stronger finishing split to take the win in 58.62. Blazo’s 58.72 was good enough for second, though, ahead of Lily Harrell’s 59.04.

The A final went to Maaike Broersma, the top seed, as she dipped down below 55 seconds and posted a swift 54.80. Maria Basto put together another nice swim, posting a 56 flat to claim second. Meanwhile, Olivia Cummins held off a charging Emma Sofie Augustsson to earn third place honors.


  • NAIA Record: 46.28 – Daniel Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist (2014)
  • 2020 Champions: 48.56 – Gio Zachar, SCAD


  1. Gergo Zachar (Keiser) – 48.82
  2. Alex Marrero (St. Thomas) – 49.05
  3. Fynn Kunze (Keiser) – 49.89

The trio of James de Goede, Ayden Dusek, and Mikhi Hassim all touched the wall in what looked like the same time, but it was de Goede who took home the B final crown with a 51.60 to Dusek’s 51.65 and Hassim’s 51.66.

Gergo Zachar came from behind to drop down to a time of 48.82 and wrest the title out of Alex Marrero’s grasp. Marrero, who took the race out faster than anyone else, ended up with a second-place showing in a time of 49.05. Joining them on the podium and under 50 seconds was Fynn Kunze, who finished in 49.89 for third.

It was Zachar’s fourth consecutive national title in this event; the first three he achieved while swimming for SCAD in 2018, 2019, and 2020.


  • NAIA Record: 444.81 – Cynthia Miller, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1987)
  • 2020 Champions: 256.20 – Andrea Adam, Saint Ambrose


  1. Andrea Adam (Saint Ambrose) – 226.35
  2. Carla Gutierrez Anaya (Lincoln) – 206.00
  3. Emma Lehmkuhl (Cumberlands) – 201.05

Andrea Adam of St. Ambrose won the 3-meter diving event for a fourth consecutive time. She was crowned national champion in 2018, 2019, and 2020 in this event, as well.

Women’s Standings – Day 3

  1. Keiser University 234
  2. Savannah College of Art and De 217
  3. Olivet Nazarene University 161
  4. University of the Cumberlands 150
  5. Milligan University 110
  6. Lindsey Wilson College 93
  7. Midland University 87
  8. College of Idaho 59
  9. Westmont College 57
  10. Indiana Wesleyan University 49
  11. Saint Ambrose University 48
  12. Bethel University (Indiana) 47
  13. Loyola University New Orleans 36
  14. Arizona Christian University 30
  15. Thomas University 27
  16. Lincoln College 20 / University of Jamestown 20
  17. Brenau University 19
  18. The Master’s University 18
  19. Sterling College 17
  20. Life University 12
  21. University of Saint Mary 2

Men’s Standings – Day 3

  1. Keiser University 253
  2. University of the Cumberlands 161
  3. Savannah College of Art and Design 153
  4. Milligan University 125
  5. Thomas University 123
  6. Lindsey Wilson College 96
  7. Saint Ambrose University 71 / Midland University 71
  8. Olivet Nazarene University 67
  9. Simpson University 63
  10. Morningside University 51
  11. Campbellsville University 37
  12. West Virginia Institute of Tec 35
  13. Thomas University 22 / The Master’s University 22
  14. Williams Baptist University 20
  15. Bethel University (Indiana) 10
  16. Bethel University 7
  17. University of Saint Mary 2 / Arizona Christian University 2
  18. Life University 1

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