By Rebecca Noblett
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, March 8. Oklahoma Baptist set five meet records on the final night of the NAIA National Championships on their way to clinching the men’s and women’s titles. This is the third straight title for the men and second straight for the women in their three years of swimming history.
The Bison men won with a whopping 900 points. Olivet Nazarene (485) clipped SCAD for second (480), with Concordia (436) and St. Andrews (273) rounding out the top five.
On the women’s side, Oklahoma Baptist ended the meet with 849 points. SCAD (492), Olivet Nazarene (453), Brenau (344), and Concordia (341) rounded out the top five.
SCAD’s Caroline Lepesant took home the title in the women’s 1650 free with a winning time of 16:54.23. Brenau’s Courtney Hayward touched second in 17:02.45. Samantha Leanza of Concordia placed third with a time of 17:34.36.
For the men, Joel Ax picked up another win for SCAD with his 15:30.09 well ahead of the field. Olivet Nazarene’s Sam Borgman touched second with a 15:56.05, ahead of Union’s Bradley Moore, who posted a 15:58.34.
The 200 back was a close finish, but Oklahoma Baptist’s Ines Remersaro took first with a time of 2:01.10, just ahead of Brenau’s Talia Sola. The Bison’s Alena Titenkova clocked in at 2:03.15 for third.
The Bees got their third win of the night courtesy of Ryan Searles in the 200 back. Searles posted a 1:46.44 to take home his third straight title in the event. Georgi Krastev of St. Andrews took second with a 1:47.92, and Oklahoma Baptist’s Nico Brun placed third with his time of 1:48.84.
Oklahoma Baptist’s Laura Galarza became the first woman in NAIA history to break the 50 second mark in the 100 free with her winning time of 49.97. Union’s Callie Harrigan took second with a 51.46, just ahead of Oklahoma Baptist’s Andrea Antonissen, who posted a 51.61.
The men’s 100 free saw another meet record fall as Oklahoma Baptist’s Daniel Ramirez swam a 42.53 for the title. Olivet Nazarene’s Simon Pheasant clocked in at 43.96 for second, and SCAD’s Pat Cardillo touched third with a time of 44.46.
Olivet Nazarene’s Sydney Harris took home the title in the 200 breast, with a winning time of 2:19.55. Oklahoma Baptist rounded out the podium with Kerryn Mullin (2:22.65) and Heidi Greener (2:24.22).
Gregory Penny of Oklahoma Baptist set yet another meet record on the men’s side, putting up a 1:59.03 in a Bison sweep of the 200 breast. Tim Richard (2:00.33) touched out teammate Vitor da Franca (2:00.76) for second.
Biola’s Christine Tixier won her third event of the meet with a 2:01.53 in the 200 fly. SCAD’s Hannah Legg clocked in at 2:04.92 for second, followed by Oklahoma Baptist’s Jannette Morales Medina with a 2:05.78.
Aaron Buchanan of Olivet Nazarene took home the title in the 200 fly for the men, clocking in at 1:47.68. Andrew Gurley of St. Andrews posted a 1:50.93 for second, just ahead of SCAD’s Mark Shvartsman (1:50.97).
Oklahoma Baptist put the cherry on top of their titles by winning the final relays of the night. The women’s 400 free relay team of Laura Galarza, Lisa MacManus, Andrea Antonissen, and Ines Remersaro set a new meet record with their winning time of 3:25.01. Concordia’s team of Brooke Roy, MacKenzie Bailie, Sarah Jamieson, and Kaylin Kemper posted a 3:32.41. They were just ahead of SCAD’s Claire Partlow, Heather Partlow, Haley Thompson, and Norra Stroh, who clocked in at 3:32.79 for third place.
The Bison men set a new meet record as well with their win, with Daniel Ramirez, Daniel Robbins, Logan Lassley, and Tim Richard clocking in at 2:56.71. Olivet Nazarene placed second, with the team of Joshua Lercel, Jacob Anderson, Ty Jacobs, and Simon Pheasant putting up a 2:58.41. SCAD took third with Joel Ax, Pat Cardillo, Ryan Searles, and Mark Shvartsman posting a 2:59.53.