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Oklahoma Baptist Men, Fresno Pacific Women Win Titles

March 04, 2012
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By Casady Fletcher, NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships Media Coordinator

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – (Complete Results) The Oklahoma Baptist men and the Fresno Pacific (Calif.) women were crowned national champions on Saturday at the 2012 Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships. The Bison won the championship in the program’s first year in existence. It was also the first championship for the Sunbird women.

The Bison men had a final score of 757, barely edging out Fresno Pacific by five points. The men’s championship wasn’t decided until the final stroke of the last event of the meet. The Bison trailed the Sunbirds by one point heading into the final event. Both teams broke a meet record, with the Bison coming away victorious. “It’s all about heart. Kids learn today to swim not with their head, but with their heart. It’s fun to swim with heart,” said Bison head coach Sam Freas.

The women’s side was once again dominated by the Sunbirds. They finished the meet with 780 points, the second highest total in the history of the championships. The Bison finished a distant second with 578 points.

Six records fell on the final day of competition at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center, bringing the total to 21 records broken this week. For the men, Alex Graudins of SCAD Savannah (Ga.) broke his own record from last year in the 1650-yard freestyle, the Bees’ Ryan Searles set a new record in the 200 yard backstroke, the Sunbirds’ Paul-Bernar Marie-Rose broke a record from 2009 in the 100-yard freestyle, and the Bison set the NAIA record for the 400-yard freestyle relay.

On the women’s side, the Sunbirds’ Cheyenne Coffman set a new mark in the women’s 200-yard backstroke, a record that had stood since 1997, and was also part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that shattered the record by nearly three seconds. That record had not been broken since 1993, making it one of the oldest remaining records in the NAIA.

Individual awards were also given out on the final day of the championships. The women’s swim of the meet went to Coffman for her performance in the 100-yard backstroke, and Nick Schuttinger of the Bison took home the award for the men. Coffman was also awarded as the women’s outstanding performer in swimming. She won the award for the second time on a week where she was a part of eight record-breaking performances. Graudins took home the men’s outstanding performer in swimming award after setting two records of his own. The award for the men and women’s outstanding performer in diving went to divers from Concordia (Calif.). Christine Runkle won the award for the second time for the women while Chris Salgado won on the men’s side.

The women’s coach of the year award went to Peter Richardson. The Sunbirds coach was also honored with the award in 2010, and has won the award twice on the men’s side as well. Ken Dory was named the men’s coach of the year after guiding Concordia to a third-place finish.

National Event Records Broken During the Championships
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay – Fresno Pacific (1:41.40)
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay – Fresno Pacific (1:28.76)
Men’s 500-Yard Freestyle – Alex Graudins, SCAD Savannah (4:24.63)
Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle – Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific (22.29)
Women’s 800-Yard Freestyle Relay – Fresno Pacific (7:26.93)
Men’s 800-Yard Freestyle Relay – Oklahoma Baptist (6:39.17)
Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay – Fresno Pacific (1:32.90)
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay – Oklahoma Baptist (1:19.56)
Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly – Christine Tixier, Biola (54.60)
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly – Nick Schuttinger, Oklahoma Baptist (47.46)
Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke – Catherine Duquet, SCAD Savannah (1:02.09)
Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke – Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific (52.76)
Women’s 400-Yard Medley Relay – Fresno Pacific (3:44.56)
Men’s 400-Yard Medley Relay – Fresno Pacific (3:15.27)
Men’s 1650-Yard Freestyle – Alex Graudins, SCAD Savannah (15:23.97)
Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke – Cheyenne Coffman, Fresno Pacific – (1:58.20)
Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke – Ryan Searles, SCAD Savannah (1:45.61)
Men’s 100-Yard Freestyle – Paul-Bernar Marie-Rose, Fresno Pacific (44.31)
Women’s 200-Yard Breaststroke – Catherine Duquet, SCAD Savannah (2:16.67)
Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay – Fresno Pacific (3:25.81)
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay – Oklahoma Baptist (2:57.83)