NAIA: Seattle, Cal Baptist Split in Battle of Title Contenders

By Jason Lichtenberger

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Dec. 7. SEATTLE University and California Baptist split two hard-fought dual meets in a showdown between two of the teams that are expected to contend for an NAIA title in 2001. Seattle won the men's meet by the smallest margin possible, 102-101. Cal Baptist took the women's meet 104-99.

Elliott Kolbe (Jr., Gardenerville, Nev./Douglas
HS) and Zach Mueller (Fr., Laramie, Wyo./Laramie HS) placed first in two individual events to lead the Seattle University men's swim team to its narrow win
Thursday evening.

Last season both Cal Baptist Lancers teams finished second at the NAIA national meet, just ahead of both Seattle Redhawk teams that placed third. With both teams hoping to contend for a national title this season, today's meet was a great confidence builder.

It was an impressive victory for the Redhawk men, because the Lancers have a diving program in which they scored points today. Seattle U. does not offer diving.

Kolbe swam to individual titles in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.52) and the 100-yard breaststroke (58.79). Mueller was victorious in the meet's two distance freestyle events. He edged Cal Baptist's Bobby Eastman in the 1000-yard free by .07 seconds with a time of 10:09.69. He, then, won the 500-yard free by just under a second in 4:54.23.

For the women, Megan Ackerman (So.,Shoreline/Shoreline HS) and Kelly Swanson (Fr., San Luis Obispo, Calif./ San Luis Obispo HS) captured individual titles to help Seattle contend for the victory. Ackerman was victorious in the 1000 free by a six-second margin with a time of 11:00.15. Swanson won the 500 free in a time of 5:22.52. The Redhawks swept the top-three finishes in that event.

Both teams from each of the two schools are expected to be ranked in the NAIA's top three when the national rankings are released near the end of the month.

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