Asbury Set for National Championships
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Asbury will hit the pool for the first time in the 56th NAIA Men’s and 32nd Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championship on Thursday. Six events will take place on the second day of competition held at Oklahoma City Community College. Day one featured only diving events, Asbury does not have divers.
Thursday’s events will feature the 200-Yard Medley Relay, 500-Yard Freestyle, 200-Yard Individual Medley, 50-Yard Freestyle, 800-Yard Freestyle Relay and 1-Meter Diving. Preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m. eastern and followed by finals at 7 p.m.
The Eagles are sending 25 combined qualifiers to the event, the fourth most of any team in the field. The men have 10 swimmers that have qualified in 35 different individual events and all five relays. The women conversely have qualified 15 swimmers in 39 individual events and all five relays.
The women are coming off of a 10th place finish at the 2011 national championship and a 2nd place finish at the Appalachian Swim Conference Championships two weeks ago. There are 21 women’s teams in the field, none of which have ever won a national championship. Asbury’s best finish was at the 2008 meet when they placed 6th.
The men saw their best finish in this meet, placing 8th in the 2011 meet. The Eagles were second for the second straight year in the ASC Championships two weeks ago. Danny Bowman had the second best finish in school history at the national meet a year ago, placing 2nd in the 1650-yard freestyle and 3rd in the 500-yard freestyle. He also placed 8th in the 200-yard butterfly.
The 15 men’s teams at this year’s meet have won a combined two championships, both by top-ranked Fresno Pacific in each of the last two years. Longtime stalwarts California Baptist and Simon Fraser will not compete at this year’s meet as they transition to NCAA II.