By Casady Fletcher for OCCC
Day two at the 2015 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships featured a total of 15 national champions crowned. Three NAIA National Championship records fell while Oklahoma Baptist claimed 10-of-15 titles on the night.
The Oklahoma Baptist women’s and men’s teams started off the finals portion of Friday with a pair of national titles. The women broke their own record from 2014 in the Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, finishing in 1:31.91. Bison men out-touched Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in the Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, with a time of 1:19.91.
Baliee Blankemeier of Concordia (Calif.) took home the title in the Women’s 400-Yard Individual Medley in 4:24.27, finishing less than one-quarter of a second from breaking the record. SCAD Savannah (Ga.) freshman Tyler Prescott took the national championship in the Men’s 400-Yard Individual Medley at 3:54.39.
In the 100-Yard Butterfly events, two swimmers defended their titles while breaking NAIA National Championship records they set in 2014, each by just one-hundredth of a second. Christine Tixier from Biola (Calif.) took the Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly in 54.34, while Daniel Ramirez of Oklahoma Baptist was crowned in the Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly with a finals time of 46.12.
Laura Galarza of Oklahoma Baptist repeated as champion in the Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle with a finals time of 1:50.49. Bees’ swimmer Joel Ax finished less than two-tenths of a second off his own record time, set in 2014, taking the Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle in 1:36.82.
Men’s and women’s teams from Oklahoma Baptist each took the top two spots in the 100-Yard Breaststroke events. Kerryn Mullin defended her title in the Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke with a finals time of 1:03.16, while Vitor da Franca finished in 54.27 to claim the Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke title.
Brenau (Ga.) sophomore Talia Sola finished the Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke in 54.76 to take the national championship. Bison senior Daniel Ramirez claimed his second consecutive title in the Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke, finishing in 46.88.
Kristen Brimage of Oklahoma Baptist defended her title in the Women’s 3-Meter Diving with a finals score of 252.35.
The day ended as it began, with Oklahoma Baptist taking both the men’s and women’s relays. With a time of 3:44.95, just four-tenths of a second off the record set by former-member Fresno Pacific in 2012, the Bison were crowned national champions in the Women’s 400-Yard Medley Relay for the second straight year. Oklahoma Baptist repeated as champions in the Men’s 400-Yard Medley Relay, finishing in 3:14.51.
Oklahoma Baptist women’s and men’s teams are in first place through two full days of competition with 483 and 585.5 points, respectively. SCAD Savannah (Ga.) is in second on the women’s side at 326, while Brenau (Ga.) rounds out the top three with 318 points. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) is currently runner-up on the men’s side at 381.5, and SCAD Savannah (Ga.) is in third with 274.
The championships will continue on March 7, with preliminaries starting at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Community College Natatorium. Women’s 1-Meter Diving finals will take place following the Men’s 1650-Yard Freestyle, while the Men’s 3-Meter Diving finals are scheduled to immediately follow the Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly. Both preliminaries for the remaining diving events occur at the end of scheduled preliminary events Saturday afternoon.
2015 NAIA Swimming & Diving National Champions:
Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Oklahoma Baptist – 1:31.91*
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Oklahoma Baptist – 1:19.91|
Women’s 400-Yard Individual Medley: Baliee Blankemeier, Concordia (Calif.) – 4:24.27
Men’s 400-Yard Individual Medley: Tyler Prescott, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) – 3:54.39
Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Christine Tixier, Biola (Calif.) – 54.34*
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Daniel Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist – 46:12*
Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Laura Galarza, Oklahoma Baptist – 1:50.49
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Joel Ax, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) – 1:36.82
Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Kerryn Mullin, Oklahoma Baptist – 1:03.16
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Vitor da Franca, Oklahoma Baptist – 54.27
Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Talia Sola, Brenau (Ga.) – 54.76
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Daniel Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist – 46.88
Women’s 400-Yard Medley Relay: Oklahoma Baptist – 3:44.95
Men’s 400-Yard Medley Relay: Oklahoma Baptist – 3:14.51
Women’s 3-Meter Diving: Kristen Brimage, Oklahoma Baptist – 252.35
* NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championship Record