Simon Fraser Sweeps NAIA Titles…Again

LAWRENCE, Kansas, March 10. SIMON Fraser University, of Burnaby, British Columbia, swept both the men's and women's NAIA titles at the national championhips that concluded Saturday.

It was the fifth title in six years and fifteenth overall for the Clan men. The Clan women celebrated their fourth straight NAIA title and ninth overall.

Men's Meet
The SFU men finished with 574 points to edge California Baptist, second with 542 points.

SFU's Don Nicholson of Port Alberni won the 1,650-yard freestyle, leading a Clan sweep of that event. Nicholson was first in 15:55.01 while Elliot Burger (Peterborough) was second in 16:06.33 and Travis Musgrave (Courtney) was third in 16:07.72.

"We worked together as a group for the first 500-yards," said Nicholson. "We broke away from the pack and stayed together to draft off each other.

"But I wanted to win so I started to push the pace the second half of the race and I had the energy to pull it off."

Paul Wilkins (Salmon Arm) captured the 100-yard freestyle in 45.41 seconds, just ahead of SFU's Sandy Henderson (Toronto), second in 45.74. Trevor Brekke (Courtney) won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:04.78 while the Clan's Ian Meredith (Duncan) was second in 2:09.62.

In the final race of the national championship Wilkins, Henderson, Burger and Klaus Haertel (Germany) won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:02.49.

Henderson swam the second fastest time ever in the NAIA on Friday and set a SFU record in the 100-yard butterfly when he raced home in 49.01 seconds, missing the NAIA record mark by one tenth of a second.

"It was really close at the finish, it came down to the last few strokes and I just seemed to have more power than everyone else," said Henderson, who finished in front of Matt Sprankle of Cal Baptist, second in 49.55.

California Baptist's Felix Sutanto captured his second consecutive Outstanding Male Swimmer of the Year award after winning three individual titles this year, the 200-yard IM, the 100-yard backstroke, and the 200-yard backstroke. Sutanto won all three events in last year's championship. His 200-Yard backstroke time of 1:47.35 shattered the previous NAIA record of 1:49.15.

SFU freshman Grant Brehaut of Surrey, BC set an NAIA record in the three-meter dive competition and was named the Outstanding Male Diver of the Year.

Brehaut, 18, scored 553.85 points off 11 dives in the preliminary round to set a new NAIA record, becoming the first freshman to capture both one- and three-meter dive titles. In the final Brehaut scored 524.95 points to finish 100 points in front of the next closest competitor.

"I never, ever expected something like this, not in my first year," said Brehaut, who only began diving five years ago at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre. "I have made a real connection with my coach and everything just seems to work so smoothly."

The NAIA named Brehaut's coach, Aurelie Gibson of Vancouver, Coach of the Year, after both Brehaut and Kirstin Linquist of Coquitlam swept the one- and three-meter dive competitions. It is Gibson's first season coaching the Clan dive team.

"Grant dove like a senior, he was so relaxed," said Gibson. "He just seemed to get in a grove where he was able to consistently execute his dives."

Women's Meet
The order of finish in the women's competition was identical with the men's. Simon Fraser took the crown with 578 points, beating out seconds-place Cal Baptist with 519.

Making a comeback from an elbow injury that prevented her from competing the first half of the season, SFU's Jennifer Kasuya won three individual national titles.
Kasuya, 20, won individual national titles in the 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke.

Following the meet she shared the NAIA Outstanding Female Swimmer of the Year award with Lyndsay Devaney from California Baptist. Devaney won the 500-yard freestyle, the 400-yard IM, and the 1650-yard freestyle. Devaney's 1650-yard time of 17:09.98 set a new NAIA record.

Earlier in the competition the Clan swim and dive team got a big boost when Kirstin Linquist of Coquitlam won the one- and three-meter dive competitions and was named Outstanding Female Diver of the Year.

Kasuya, a third-year swimmer, has won the 200-yard backstroke all three years at NAIA nationals. Saturday she touched home in 2:04.95, culminating a lengthy comeback that began after she suffered a dislocated elbow in a freak collision with a teammate in the pool 14 months ago.

"I'm amazed at how well I swam technically," said Kasuya. "A lot of people — especially my teammates — have supported and encouraged me through this whole process and I think I responded to that."

"The injury really put a big snag in my dreams and goals and this weekend kind of gets me back on track."

Last year Kasuya won at nationals with her elbow heavily taped to prevent further injury. She had surgery to remove a bone spur around the joint in the summer and began training with the Clan in the fall. She returned to competition after Christmas.

Kasuya was on five Clan-winning relay teams, including the 400 freestyle Saturday, where she teamed with Sarah Jung (Burnaby), Jennifer Horwood (Kitimat), and Amber Dykes (New Westminster) to win in 3:30.15, just ahead of California Baptist, second in 3:31.91.

In that race, Dykes and Cal-Baptist swimmer Jessica Wild, swimming the anchor legs, entered the water even but Dykes surged to the lead and then held off Wild for the two second win.

"I think we just fed off each other and the adrenaline and excitement gave us a phenomenal little push," said Kasuya.

Dykes' split time in that relay race was 50.49 seconds, faster than her time when she won the individual 100-yard freestyle in 51:17. Wild was second in the individual race in 52.46 and Jung was third in 52.50.

SFU's Kathleen Stoody (North Vancouver) won her second individual race of the meet when she shattered the SFU record in the 200-yard breaststroke and just missed the NAIA standard. Stoody won in 2:15.09, taking nine seconds off the Clan record but just missing the NAIA record of 2:14.90. Stoody led a Clan sweep of that event as Megan Allen (Kitimat) was second in 2:24.83 and Mitra Chandler (Burnaby) third in 2:25.70