COLUMBUS, Ga. – Twelve Warriors traveled to the Peach State last week to represent Midland University in the 2019 NAIA Swimming and Diving National Championships. Over the course of four days of competition, Midland swimmers qualified for five relay finals and 10 individual finals.
As a team, the Midland men finished in 10th out of 18 teams represented in Columbus, while the Midland women finished 18th out of 25 teams with just four swimmers.
“This was an absolutely incredible meet,” said Midland’s head coach Ryan Bubb. “Everyone swam extremely well and I couldn’t be more proud of what this team has accomplished this year.”
Two Midland women’s relay teams advanced past the preliminary rounds and into the finals. Abigail Bruck, Paige Skidmore, Kadisyn Kircher, and Nerissa Wagner qualified for the 200 Yard Medley Relay B Final and finished 13th overall with a time of 1:52.09.
Those four also finished 14th overall in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay with a finals time of 1:41.82.
Wagner and Kircher each advanced to B Finals of individual events as well. Wagner finished 11th overall in the women’s 100 Yard Backstroke with a time of 1:00.05. Kircher was 12th overall in the 200 Yard Backstroke, finishing with a finals time of 2:12.62.
On the men’s side, four relay teams advanced past preliminary rounds. The team of Collin McKelvey, Tyler Penney, Gabriel Martinez, and Scott Cain swam in both the Men 200 Yard and 400 Yard Medley Relay ‘A’ Finals. The Warriors finished 3rd in the 200 Yard Medley and 4tg in the 400 Yard Medley with respective times of 1:32.35 and 3:23.46.
The 200 Yard Freestyle Relay team of Hayden Robbins, Martinez, McKelvey, and Cain finished 7th overall with a finals time of 1:25.32. McKelvey, Penney, Robbins, and Cain also finished 11th overall in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:08.74.
Penney advanced to three finals in individual events. He finished 6th overall in the 200 Yard Breaststroke (2:05.00), 7th in the 100 Yard Breaststroke (57.51), and 15th in the 200 Yard Individual Medley (1:56.53).
McKelvey and Cain each advanced to two finals of their own as well. McKelvey finished 5th overall in the 200 Yard Backstroke (1:50.99) and 7th in the 100 Yard Backstroke (50.90).
Cain finished 5th overall in the 500 Yard Freestyle (20.92) and 11th in the 200 Yard Freestyle (1:43.66).
Joseph Berrick, Carter Hites, and Chasten Larson each represented Midland in various national tournament events as well, but fell short of qualifying for a finals race.
“A couple of touches (on the men’s side) didn’t quite go our way, but if they had gone our way, we would have had a chance at a top five spot in our second year,” Bubb said. “It’s exciting to imagine that we were just a couple of swims out of the top five.”
The Warriors concluded an impressive season with strong performances in multiple events, and even broke an astounding 21 school records at the national tournament. The 2018-19 season was an important year for the young program, and the bar has certainly been set high for future Midland swim teams.