NAIA Championships: SCAD Women, Cal Baptist Men Top Team Battles

SAINT PETERS, Missouri, March 7. SAVANNAH College of Art and Design knocked off four-time defending women's champion California Baptist on Saturday to win the 2009 NAIA Swimming and Diving Women's National Championship with 691 points. California Baptist easily captured its fourth straight national title on the men's side after recording 693 points. California Baptist was runner-up on the women's side with 639.5 points, and Fresno Pacific men's had its highest national showing by coming in second with 489 points.

In the closest women's team race since 1999, California Baptist's women took a 3.5 lead after the second event of the day, but SCAD dominated the next two events, the 100 free and 200 breast, to take a commanding lead. SCAD scored 58 points in the 100 free and 38 in the 200 breast, while California Baptist scored just 13 points in those two events.

California Baptist's men started celebrating its title early by winning the first two finals swam during the day in the 1650 free and 200 back. The program also captured the 200 breast before the night was over.

Cumberland's Jorge Ospina was named the Men's Outstanding Swimmer of the Year after winning the 500 free, 200 free and 200 fly. California Baptist's Ben Wahlman was the Men's Outstanding Diver of the Year after sweeping the 1m and 3m diving events. SCAD's Stephanie McNicol was the Women's Outstanding Swimmer of the Year after winning the 1650 free, 500 free and 200 free. Lindenwood's Chelsea Hardrick was the Women's Outstanding Diver of the Year after winning both the 1m and 3m dives. Fresno Pacific's Peter Richardson was the Men's Coach of the Year and SCAD's Wes Sinclair was the Women's Coach of the Year.

Four meet records were broken on the final day of action at the St. Peters Rec-Plex, three by an individual who set another record earlier in the meet. Simon Fraser's Vicky Sui won the women's 100 free with a time of 50.46, Fresno Pacific's Carl Weigley broke the men's 100 free record with a mark of 44.33, California Baptist's Bryan Haile won the 200 breast with a time of 1:59.21, and Fresno Pacific finished the meet with a record time of 3:00.65 in the 400 free relay. The other top highlight of the final section was California Baptist's Nicole Shipman becoming a four-time champion in the women's 200 back.

Special thanks to the NAIA for contributing this report.

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Author: Archive Team

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