By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — (Results) The Bison of Oklahoma Baptist defended both of their national titles, winning the 2014 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming National Championships Saturday at the Oklahoma City Community College Natatorium in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Bison men are winners of three-straight national titles—since the program’s inception during the 2011-12 season—while the Bison women have now won back-to-back titles after finishing as runners-up in 2012.
Oklahoma Baptist won 13-of-20 men’s events, accumulating 900 points en route to the men’s national championship. The Bison also bested 13-of-20 women’s events, amassing 849 points, to win the women’s national championship. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) finished second with 485 points in the Men’s National Championship and third with 453 points in the Women’s National Championship. SCAD Savannah (Ga.) placed third with 480 points in the Men’s National Championship and second with 492 points in the Women’s National Championship.
Lisa MacManus and Daniel Ramirez of Oklahoma Baptist were named the Swimmers of the Meet at the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships, Kristen Brimage and Jarod Haynes of Oklahoma Baptist were selected as the NAIA Divers of the Year and Christine Tixier of Biola (Calif.) and Daniel Ramirez of Oklahoma Baptist were chosen as the NAIA Swimmers of the Year. Scott Teeters of Olivet Nazarene was named the NAIA Men’s Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year and also shared NAIA Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year honors with Blair Bachman of Brenau (Ga.).
Sophomore Caroline Lepesant of SCAD Savannah battled freshman Courtney Hayward of Brenau in the 1650-Yard Freestyle to open the night, ultimately defending her national title with a time of 16:54.23. Lepesant’s teammate Joel Ax, a freshman, outpaced the men’s field by nearly 50 yards to win his third national championship of 2014 in 15:30.09.
Sophomore Ines Remersaro of Oklahoma Baptist out-touched top-qualifier freshman Talia Sola of Brenau in 2:01.10 to win the Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke national championship. Two-time defending national champion Ryan Searles, a junior from SCAD Savannah, captured his third-straight title in the Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke with a time of 1:46.44.
In the 100-Yard Freestyle, defending titlist Laura Galarza, a junior from Oklahoma Baptist, won her third national title of 2014, finishing in 49.97. Not to be outdone, teammate Daniel Ramirez, also a junior, shaved nearly a second off of his NAIA National Championship record with a time of 42.53 in the men’s finals.
Sydney Harris, a sophomore from Olivet Nazarene, brought home the Tigers first women’s national title of 2014, in the 200-Yard Breaststroke, with a time of 2:19.55. In the men’s race, Oklahoma Baptist swept the top four spots, as senior Gregory Penny set an NAIA National Championship record at 1:59.03.
In the 200-Yard Butterfly, junior Christine Tixier of Biola won her third national title of 2014, finishing less than two-tenths of a second off of the NAIA National Championship record at 2:01.53. Senior Aaron Buchanan of Olivet Nazarene finished in 1:47.68, winning the Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly national championship.
In the last event of the National Championship, the Oklahoma Baptist women completed their national championship relay sweep, in NAIA National Championship record-breaking fashion, with a time of 3:25.01 in the 400-Yard Freestyle Relay. In the men’s race, the Bison men set an NAIA National Championship record of their own, outpacing the field in 2:56.71.
Across the four-day National Championship, 14 NAIA National Championship records were broken—11 by Oklahoma Baptist. There were also 12 repeat individual national champions, including two three-time national titlists: Ryan Searles of SCAD Savannah (200-Yard Backstroke) and Christine Tixier of Biola (100-Yard Butterfly). Oklahoma Baptist also defended its team titles in eight relay events.
Six student-athletes won multiple individual titles: Joel Ax of SCAD Savannah (200-Yard Freestyle, 500-Yard Freestyle, 1650-Yard Freestyle), Kristen Brimage of Oklahoma Baptist (1-Meter Diving, 3-Meter Diving), Laura Galarza of Oklahoma Baptist (50-Yard Freestyle, 100-Yard Freestyle, 200-Yard Freestyle), Courtney Hayward of Brenau (500-Yard Freestyle, 400-Yard Individual Medley), Christine Tixier of Biola (100-Yard Butterfly, 200-Yard Butterfly, 200-Yard Individual Medley) and Daniel Ramirez of Oklahoma Baptist (100-Yard Freestyle, 100-Yard Backstroke, 100-Yard Breaststroke).
2014 NAIA Swimming & Diving National Champions
Women’s 1650-Yard Freestyle: Caroline Lepesant, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) - 16:54.23
Men’s 1650-Yard Freestyle: Joel Ax, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) - 15:30.09
Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Ines Remersaro, Oklahoma Baptist - 2:01.10
Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Ryan Searles, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) - 1:46.44
Women’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Laura Galarza, Oklahoma Baptist - 49.97
Men’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Daniel Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist - 42.53*
Women’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Sydney Harris, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) - 2:19.55
Men’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Gregory Penny, Oklahoma Baptist - 1:59.03*
Women’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Christine Tixier, Biola (Calif.) - 2:01.53
Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Aaron Buchanan, Oklahoma Baptist - 1:47.68
Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Oklahoma Baptist - 3:25.01*
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Oklahoma Baptist - 2:56.71*
* NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championship Record
2014 NAIA Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving National Championship Day Four Recap
Oklahoma Baptist sweeps NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships for second-straight year
March 08, 2014