Wayland Baptist’s swimming and diving program wrapped up the two-day Tiger Invitational here Sunday with both the Pioneer men’s and women’s teams finishing in fourth place with individuals posting several times that are tops in the NAIA.
“This was a big gauge of where we’re at on the season, and I thought we did a phenomenal job,” WBU coach Alyson Hannan said. “A lot of our kids swam right around their national cuts, if not faster.”
Hannan shined the spotlight on Manny Griego, a sophomore from El Paso.
“Manny had a fantastic meet,” she said. “He dropped almost a minute in his 1,650-yard freestyle, which is a lot for that race. He led the race the entire way and didn’t slow down.”
Griego’s winning time of 16 minutes, 22.87 seconds places him first in the NAIA.
Junior Bjorn Globke of Germany also turned in the NAIA’s best time of the season in the 200 breast as he won by more than five seconds in 2:05.42.
“He had a commanding swim,” Hannan said. “He really went after it.”
In the same race, David Carvajal turned in a 2:11.76, which puts him third in the NAIA.
Also posting marks that are third in the NAIA were Hugo Gallegos in the 100 freestyle (47.83) and Maria Barrera in the 200 breast, an event she won in 2:29.04.
The men’s and women’s 400 freestyle relay teams both sit fourth in the NAIA, with Darby Dehass, Deandre Small, Vianney Trujillo and Barrera posting a time of 3:42.40 while Gallegos, Globke, Nathan McCormick and Josiah Morales swam 3:10.50.
And, diver Genesis Veliz turned in a score of 234.9 that Hannan said should place her first or second in the NAIA.
“Overall, everyone did a fantastic job,” Hannan said. “We’re pleased with how things turned out.”
In the team results, Wayland’s women produced 476 points. Southwestern University won it with 774, followed closely by Trinity University with 760 then Texas-Permian Basin with 651. McMurry was a distant fifth with 229.
On the men’s side, the Pioneers also finished fourth with 634½ points, coming in just behind Trinity with 675½ and UTPB with 688½. Southwestern won with 857½, and McMurry was fifth with 187.
The swimmers are off until Jan. 8 when they compete in Orange, Calif., in their next-to-last event before nationals in early March.
Swimming news courtesy of Wayland Baptist Swimming & Diving.