Indian River Takes 46th-Straight Men’s, 38th-Straight Women’s NJCAA Titles


A 2nd sprint free relay win for the Iowa Central Community College men did little to halt the onward march of Indian River, as the Pioneers won their 46th-straight men’s title and 38th-straight women’s title on Saturday at the NJCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

On the women’s side, the final day effort was led by second-year swimmer Emma Colvin, who successfully defended her title in the women’s 50 fly with a dominant 24.85. That made her a perfect 8-for-8 in the meet, including previous individual wins in the 50 free, 100 IM, and 100 fly.

Also finishing her meet with an individual four-peat for Indian River was Hannah Kiely, who won the 200 back on Saturday in 2:03.98 – two-and-a-half seconds clear of the field. She previously won the 50 back (26.12), 100 back (56.45), and 200 IM (2:03.38), and like Colvin she was also on four Indian River relays.

Second-year swimmer Savanna Best also cemented a second-straight four-for-four performance for Indian River by winning the women’s 200 breast on the final day of competition. Her time of 2:17.39 was faster than her winning mark from last season. She previously won the 50 breast, 100 breast, and 400 IM at the meet.

With Colvin leading off and Kiely swimming the 2nd leg, the Indian River women flew to a win in the women’s 400 free relay in 3:28.58, almost 7 seconds ahead of runners-up Southwestern Oregon, which capped an undefeated meet for the Pioneer women – they won every single event, swimming and diving, at this year’s championships.

On the men’s side of the pool, a battle of titans in the 100 freestyle final saw Iowa Central’s Billy Cruz swim a 43.71 to upend Indian River’s Jarryd Baxter (44.91). That loss will go down as the only individual loss at the NJCAA Championships in Baxter’s career after he won all 7 of his previous events.

That foretold the meet-ending relay win for Iowa Central in the men’s 400 free relay. Including a 42.91 anchor for Cruz, Iowa Central swam a 3:01.65 to beat Indian River by almost 2 seconds. Indian River, who rarely lose a relay at the NJCAA Championships, won only 2 of 5 at this year’s meet after Iowa Central topped the 200 and 400 free relays and Barton won the 200 medley relay.

But the Indian River men still picked up a few wins and finished off a few category sweeps on Saturday. Elias Contogonas won the men’s 1650 free in 15:43.59 after earlier winning the 500 free (4:32.59) and 1000 free (9:27.22). His margins-of-victory grew as the races got longer, finishing with almost a 28 second gap in the mile.

Jack Oliver also finished off a backstroke sweep for Indian River, winning the 200 back in 1:49.06 to add to his earlier win in the 100 back in 50.55.

Barton’s Jonathan Reeder was named the NJCAA Men’s Coach of the Year after leading his team to a runner-up finish, while Indian River’s Sion Brinn won the Women’s Coach of the Year award.

Final Team Standings

Courtesy: NJCAA


  1. Indian River – 1262
  2. Barton Community College – 623
  3. Southwestern Oregon CC – 545
  4. Iowa Central Community College – 515
  5. South Georgia State College – 493
  6. Monroe Community College – 196
  7. Fashion Institute of Technology – 153
  8. Genesee Community College – 50
  9. Iowa Lakes Community College – 38
  10. Rose State College – 35

Courtesy: NJCAA


  1. Indian River – 1112.5
  2. Barton Community College – 811.5
  3. Iowa Central – 797.5
  4. Southwestern Oregon CC – 582
  5. Monroe Community College – 224
  6. Iowa Lakes Community College – 220.5
  7. South Georgia State College – 209
  8. Erie Community College – 117
  9. Genesee Community College – 107

Other Day 4 Winners:

  • Indian River’s Charlise Oberholzer grabbed her first win of the meet, after 3 runner-up finishes, in the women’s 1650 free. Her winning time of 17:05.76 successfully defended the mile title in a time that was almost 17 seconds better than her winning mark from last season.
  • Indian River’s Camryn Hudson added a win in the women’s 100 free to an earlier victory in the 200 fly, swimming 52.25. She fought off a challenge from Southwestern Oregon’s Jacqueline Feurtado (52.58).
  • Indian River’s Olle Williamsson won the men’s 200 breast running-away in 1:57.10. That was his 2nd individual win of the meet.


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Math Magician
4 years ago

Interesting to see the early comments. Would like to know what information individuals posting are basing assessments on. Taking a group of only thirteen swimmers and two divers without that ‘top tier talent’ to a 300 point win is quite impressive. How about crediting other programs such as Barton with good work as well. It’s nice to see more programs competing for wins rather than simply setting their sites on how they can be a runner-up. No need to knock efforts of anyone at IRSC (coaches / athletes), rather all should celebrate the rise of NJCAA swimming and look forward to more talent that can enter the NCAA ranks and make an impact once again.

Reply to  Math Magician
4 years ago

Honestly fam I think NJCAA swimming is dying, not rising. Aside from that sprinter nobody was even close to the NJCAA Record in anything, and even at that there’s a huge dropoff. Lots of Juco teams have been cut recently, too.

I think the value of NJCAA swimming has peaked. It’s not basically just serving as a transition spot for a few South Africans needing to assimilate, and the occasional swimmer like Cruz who sticks out.

Not that I fault anyone who goes that route and enjoys their time there. I think that’s great. But, I’m not sure it’s ever going to be the glimmering star that it once was. Maybe I’m wrong

Math Magician
Reply to  NJCAApessimist
4 years ago

With that thought process, the same could be said about NAIA Swimming and Diving. Simply look at Lincoln College, an NJCAA team that made the move to NAIA, now a top 25 team in only their first year at the National Champs. In life there is more than just fast times that define programs. Just look to the IRSC graduation rates, combined with number of National Championships. In today’s world of educational budget cuts, the words RETENTION and COMPLETION far outweigh any times posted or National Records broken. The administrations are concerned with balancing all items and keeping the sports alive. It’s easy to throw darts from afar but very few understand the pressures the Athletic Directors and coaching staffs… Read more »

Pennsylvania Tuxedo
4 years ago

Take that Eddie Reese!

4 years ago

IRSC isn’t what it used to be. Need to find a new coach and rebuild that program.

Reply to  Oof
4 years ago

Have to do a better job recruiting as well.

The talent isn’t the sane as the Bradley/Mallam years.

Reply to  Oof
4 years ago

Based on what? Hater.

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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