By Nikki Sherrill, Athletics Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The 61th Annual Men’s and 37th Annual Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships begins competition Wednesday, March 1, at the Columbus Aquatic Center in Columbus, Ga. This is the second-straight season the National Championships have been held in Columbus.
Slated for an 11 a.m. EST start on Wednesday March 1, the 800-yard freestyle relay in a timed field will kick off the event. The National Championships continue throughout the week, with the preliminaries beginning each morning at 9 a.m. EST and finals starting at 5 p.m. EST each evening.
Twenty-seven programs compete in the open field this year with a chance to make their mark in NAIA Swimming & Diving history. Last season saw the Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) men claim their first red banner, with the women of SCAD Savannah (Ga.) earning their third national title in school history.
Led by Xavier Bordes, who owns the NAIA Top Time in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a mark of 15:40.8, the Tigers come into the championships as the No. 1 program in Men’s Swimming & Diving. Joel Ax from SCAD Savannah is another name to watch on the men’s side, as he holds six Top Times this season.
For the women, the Bees are led by Julie Woody who has maintained hold of five Top Times this season, along with Lydia Reinhardt who controls the pool in the 200-yard butterfly and Abigail Richey who owns the 200-yard freestyle Top Time. The Bees remained the No. 1 team in Women’s Swimming & Diving for four-straight editions this year.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video streaming company, will be broadcasting all events of the NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving national championships. Packages can be purchased for $9.95. For more information, click here.
For additional National Championship information, click here.
For the schedule of events and list of qualifiers, click here.