Swim shatters five records, accumulates honors
The swim team returns from the NAIA National Championships with many individual honors, titles and record-breaking times. | Photo courtesy of Abigail Blake
The NAIA Swimming and Diving National Championships opened in an exciting fashion when senior Shane Brinson captured the first national win of the meet. Biola followed this dramatic opening with four more personal championships and 18 All-American awards.
Tremendous level of excellence
The national meet was held in Colombus, Ga. and lasted from March 2 to March 5. Both the men’s and women’s teams recorded strong finishes, but the women demonstrated a tremendous level of excellence with several broken records, national or All-American titles and new personal best times in a few events.
Biola started off the competition with a bang on Wednesday when senior Shane Brinson, the team’s only diver, captured Biola’s first national win of the meet and earned his first ever national championship title. Brinson secured a combined finals score of 248.10 in the 3-meter dive and superseded David Groh from Cumberlands University in second place with his large 24.7 point lead.
Brinson continued his winning streak on Thursday and earned his second national title of the meet in the one-meter dive with a score of 263.60, conquering Groh again by 29 points.
The 200-yard medley relay team set a new school record with a time of 1:45.80. Senior Abby Blake continued this record-breaking trend in the individual events when she took seventh in the 500-yard freestyle and broke another school record. Tixier finished in the top three once again and took second in the 50-yard freestyle.
The swimmers continued their momentum on Friday when Lisa Tixier conquered the 100-yard butterfly and secured her first national championship title as a Biola swimmer. Junior Christina Ali added to the list of new school records with a time of 1:04.86 in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing third and earning All-American honors. The women saw success in the relay events as well when they secured third place in the 400-yard medley relay, earning All-American Honors.
Excellence all around
During the Saturday finals, Tixier became the champion of the 100-yard freestyle. Ali captured her first national championship title in the 200-yard breaststroke, shattering yet another school record in this event with her time of 2:18.31. The women also earned third place in the 400-yard freestyle relay and closed nationals successfully.
On the men’s team, senior Eddie Campana took 15th in the 100-yard freestyle and senior Charlie Nanfria finished 13th in the men’s 200-yard butterfly. Noah Reed competed in the 1650-yard freestyle event and gained another great finish for the men by coming in 12th place.
Brinson was awarded NAIA Male Diver of the Meet at the end of the meet on Saturday for his exceptional performance throughout nationals. In addition, Biola’s diving coach, Lisa Treguboff, was awarded NAIA Male Diving Coach of the Meet.
“It’s so cool to see everyone get so excited for everyone else, however well they do. We try our best and we don’t always have the best race of our lives, but we’re still excited for each other with what we accomplish,” Tixier said.
The women finished fourth overall out of 16 teams — the highest placing the women have received at nationals — and the men came in 12th place out of 21. Biola’s hard work over the season paid off and resulted in an outstanding sixth place finish out of 25 teams.
“We were keeping track of the points the whole meet and we kept getting placed higher up and it was so exciting — our coach was so ecstatic,” Tixier said.