By Nikki Sherrill, Athletics Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In the final NAIA Women’s Swimming and Diving Coaches’ Top 10 Poll for the 2017 season, the Bees of SCAD Savannah (Ga.) claim the No. 1 ranking for the fourth-straight edition, the national office announced Thursday. The Bees gathered 65 total points and earned all five first-place votes to maintain their control. The 2017 NAIA Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships qualifiers will be announced Friday, Feb. 24 by 5 pm CST on NAIA.org.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2002-03):
• Capturing all-five first-place votes and 65 total points, the Bees of SCAD Savannah (Ga.) remain the No. 1 program for the fourth-straight poll. The Bees, who spent all of last season ranked in the top spot, won their third national championship in 2016 and look to take home their fourth when they arrive in Columbus, Ga., again this year.
• The Bees hold five NAIA Top Times this season, with senior Julie Woody controlling two events – 50-yard freestyle (23.01) and 100-yard backstroke (56.43). Lydia Reinhardt also contributed to the Top Times with a 200-yard butterfly time of 2:03.26 to lead the NAIA, and Abigail Richey swam a 1:52.7 200-yard freestyle, while Rebecca Justus holds an NAIA-best 4:29.69 400-yard individual medley time.
• With 748 team points, the Bees finished fourth at the Bluegrass Mountain Championships in Charlotte, N.C., with two school records being broken. The previous SCAD Savannah 100-yard butterfly record was taken down by Reinhardt as she broke away with a 56.76 time – defeating the original 56.94 record. Woody broke an eight-year school-record with a 23.01 50-yard freestyle time. The previous record was earned at the 2009 NAIA National Championships by Cassie Dixon, a former Bee.
• Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) remains right behind SCAD Savannah (Ga.) at No. 2 in the final edition. The last two meets for the Tigers have gone in their favor as they took home wins at NCAA Division III Wheaton (Ill.) (115-80) and NCAA Division I Butler (Ind.) (177-85). Before taking off to the NAIA National Championships, Olivet Nazarene travels to Hyde Park, Ill., for the Midwest Last Chance Invite Feb. 17 – 18.
• Two Tigers boast NAIA Top Times with Amanda Moran earning a 1:59.48 time in the 200-yard backstroke and Andrea Vega holding onto the 100-yard breaststroke event with a 1:04.36 time.
• Only one change was made to the previous Top Ten as No. 4 Brenau (Ga.) and No. 6 Wayland Baptist (Texas) swapped places in the final installment. All other programs remained in position heading into the national championships.
• Top 10 team ratings are conducted by a committee of NAIA Swimming and Diving coaches five times during the season.
• The committee will use the most current “top times” as the primary source of ranking.
2016-17 NAIA Women's Swimming & Diving Coaches' Poll - Final
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1st Place Votes)|
|1||1||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)|
|2||2||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)|
|6||4||Wayland Baptist (Texas)|
|7||7||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)|
|8||8||College of Idaho|
^Reflects ranking in 2016-17 Poll No. 4