2024 NAIA National Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2024 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships

Day 4

Women’s 1650 Yard Freestyle – Fastest Heat

  • Meet Record: 16:43.37 – Kathryn Rosberg (2007)

Top 8:

  1. Riley Renaud, Milligan – 17:02.33
  2. Rachel Bradley, Keiser – 17:06.85
  3. Sky Marjamaa, SCAD – 17:30.25
  4. Haley Vanbuskirk, SCAD – 17:32.91
  5. Sophie Urias, St Thomas – 17:45.08
  6. Erica Samuel, Indiana Wesleyan – 17:48.34
  7. Anna Van DeKeere, Thomas – 17:50.63
  8. Josefina Gonzalez, Bethel (IN) – 17:51.52

After placing 2nd in the 500 free and 10th in the 200 free, Milligan’s Riley Renaud won the 1650 free, successfully defending her 2023 title with 17:02.33. She was 19.7 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago when she won with 17:21.03.

Keiser’s Rachel Bradley was runner-up, as she was last year. She, too, was faster, clocking a 17:06.85 this time versus 17:22.29 in 2023.

Two more familiar faces joined Renaud and Bradley on steps 3 and 4 of the podium, although in reverse order from last year. SCAD’s Sky Marjamaa (17:30.25) and Haley Vanbuskirk (17:32.91) were fourth and third, respectively, in 2023.

Anna Van DeKeere of Thomas and Bethel’s Josefina Gonzales made the podium from the earlier heats.

Men’s 1650 Yard Freestyle – Fastest Heat

  • Meet Record: 15:18.39 – Joel Thatcher, SCAD (2017)

Top 8:

  1. Fabio Martin Rojo, Lindsey Wilson – 15:43.95
  2. Mate Dort, Life – 15:44.02
  3. Wyatt Smith, SCAD – 16:02.61
  4. Peter Gilbert, Milligan – 16:03.91
  5. JD Torres, Master’s – 16:06.48
  6. Ethan Butler, Lindsey Wilson – 16:09.63
  7. Mason Beall, Olivet Nazarene – 16:18.47
  8. Jonas Friess, St Ambrose – 16:18.13

Who said the mile is boring? Not Fabio Martin Rojo of Lindsey Wilson and Mate Dort from Life. The two battled stroke for stroke down to the finish, which Martin Rojo got by .07 with 15:43.95. That was an improvement from a year ago when Martin Rojo placed 4th with 15:51.46

Wyatt Smith of SCAD repeated his bronze-medal performance from 2023, coming in third again, this time with 16:02.61. Milligan’s Peter Gilbert moved up from 6th a year ago to 4th this year, coming to the wall 1.3 seconds behind Smith with 16:03.91.

Three swimmers from the earlier heats made the podium: JD Torres from Master’s, who dropped 23.4 seconds to top the afternoon competitors; Lindsey Wilson’s Ethan Butler, who dropped 20.2 seconds to finish second; and St Ambrose’s Jonas Friess, who improved his seed time by 9.1 seconds.

Women’s 200 Yard Backstroke – Finals

  • Meet Record: 1:56.87 – Amanda Moran, Olivet Nazarene (2017)

Podium:

  1. Maaike Broersma, Lindsey Wilson – 1:58.06
  2. Marine Lecomte, Keiser – 2:01.38
  3. Olivia Cummins, Indiana Wesleyan – 2:03.88
  4. Ellie Ricken, Indiana Wesleyan – 2:04.30
  5. Lorie Seranski, Keiser – 2:04.69
  6. Romy Itzkovich, Cumberlands – 2:04.90
  7. Aspen Shipp, Thomas – 2:05.32
  8. Katelyn Inman, Olivet Nazarene – 2:08.31

Lindsey Wilson’s Maaike Broersma dominated the 200 back final. She was already up by more than 2 body lengths over defending champion Marine Lecomte at the halfway point with 57.41. Broersma then came home with 30.0-30.6 to notch a winning 1:58.06. Lecomte split 1:00.34-1:01.0 to finish with 2:01.38 in second place.

Indiana Wesley earned the next two spots with Olivia Cummins (2:03.88) and Ellie Ricken (2:04.30). Ricken, notably, was seeded 27th with 2:11.77 coming into the meet. She dropped 7.1 seconds in prelims and another .3 in finals to finish 4th.

