By: Mike DeVader, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three-time defending national champion Oklahoma Baptist is the head of the pack in the first edition of the 2014-15 NAIA Men's Swimming & Diving Coaches' Poll, the national office announced Thursday. The Bison earned their No. 1 ranking courtesy of a strong start to the season after putting on a dominant display in last year’s national championships in Oklahoma City on March 8.
Oklahoma Baptist is now the top-ranked school for the 10th-consecutive release, and has earned the top billing for 11-of-13 Top 25 polls as the school begins only its fourth year as a program. The Bison grabbed all five first-place votes and 65 total points.
Oklahoma Baptist returns seniors Daniel Ramirez, 2014 NAIA Men’s Swimmer of the Year, and Jarod Haynes, 2014 NAIA Men’s Diver of the Year, as the Bison set their sights on yet another banner. Ramirez recently competed in the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 3-7, setting new national records of his home country of Mexico in the process – 100-meter freestyle with a time of 48.38. The Hermosillo, Mexico, native broke national records in the 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter freestyle earlier in the meet.
Reigning NAIA Men’s Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year Scott Teeters and his Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) squad come in at No. 2 with 53 points. The Tigers – 2014 national runners-up – are paced by NAIA All-American Jake Anderson, who took home the title in the 200-yard Individual Medley in the 2014 championships. Most recently, Olivet Nazarene took fourth in the Eastern Michigan Invite on Dec. 5-6, in Ypsilanti, Mich.
The rest of the top five includes: third-ranked Cumberlands (Ky.) (48 points), No. 4 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (45 points) and St. Andrews (N.C.) is fifth (36 points).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches from the NAIA Swimming & Diving Coaches Association. The rating was expanded to 10 teams beginning this season. The second Top 10 poll will be released on Jan. 22, 2015.
For more information regarding men’s swimming and diving, click here.
2014-15 NAIA Men's Swimming & Diving Coaches' Poll – No. 1 (Dec. 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1st Place Votes)||Total Points|
|1||1||Oklahoma Baptist (5)||65|
|2||2||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||53|
|4||3||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||45|
|5||5||St. Andrews (N.C.)||36|
|6||NR||West Virginia Tech||34|
|9||NR||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||16|
|10||NR||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||6|
^ 2013-14 NAIA Men’s Swimming & Diving Coaches’ Postseason Poll – March 13, 2014