By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
Photo By: Pam Meyers, Imagine If Photography
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — (Results) The 2014 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships got underway Wednesday, March 5, at the Oklahoma City Community College Natatorium in Oklahoma City, Okla. Mark Pontier of Oklahoma Baptist and Kristen Brimage of Oklahoma Baptist captured the first national titles in Men’s 3-Meter Diving and Women’s 1-Meter Diving.
Jarod Haynes of Oklahoma Baptist, who placed fifth in last year’s national championship, topped the Men’s 3-Meter Diving preliminaries with a score of 187.60. Defending Women’s 1-Meter Diving national champion Brimage of Oklahoma Baptist led all finals qualifiers with a preliminary score of 218.40.
After placing fifth as a freshman for Fresno Pacific (Calif.) in 2012 and fourth as a sophomore for Oklahoma Baptist in 2013, Pontier captured the Men’s 3-Meter Diving national championship with a finals score of 192.55. He will also be competing in Men’s 1-Meter Diving tomorrow. In his previous NAIA Men’s Swimming National Championship appearances, he placed seventh (2012) and fifth (2013) in the event.
Despite recording the highest score in preliminaries, Haynes finished second with a finals score of 180.60. He had previously placed eighth as a freshman in 2012 and fifth as a sophomore in 2008. Junior Adam Cribbs of Oklahoma Baptist placed third with a finals score of 125.95.
Brimage, a senior, defended her Women’s 1-Meter Diving national championship, besting the field with a finals score of 248.85. She will also attempt to defend her national title in Women’s 3-Meter Diving on Friday.
Oklahoma Baptist freshman Tara Dewall placed second with a score of 210.30, improving on her preliminary score of 176.95 by nearly 35 points. Freshman Michelle McDonald of Cumberlands (Ky.) earned a finals score of 206.55 to finish third.
Thursday, March 6, marks the first full day of competition at the NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships, with swimming preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. CST and finals resuming at 6 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Community College Natatorium. Diving action will also continue tomorrow, with the Men’s 1-Meter Diving preliminaries and finals.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company for select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all four days of the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla. Don't miss the free live video stream of all of the action running from March 5-8. For more information, click here.
2014 NAIA Swimming & Diving National Champions
Women's 1-Meter Diving: Kristen Brimage, Oklahoma Baptist - 248.45
Men's 3-Meter Diving: Mark Pontier, Oklahoma Baptist - 192.55