Men’s 200 Yard Backstroke – Finals

Podium:

  1. Jokubas Jankauskas, Cumberlands – 1:45.45
  2. Fynn Kunze, Keiser – 1:46.95
  3. Matt Mizell, St Thomas – 1:47.36
  4. (tie) Alex Kusik, Keiser / Adam Conrad, St Thomas – 1:48.61
  5. Finlay Saunders, SCAD – 1:48.72
  6. Matheus Queiroz, Keiser – 1:48.80
  7. Oier Fernandez, St Thomas – 1:49.01

Defending champion and meet record-holder Jokubas Jankauskas of Cumberlands defended his title, going 1:45.45 to get to the wall a body length ahead of Fynn Kunze of Keiser. We are in a tight battle for the men’s team title, and every point will make a difference, so Kunze’s second-place finish was important to the Seahawks. Matt Mizell picked up a third place for St Thomas, while his teammate Adam Conrad tied with Keiser’s Alex Kusik for fourth.

SCAD’s Finlay Saunders was just .11 behind Kusik and Conrad, and edged Keizer’s Matheus Queiroz by .08, 1:48.72 to 1:48.80. Oier Fernandez of St Thomas was another .21 back with 1:49.01.

Women’s 100 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • Meet Record: 49.24 – Julie Woody, SCAD (2017)

Podium:

  1. Aubrey Bach, Keiser – 51.13
  2. Timea Aspegren, Keiser – 51.78
  3. Ines Laurent, Keiser – 51.79
  4. Valentina Zapata, Cumberlands – 51.85
  5. Regan Garcia, St Thomas – 51.91
  6. Halle Briner, Olivet Nazarene – 52.06
  7. Hanne te Velthuis, Milligan – 52.15
  8. Danai Sofoulis, Keiser – 52.41

Aubrey Bach led a 1-2-3 podium sweep for Keiser, going 51.13 to win decisively over teammates Timea Aspegren (51.78) and Ines Laurent (51.79). Danai Sofoulis, also from Keiser, placed 8th (52.41). All four were faster than they’d been in prelims this morning, giving us an idea of what we’ll see in the 400 free relay later tonight.

Cumberlands’s Valentina Zapata was .06 behind Laurent to finish fourth with 51.85. St Thomas’s Regan Garcia was also under 52 seconds with 51.91.

Men’s 100 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • Meet Record: 42.53 – Daniel Z Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist (2014)

Podium:

  1. Alex Marrero, St Thomas – 43.86
  2. William Birkett, St Thomas – 44.09
  3. Hanno Boeckmann, Keiser – 44.21
  4. Daniel Laureyssens, St Thomas – 44.43
  5. Angel Margaritov, Keiser – 44.64
  6. Jan Gastal, SCAD – 44.87
  7. Robbie Garden, St Thomas – 44.96
  8. Zoltan Tompos, SCAD – 45.05

St Thomas went 1-2-4-7 in the 100 free, picking up 54 points, which they sorely needed after having underperformed in the 1650 free. We’re now down to a 9-point projected difference between the two teams, and the atmosphere is electric.

Alex Marrero earned the win with 43.86, the only sub-44 in the final. Teammate William Birkett clipped Keiser’s Hanno Boeckmann for 2nd, 44.09 to 44.21. Daniel Laureyssens followed with 44.43 to move Keiser’s Angel Margaritov down a spot to 5th (44.64).

SCAD took 6th and 8th with Jan Gastal (44.87) and Zoltan Tompos (45.05). St Thomas’s Robbie Garden was between them with 44.96.

Women’s 200 Yard Breaststroke – Finals

  • Meet Record: 2:14.90 – Laurette Hakansson (1993)

Podium:

  1. Stella Warborn, St Thomas – 2:14.18 *NAIA MEET RECORD*
  2. Nikoline Biltoft-Jensen, Keiser – 2:15.02
  3. Nikki Hahn, SCAD – 2:15.62
  4. Julie Vega, Olivet Nazarene – 2:15.63
  5. Tessa Ip Hen Cheung, Brenau – 2:18.71
  6. Lily Wright, College of St Mary – 2:21.67
  7. Emma Phillips, Union – 2:23.56
  8. Lily Robinson, Keiser – 2:27.82

Stella Warborn of St Thomas took down a 31-year-old meet record and she cleared it by a hefty margin. Warburn clocked a 2:14.18 to win the title over defending champion Nikoline Biltoft-Jensen from Keiser, lowering the meet mark by .72. Biltoft-Jensen was .73 faster than she’d been a year ago with 2:15.02.

SCAD’s Nikki Hahn, who came in 4th in 2023, moved up to 3rd this year with 2:15.62. She edged ONU’s Julie Vega by .01. Vega was third last year, 1.3 seconds ahead of Hahn with 2:15.99.

