Swimmers Compete in NAIA Championships
St. Peter's, MO - The Asbury College swim team wrapped up its season at the NAIA National Championship at the St. Peter's Rec Plex. The women's team finished 9th overall as a team out of 20, while the men finished 11th out of 17, giving the Eagles a combined team score of 10th. Asbury brought a total 10 men and 14 women to the National Championships, the most in team history.
The three-day meet began Thursday morning with a prelim/final format, sending the top 16 to finals; top 8 going to the championship finals and the remainder to the consolation finals. The NAIA Championship meet has evolved over the past few years as recruiting has become more competitive at the NAIA level, but both teams swam well despite past the tough competition.
On Thursday morning, the Asbury men were represented in the 500-yard freestyle (Brady Lewis, Malachi Oyer, Matt Hood), 200-yard individual medley (Chris Lipka, Will Sallee, Brett Bechthold, Alex Losekamp), and in the 50-yard freestyle (Blake Lawless). The women saw swimmers in the 500-yard freestyle (Hannah Amstutz, Kirsten Katz, Lindsay Keyes, Amy Marion, Lorna Phillips, Brenna McKinnon), 200-yard IM (Kelsey Perrine, Larissa Martin), 50-yard freestyle (Allison Hubach, Abigail Sterneman, Ellen Worsham, Jenni Holtus). The women ended the morning session with a 9th place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay (Hubach, Amstutz, Katz, Martin).
The Eagles began competition on Thursday evening sending the women's 200-yard medley relay (Perrine, Sterneman, Martin, Hubach) to an 8th place finish. Perrine saw took the water in the 200 IM consolation finals with a 14th place finish. Sophomore Allie Hubach returned in the evening for a 9th place finish in the 50-yard freestyle. For the men, sophomore Matt Hood swam in the consolation finals of the 500-yard freestyle, and the 200-yard medley relay (Lipka, Losekamp, Sallee, Hood) saw a 13th place finish.
The men hit the water Friday morning with swims in the 400-yard IM (Lipka, Austin Hixenbaugh), 200-yard freestyle (Hood, Oyer), 100-yard breaststroke (Sallee, Losekamp), and the 100-yard backstroke (Bechthold, Brendan Harriff). The women swam in the 400-yard IM (Perrine), 100-yard butterfly (Martin, Amy Marion), 200-yard freestyle (Amstutz, Katz, Worsham), 100-yard breaststroke (Sterneman, Katie Kaminski), and the 100-yard backstroke (Mary Peterson, Holtus).
Asbury returned the women's 200-yard free relay (Sterneman, Worsham, Amstutz, Hubach) to the championship finals for a 7th place finish. Kelsey Perrine returned to the even in the 400-yard IM swimming to an 11th place finish. Freshman Larissa Martin swam in her first consolation final at the national championship level with a 14th place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, while junior Abigail Sterneman swam to a 12th place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. The ladies ended the evening placing 7th in the 400-yard medley relay (Perrine, Sterneman, Martin, Hubach). The men saw an 11th place finish in the 200-yard free relay (Lawless, Sallee, Lipka, Hood), a 12th place finish in the 200-yard free (Hood), and ended the meet placing 10th in 400-yard medley relay (Lipka, Losekamp, Sallee, Hood).
The final day of the meet, the ladies opened with the 200-yard backstroke (Perrine, Keyes, Peterson), 100-yard freestyle (Hubach, Katz, Worsham), 200-yard breaststroke (Sterneman, Kaminski), 200-yard butterfly (Martin), and saw four swimmers in the 1650 (Keyes, Marion, Phillips, McKinnon). The men had swimmers in the 200-yard backstroke (Lipka, Harriff, Bechthold), 100-yard freestyle (Hood, Lawless), 200-yard breaststroke (Sallee, Losekamp, Hixenbaugh), 200-yard butterfly (Lewis), and were represented in the 1650 (Lewis, Oyer).
The ladies entered the final session of the meet with Perrine and Keyes finishing 14th and 15th respectively in the 200-yard backstroke. Hubach finished 12th in the 100-yard freestyle. Martin swam to an 11th place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. Asbury's women finished the meet with an 8th place finish in the 400-yard free relay (Amstutz, Katz, Perrine, Hubach). The men's 400-yard free relay (Lawless, Sallee, Lipka, Hood) finished 10th to end the weekend.
At the meet, seniors Lorna Phillips and Kelsey Perrine were honored for being 2009 graduates, while Matt Hood, Katie Kaminski, and Phillips were honored as "Scholar-Athletes."
The Eagles are looking to horizon of next season with the recent signings of Tyler Decker and Rachel Buchanan, and are looking to add more commitments for the 2009-2010 season.