2020 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships Day 4: Keiser Men, SCAD Women Clinch Titles

It was a night of repeat champions at the 2020 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Savannah College of Art and Design bagged its third straight women’s title and sixth overall, the second-most in history, earning coach Bill Pilczuk Coach of the Year honors. The SCAD women collected 767.5 points, easily outpacing Keiser (624), University of the Cumberlands (386) and Olivet Nazarene (286).

On the men’s side, Keiser swept the honors. The Seahawks took their second straight title, with Marcel Nagy earning Swimmer of the Meet and coach Adam Epstein winning Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Keiser accumulated 743 points, outdistancing SCAD’s 681. Lindsey Wilson bested a crowd to third with 267, followed by Midland’s 255 and 237 for the College of Idaho.

NAIA Swimming Championships

The events of the final night:

1,650 freestyle

Olivet Nazarene’s Karla Islas won her second event of the meet, pairing with the 400 individual medley win, and captured her second straight title in the mile. Her time of 17:19.24 was clear of the field by nearly 13 seconds. Grayson Reynolds of SCAD was second.

On the men’s side, SCAD’s Joel Thatcher reclaimed the title he left in 2017 after a two-year hiatus for a Mormon mission. Teammate Spencer Clark was second with Keiser’s Pol Roch third.

200 backstroke

SCAD’s Allie Rassenfoss got the win in the women’s event in 2:03.25. Second was Life University’s Dora Reizinger, the top seed from the morning, who sped up at night to 2:03.78. Sydney Darnell of Indiana Wesleyan got third.

Jan Suchan repeated as men’s 200 back champ, besting the field by more than two seconds in 1:46.17. Teammate Marti Ranea was second with Gio Zachar of SCAD third.

100 freestyle

Cumberlands’ Mendy De Rooi won her third event of the meet, solidifying the NAIA Championships Swimmer of the Meet award. She also garnered the swim of the meet for Friday’s 100 fly. De Rooi grabbed the top seed in prelims and pulled away late with a 50.45 at night. Spencer Sheridan and Sloan Sizemore of SCAD were second and third, respectively.

Marcel Nagy blasted a 44.75 to clinch his third event win and the Swimmer of the Meet honors. Second was Calvin Coetzee of Lindsey Wilson in 44.86 with SCAD’s Zoltan Monori third in 45.03. Both De Rooi and Nagy were the 2019 champs in the event.

200 breaststroke

Isabella Song picked up her second win of the meet. While she didn’t replicate the 2:18.66 she put down in prelims, the SCAD freshman went 2:19.71 at night, just enough to hold off Payton DeZur of Olivet Nazarene (2:20.18) and Cumberlands’ Julia Hnidenko (2:20.74). Hnidenko was first at the 100 in 1:05.03, almost three seconds quicker than DeZur, who was seventh. But DeZur charged and nearly caught Song.

The men’s race turned into a two-person race, with Tyler Penney of Midlands surging in the final 50 to clock in at 1:59.10 and edge Levente Sardi of Keiser, who touched in 1:59.28. Keiser’s Lukas Macek was third.

200 butterfly

SCAD senior Lydia Reinhardt ended her career with a NAIA Championship in the 200 fly in a time of 2:03.47. She was nearly two seconds ahead of Anna Herbst (2:05.40), who outlasted SCAD’s Thea Brandauer for second by .39 seconds.

After tying with teammate George Harsanyi for the top seed in prelims, SCAD’s Miles Kredich came out on top of a four-man detachment grouped within a half-second. Kredich won in 1:49.29. Second was Asbury’s Alex Wu just .04 back, with Hisanyi third in 1:49.69 and Andrew Clifford of the College of Idaho a further .04 back.

400 freestyle relay

Both champions applied an emphatic stamp on their triumphs in the closing relay. The SCAD women (Sheridan, Anna Kate McGinty, Brandauer, Sizemore) were nearly two seconds faster than Keiser in 3:25.15. Olivet Nazarene took third.

Keiser’s foursome – Roch, Jared Ingram, Macek and Nagy – went 2:59.44 to subdue a game SCAD by more than a second. All of the damage was done thanks to Ingram going 44.46 to put them ahead by that second. SCAD took silver in 3:00.58 with Lindsey Wilson third.