Men’s 200 Yard Breaststroke – Finals

  • Meet Record: 1:56.54 – Inigo Marina, St Thomas (2023)

Podium:

  1. Noel de Geus, Keiser – 1:56.29
  2. Caleb Fry, Milligan – 1:59.10
  3. Theo Myklebusthaug, Keiser – 1:59.80
  4. Dorian Bachlaj, Cumberlands – 2:00.46
  5. Zander Livingston, Midland – 2:01.34
  6. Emil Schildhauer, Thomas – 2:03.39
  7. Jesse Lower, St Thomas – 2:03.60
  8. Nikita Konovets, Cumberlands – 2:03.74

And now it’s a 7-point projected margin. Noel de Geus won the 200 breast, sweeping the breaststroke titles and establishing new meet records in both events. Here, he took .25 off Inigo Marina’s 1:56.54 mark from last year’s meet, when he was runner-up with 1:58.48. De Geus, who has been as fast as 1:54.65, was 25.93-29.0-30.2-31.0 for 1:56.29. Most of his improvement over last year’s time was in the first 100, where he went 54.96 versus 56.64 a year ago.

Milligan’s Caleb Fry was out quickly with 56.19 at the 100. He held on through the finish to keep Keiser’s Theo Myklebusthaug from getting past him in the quest for the silver medal. Fry won that battle, 1:59.10 to 1:59.80. Cumberlands’ Dorian Bachlaj was just behind them with 2:00.46.

Midlands’ Zander Livingston went 2:01.34 to place 5th, while the rest of the finishers came in with 2:03s.

Women’s 200 Yard Butterfly – Finals

  • Meet Record: 2:00.89 – Christina Tixier, Biola (2015)

Podium:

  1. Kayla Parry, Olivet Nazarene – 2:03.92
  2. Gabby MacPherson, Milligan – 2:05.13
  3. Karoline Kristensen, Keiser – 2:06.10
  4. Allie Rutherford, Lindsey Wilson – 2:06.19
  5. Kylee Sears, Master’s – 2:07.43
  6. Zselyke Papp, Keiser – 2:08.60
  7. Mary Grace Bitting, Milligan – 2:09.02
  8. Mia Thatcher, SCAD – 2:11.06

ONU’s Kayla Parry, who was seeded third coming into the meet, clocked a 2:03.92 to win the 200 fly ahead of Milligan’s Gabby MacPherson (2:05.13) and Keiser’s Karoline Kristensen (2:06.10), the number 1 seed. Parry split 59.26/1:04.67 to beat her entry time by 1.7 seconds. Kristensen was 58.94 at the 100 but came home in 1:07.1, ultimately finishing third behind Parry and MacPherson (2:05.13). Allie Rutherford of Lindsey Wilson was fourth, although she nearly caught Kristensen, too, going 1:05.5 on the back half and finishing .09 behind.

Kylee Sears from Master’s, who had the number 2 seed time, ended up fifth with 2:07.43.

Men’s 200 Yard Butterfly – Finals

  • Meet Record: 1:45.27 – Iran Cavalcante-Almeida, Olivet Nazarene (2018)

Podium:

  1. Steven Aimable, St Thomas – 1:46.56
  2. Reuben Dobson, Ottawa (AZ) – 1:48.43
  3. Hudson Trammell, Milligan – 1:49.67
  4. Stephen Gilbert, Milligan – 1:49.79
  5. Bo Kasten, SCAD – 1:49.95
  6. Andre Bazzana, Milligan – 1:51.52
  7. Nestor Montero, St Thomas – 1:51.56
  8. Robin Kilian, Keiser – 1:52.83

After a couple of events that broke Keiser’s way, St Thomas scored big on the 200 fly, picking up 7 extra points from prelims scoring and increasing their projected margin over Keiser to 16 points.

St Thomas’s Steven Aimable won the event with 1:46.56, well over a body and a half in front of Rueben Dobson from Ottawa Arizona (1:48.43).

The Milligan 200 fly training group placed 3-4-6, led by Hudson Trammell (1:49.67) who touched out teammate Stephen Gilbert (1:49.79). SCAD’s Bo Kasten was fifth (1:49.95), finishing a body length ahead of Milligan’s Andre Bazzana (1:51.52).

Nestor Montero of St Thomas got the better of Keiser’s Robin Kilian, 1:51.56 to 1:54.83, for seventh.

