National Championships Recap
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Complete men's and women's results) Record-breaking performances flooded the 55th Annual Men’s and 31st Annual Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships held March 2-5. Those in attendance at the St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Mo., saw old and new records broken. In all, 21 individual and relay swims set new NAIA standards.
After winning four-straight national titles from 2005-08, the California Baptist women’s swimming & diving team returned to the top with its fifth all-time national championship. Led by head coach Rick Rowland, the Lancers tallied 616 points and finished 157 points ahead of runner-up Fresno Pacific (Calif.).
On the men’s side, Fresno Pacific finished the competition with 698.5 points and became the ninth team in the event’s history to win back-to-back crowns. The Sunbirds were followed by California Baptist with 582 points and Lindenwood (Mo.) with 425.5 points.
Alex Graudins of SCAD Savannah (Ga.) took down a 20-year-old record set by Drury’s (Mo.) Tomas Eriksson in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:25.32. The previous mark of 4:27.02 was set in 1991. The sophomore also swam a 15:31.38 in the 1,650 freestyle and came in four seconds under the 1989 record set by Erikkson. Graudins etched his name in the record books and snapped the two longest-standing marks heading into the championship event.
Two others broke multiple records during the championships including David Hibberd of Simon Fraser (B.C.) on the men’s side and Alex Peters of Concordia (Calif.) on the women’s side. Hibberd claimed gold in three events (200 individual medley, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and set new marks in each individual event. His performance also earned him the program’s 12th Men’s Outstanding Performer award. Peters, who was the recipient of the Women’s Outstanding Performer honor, set new standards in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:49.58 and the 500 freestyle in 4:52.24.
Both the California Baptist and Fresno Pacific men’s squads each totaled six first-place finishes. The Lancers’ six gold medals came from individual performances including diver Trevor Graifman in the 1- and 3-meter diving competition, Kevin Sellars in the 400 individual medley, Sergio Molina in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and Vicente Andrade in the 200 backstroke. FPU won three relays in addition to first-place finishes by Carl Weigley (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke) and Marko Tanasovski (50 freestyle).
Three squads in women’s action placed first in four events including California Baptist, Concordia and Simon Fraser. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and SCAD Savannah each had a trio of performances garner top honors.
Top Five Men’s Team Scores
Fresno Pacific - 698.5
California Baptist - 582
Lindenwood - 425.5
Simon Fraser - 407
SCAD Savannah - 393.5
Top Five Women’s Team Scores
California Baptist - 616
Fresno Pacific - 459
SCAD Savannah - 425
Simon Fraser - 417
Azusa Pacific - 383