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Athlete of the week: freshman Tixier earns first NAIA record for Biola

Among freshman athletes, the most that the majority can hope for is the chance to play. Most college freshmen end up riding the bench or end up a red shirt. Freshman swimmer Christine Tixier, however, broke all the standards and then some, setting the NAIA record for the 100-yard butterfly at the NAIA Swimming and Diving National Championships in Oklahoma City.

“It felt so amazing,” Tixier said. “When I was racing I didn’t know if the other girl was ahead of me or not.”

The other girl was fellow freshman Charlotte Parent from the University of the Cumberlands who finished nearly a second behind Tixier’s 54.60.

“I wasn’t thinking about that record going into it at all. … I had seen the record. I was a second off of it going into the race and when I looked at my time when I finished it I knew I had broken it,” Tixier said. “My parents were there and my mom was crying. They were so proud. My team was so excited and it was great to know that they were all rooting for me.”

The previous record was held by Vicky Sui of Simon Fraser University who finished with a time of 54.96 in 2008.

Staying busy as nursing major

Swimming since the age of 7, Tixier was burnt out coming into the season and was not even sure if she would be on the team.

“I wasn’t even sure I really wanted to swim in college ‘cause I was so burnt out over it, but the opportunity came and my coach really encouraged me to do it,” Tixier said. “I’m really blessed to have my team here and I love them so much and it’s really cool.”

Tixier, a nursing major, said that her not getting into the program at Azusa Pacific University played into her decision to coming to Biola. This decision proved to have worked out well, despite the difficulty of being a student athlete.

“I like being busy,” she said. “Nursing keeps me busy for sure. Nothing else would be any more difficult. I’m not in the program yet and it will get tougher and more intense.”

History-making season

Starting off at this high point has made it difficult for Tixier to look forward to her next three years at Biola. She is Biola’s first swimming NAIA record holder and only the second national champion in the program’s history.

“I love it, so I just want to do it,” Tixier said. “I would like to work on different events. I’ve done breaststroke in the past and will work on that. God is using it, I swim for him.”

Tixier’s record capped off a season, which was the best in the history of the Biola swim and dive program. The Eagles had 14 school records and 15 top-eight finishes along with Tixier’s record, which earned her All-American honors.

“We’ve done really well. There’s been a lot of really great swims. It’s just been a good year,” Tixier said. “I really feel I am in the right place right now.”

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