Women’s 1-Meter Diving – Finals

  • Meet Record: 417.75 – Hayley Rosenlund (2005)

Podium:

  1. Ashley McNamara, Aquinas – 212.65
  2. Jada Shorter, Jamestown – 192.25
  3. Macy Schmidtgall, Indiana Wesleyan – 189.10
  4. Sarah Colvin, Aquinas – 182.25
  5. Megan Carroll, Indiana Wesleyan – 174.85
  6. Madelyn Mann, College of Idaho – 163.30

 

Women’s 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals

  • Meet Record: 3:23.11 – Oklahoma Baptist University (2015)

Podium:

  1. Keiser – 3:26.65
  2. St Thomas – 3:29.02
  3. Cumberlands – 3:29.59
  4. Master’s – 3:30.32
  5. Lindsey Wilson – 3:31.55
  6. Milligan – 3:31.62
  7. Olivet Nazarene – 3:31.71
  8. Indiana Wesleyan – 3:32.42

Keiser wrapped up the meet with a decisive win in the 400 free relay. Aubrey Bach (51.65), Ines Laurent (51.73), Timea Aspegren (51.55), and Danai Sofoulis (51.72) combined for 3:26.65 to clear St Thomas by 2.4 seconds.

St Thomas (Martine Abrahamsen, Yana Trop, Brianna Hernandez, Regan Garcia) beat Cumberlands by .57 for second place, 3:29.02 to 3:29.59.

Men’s 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals

  • Meet Record: 2:56.23 – Keiser University (2023)

Podium:

  1. St Thomas – 2:56.22
  2. Keiser – 2:57.55
  3. SCAD – 2:59.16
  4. Cumberlands – 3:00.39
  5. Milligan – 3:00.90
  6. St Ambrose – 3:02.10
  7. Thomas – 3:03.96
  8. Loyola New Orleans – 3:04.12

St Thomas put a final exclamation point on the meet by breaking Keiser’s championship record in the 400 free relay by .01. William Birkett (44.42), Robbie Garden (44.40), Alex Marrero (43.55), and Daniel Laureyssnes (43.85) combined for 2:56.22 to win by 1.3 seconds.

Keiser (Alex Kusik, Hanno Boeckmann, Matheus Queiroz, and Angel Margaritov) finished 1.6 seconds ahead of SCAD (Samuel Page, Zoltan Tompos, Jake Litchfield, and Jan Gastal) for the silver medal.

The relay win assured St Thomas the championship title, breaking Keiser’s 5-year streak.

Final Team Scores – Women

  1. Keiser University – 655.5
  2. Thomas University – 405
  3. Milligan College – 324
  4. Olivet Nazarene University – 315
  5. Indiana Wesleyan University – 283
  6. Lindsey Wilson College – 281
  7. SCAD Savannah – 243
  8. University of the Cumberlands – 223
  9. Master’s University – 197
  10. Bethel University (IN) – 141
  11. Ambrose University – 113.5
  12. Loyola University New Orleans – 71
  13. (tie) Life University / Thomas University – 54
  14. (tie) Brenau University / Union College – 47
  15. Arizona Christian University – 45
  16. Aquinas College – 38
  17. University of St. Mary (KS) – 36
  18. College of Saint Mary – 27
  19. University of Jamestown – 17
  20. College of Idaho – 13
  21. Ave Maria University – 12
  22. (tie) Midland University / Midway University – 4
  23. Point – 2

Final Team Scores – Men

  1. Thomas University – 640.5
  2. Keiser University – 624.5
  3. University of the Cumberlands – 400
  4. Milligan College – 364
  5. SCAD Savannah – 331
  6. Ambrose University – 257
  7. Master’s University – 166
  8. Thomas University – 156
  9. Lindsey Wilson College – 130
  10. Bethel University (IN) – 123
  11. Olivet Nazarene University – 118
  12. Loyola University New Orleans – 101
  13. Ave Maria University – 93
  14. Life University – 69
  15. Aquinas College – 61
  16. Ottawa University Arizona – 24
  17. Arizona Christian University – 23
  18. Midland University – 15
  19. Bethel University (TN) – 14
  20. Point – 11
  21. Campbellsville University – 9

 

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Buffs
2 months ago

thank you swimswam for covering our championship!

IWU Fan
2 months ago

Erica Samuel (the only swimmer not mentioned in the 1650 recap), from Indiana Wesleyan, was the only senior in this event, finishing in sixth. She also scored fifth and sixth in this event in 2023 and 2022, respectively, scoring 74 points for IWU in the three NAIA Championships during her Pandemic-shortened collegiate career.

NAIA
Reply to  IWU Fan
2 months ago

she could take another year?

Paula
Reply to  IWU Fan
2 months ago

Haley 1650 – is a senior too. She’s a junior athletically for the same reason and hopefully they both come back.

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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