Indian River Extends Leads on Day 2 of NJCAA Championships


After winning all but 1 race on the first day of the 2019 NJCAA Championship meet on Wednesday, Indian River did the same again on Thursday. Both the men’s and women’s teams extended their leads in the standings, and on the women’s side, South Georgia State College jumped into 2nd place over Iowa Central.

Men’s Recap

Top 5 teams after day 2

  1. Indian River – 639
  2. Iowa Central Community College – 322
  3. Southwestern Oregon CC – 246
  4. Barton Community College – 228
  5. South Georgia State College – 217

Led by their contingent of South Africans, Indian River swept the day’s events on Thursday.

That includes 2nd wins by Jarryd Baxter, one of those South Africans, and Ruben Van Leeuwen, from the Netherlands.

Baxter won the 400 IM in 3:52.98, almost 7 seconds ahead of the field. His teammate Olle Williamson took 2nd in 3:59.61, and Christian Nishimura was 3rd in 4:04.61. All 3 crushed their own season-bests in the race. Indian River went 1-2-3 in the race after not winning it last season: one of the few races they didn’t win en route to the team title.

Later, Van Leeuwen topped the table in the 100 fly, winning in 47.42. He trailed Southwestern Oregon’s James Camp by half-a-second at the 50 mark, but a back-half-split of 25.24 gave Van Leeuwen the comfortable win. Camp took 2nd in 48.05.

The day’s other individuals were Ryen Van Wyk in the 50 back, defending his title and dropping a second to 22.38; and Joshua Steven, who won the 200 free in 1:36.99.

Indian River dominated the day’s two relays as well. They won the 200 free relay in 1:20.72, with a team of Van Wyk, Jared IngramKevin Bargate, and Eric Veit. Ingram had the fastest split of the field in 19.78.

Then in the session-closing 400 medley relay, Indian River won in 3:14.73 – 8 seconds ahead of runners-up Iowa Central.

Women’s Recap

Top 5 Teams After Day 3

  1. Indian River – 650
  2. South Georgia State College – 269
  3. Iowa Central Community College – 260
  4. Barton Community College – 227
  5. Southwestern Oregon CC – 208

While the Indian River women all-but-sealed their 37th-straight NJCAA title on day 2, they also lost their first event of the meet. In the first individual event of the day, Barton Community College’s McKayla Siemiller swam a 26.59 to win and beat out Southwestern Oregon’s Piper Engler. In fact, Indian River didn’t have anybody in the top 3 of that race.

Indian River would bouncce back, though, winning the rest of the day’s events (individual, relay, and diving), including a 1-2-3-4-5 finish in the 200 free.

That 200 free was won by Camryn Wheals in 1:52.32. That’s her 2nd-straight title, though she was .64 seconds faster in her win last year. She was actually out much faster this season (about 8-tenths faster) than last season, but her speed trailed off at the end.

Other winners for Indian River were Sule van der Merwe in the 400 IM (4:31.47) and Sophia Diagne in the 100 fly (54.73). That’s a repeat title for Diagne, about a second-and-a-half better than last year.

Indian River won the 200 free relay in 1:34.10, thanks to four 23-second splits by their quartet of Elianna Kennon (23.62), Emma Colvin (23.38), Camryn Wheals (23.54), and Elizabeth Watts (23.56).

They finished the day with a win in the 400 medley relay more than 15 seconds ahead of the field. Savanna Best, who didn’t have an individual swim on Thursday but won the 50 breast on Wednesday, split a 1:02.53 with the team finishing in 3:46.34.

Gabby Tolento won the women’s 1-meter with a score of 469.10.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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