Swimming and diving snag 18 national qualifiers

Senior Brittney Rosania competed in a butterfly event at the PCSC meet Wednesday, Feb. 8. The women’s team scored 313 points to place 11 out of 13 teams. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

From Wednesday, Feb. 8, to Saturday, Feb. 11, the Biola swimming and diving team participated in the 2012 Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference Championships at the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center. Various schools from the NAIA and NCAA came to participate in the meet.

Participating from the NAIA were Biola University, Azusa Pacific University, California Baptist University, Concordia University, Fresno Pacific University, Soka University of America and Vanguard University. The goal of the conference was for competitors to have a chance to qualify for their national championships.

Smith advances to nationals

Biola sophomore Austyn Lewis scored 403.75 in the men’s 1-meter dive event, placing 10th, and scored 345.50 in the 3-meter dive, placing ninth.

Junior Melinda Smith competed in the 1-meter dive and received a score of 178.10, placing 11th out of 21 divers. Smith also participated in the 3-meter dive, placing ninth out of 20 divers with a score of 176.85.

Smith has already qualified for the NAIA National Championships for her 3-meter dive. Her goal was to make it to nationals for 1-meter as well, but she did not qualify.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to go to nationals [for three-meter],” Smith said. “This is my last year so I am hoping to hit all of my dives, including some new dives that I have been working on.”

Sophomore Vanessa Joekel placed 11th in the 3-meter dive.

Men’s relay, Tixier record solid times and earn spot at nationals

The Biola women’s 200-yard medley relay team — consisting of senior Amber Kiel, junior Bethany Turner, senior Brittney Rosania and sophomore Amber Smith — finished 10th out of 26 teams with a time of 01:57.15.

The Biola men’s 800-yard freestyle relay team placed sixth with a time of 7:07.32, a season best. On that team were freshman Nick Steadman, freshman Austin Sarna, senior Nathan Roe and junior Chris Stutzman. They qualified for the final heat at nationals.

Freshman Christine Tixier placed fifth out of 47 swimmers in the women’s 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.24 and is the top seed heading into the NAIA National Championships. She also placed eighth out of 49 with a time of 01:09.69 in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke. Tixier swam a total of seven events throughout the conference meet.

The men’s team ended the meet with 363 points, placing sixth out of nine teams. The women’s team scored 313 points, placing 11th overall.

“At the national championships my goal is to do my own personal best,” Melinda Smith said. “I did not make it to nationals during the last season so I am excited to compete at such a high level and I am excited to see the divers from the other parts of the country.”

Biola will be sending 18 swimmers and divers to the NAIA National Championships held March 1-3 at Oklahoma City Community College’s Aquatic Center.

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