By Travis Rae, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The 57th annual Men's and 33rd annual Women's NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and run through Saturday, March 2, in Oklahoma City, Okla., at Oklahoma City Community College.
The competition begins on Wednesday with the first two diving events slated for 11 a.m. CST. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will feature full days of action, with preliminary events starting at 10 a.m. and the finals beginning at 6 p.m. each day.
On the men's side, No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist is looking for its second-straight national championship. The Bison held the No. 1 rating all year and look to build off their six individual titles and four record-setting performances at last year's national championship. Oklahoma Baptist holds 10 individual top times. The Bison return 200-yard butterfly champion, Max Abreu, who holds the top time this season in that event.
Third-ranked Concordia (Calif.), which finished third at the 2012 national championships, returns three All-Americans from last year's team in Cody Ditsler, Josh Kloppenburg and Lucas Spencer. The Eagles look to replace All-American and Outstanding Diver from last year's national championship, Chris Salgado, who was the three-meter diving champion. Entering the national championships, Concordia holds the top time in the 500 freestyle by Laszlo Perlaky.
In all, 17 men's squads will be contending for the national championship.
In women's action, top-ranked SCAD Savannah (Ga.) will be looking for its third national championship and it's first since 2010. The Lady Bees own the top times in ten different categories entering the national championships. SCAD Savannah returns three All-Americans in Anna Blackburn, Kelsey Bobzien and Heather Librizzi from last year's team.
Second rated Oklahoma Baptist looks to build off its second place finish in the 2012 national championships. The Bison are searching for its first-ever national championship in the second year of the program. Oklahoma Baptist enters the national championships holding top times in six different categories. The Bison return 500-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley champion, Nicole Wilson.
In all, 20 women's squads will be contending for the national championship.
The NAIA is partnering with NeuLion and the broadcasts can be seen on the NAIA Network, at www.NAIA.org. The 57th annual men's and 33rd annual women's swimming & diving national championships kick-off the postseason with a four-day event, Feb. 27 - March 2, from Oklahoma City, Okla.
For complete information on the championships, click here.