Southwestern Swimming competed at the NJCAA National Championship Meet last week at Indian River State College, Fort Pierce, FL. The team found success in and out of the pool, receiving accolades from coaches, officials, parents, and spectators about their sportsmanship, class, and character. The combined team effort resulted in achieving 77 individual lifetime best times, setting 12 new school records and bringing home 65 medals, including 10 relay and 25 individual top 8 finishes. Both the women’s and men’s teams finished in 4th place.
The success of the team was a true team effort. All 20 athletes that competed for Southwestern did their part to add to the team success. Although the overall team totals are not recognized at the national championships, we have worked hard all season on teamwork and a unified effort and I believe it is worth mentioning that Southwestern finished 3rd overall in the combined team point totals.
Southwestern had 5 women place in the top 8 in at least one individual event. The women’s team was led by Freshman Piper Engler with a 2nd place finish in the 50y backstroke with a new school record of :26.78. Piper was also 4th in the 100y backstroke, and 5th in the 200y backstroke and 200y individual medley setting new school records in both the 100y and 200y backstroke events with times of :59.61 and 2:10.92 respectively.
Along with Engler, teammates Jessica Robinson, Mya Falk, Rena Krahn, and Khalani Hoyer will be named CSCAA First Team All-Americans for their top 8 finishes individual events as well as contributions to the relays.
The women’s team set new school records in the 800 Freestyle Relay (J. Robinson, R. Krahn, M. Falk, P. Engler – 8:19,15)as well as the 200 Medley Relay (Engler, Krahn, Robinson, Hoyer – 1:52.42).
SWOCC had 5 men who placed in the top 8 in at least one individual event. The men’s team was led by Collin McGuire who finished 2nd in the 1650y freestyle with a new school record of 16:07.45. Collin was also 3rd in the 1000y freestyle, and 5th in the 500y freestyle and 6th in the 400y individual medley setting new school records in both the 1000y freestyle (9:36.47) and 400y individual medley (4:14.39) events.
The men’s team had 3 additional record setting individual swims. Caleb Dean finished 3rd in the 50y butterfly with a school record of :23.03. Shane Williams finished 5th in the 200y breaststroke with a time of 2:08.30 improving his own record in the event. Shin Fujii rounded out the individual school record setting swims with an 8th place finish in the 100y individual medley with a time of :55.70.
The men’s team also set a new school record in the 800y freestyle relay with C. Dean, N. Ferber, S. Williams, and C. McGuire swimming to a 2nd place finish with a time of 7:12.24.
In our 4th season, we have definitely set the expectation of a culture of excellence and they had fun doing it. We continue to raise the bar with new school record setting swims and are adding 14 CSCAA 1st Team All-Americans and 3 CSCAA 2nd Team All-Americans. I am so proud of this year’s team and what they have stood for all year long. There is no doubt they gave the best effort in the classroom, in the pool, in the strength program led by RITTER Sports Performance, and on campus by setting the example of greatness, respect, intentionality, and trust. GRIT is what they stand for and those are the values they strive to live by. I knew going into this meet that this group was special, and they proved what was special was their character, culture and team unity. The left a legacy to be carried on and we came home winners in my book. I am beyond proud of this group.
As we celebrate this past season, we look to the future and are excited to rebuild a team charged and ready to carry on the legacy for next year.
Top Individual Point totals – Men:
Collin McGuire – 60
Shane Williams – 56
Caleb Dean – 49
Top Individual Point totals – Women:
Piper Engler – 60
Jessica Robinson – 47
Mya Falk – 35