Trinity Repeats as SCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Champions

Trinity Repeats as SCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Champions

(Photo courtesy of Joe Fusco)

-- Trinity University won its third straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Men's Swimming & Divnig Championship Saturday evening at the Rockwall Independent School District Natatorium. Official Website | Saturday's Complete Results | Team Scores | Video Recap | All-SCAC Team

The Tigers scored 819 points to earn the program its seventh overall SCAC men's title and swept all the major awards that were announced following the championships.

Junior Stephen Culberson earned SCAC Male Swimmer-of-the-Meet honors and sophomore Philip Whalen, who picked up his first career victory in the 3-meter board, was named SCAC Male Diver-of-the-Meet. The Trinity coaching staff, led by head swimming coach John Ryan, interim head swimming coach Michael Schuber, and head diving coach Stan Randall, was named SCAC Men's Staff-of-the-Year.

Rounding out the standings, Southwestern University posted its best finish by far in SCAC swimming competition coming in at second with 603.5 points. University of California Santa-Cruz was third with 596.5 points and Colorado College was fourth with 437 points. Centenary College finished fifth with 409 points and Austin College placed sixth place with 126 points.

The 1650 freestyle race produced the same exact 1-2-3 finish as a year ago. Sophomore Andrew Thiesse of Trinity won his second-straight 1650 freestyle with a finishing time of 16:21.88, sophomore Tommy Frashier of Southwestern placed second in a time of 16:48.47 and junior Matthew Nadel of Colorado College was third in a time of 16:58.16.

In the 200 backstroke, freshman Daniel Oldendorf of Colorado College earned the victory with a finishing time of 1:53.54. Senior Arthur Daigh of Trinity was second in a time of 1:55.82 and teammate senior Will Clinton finished third in a time of 1:57.48.

Culberson picked up his third individual win of the championships and broke the SCAC championship meet record with an electric finish of 44.62. Both he and senior Austin Butler of Centenary, who came in second with a time of 45.78, met the NCAA 'B' cut standard with their finishing times. Senior Mitchell Foster of Centenary was third in a time of 46.19.

Freshman Casey Colella of UC-Santa Cruz struck gold for the Banana Slugs, winning the program's first-ever individual SCAC title with a victory in the 200 breaststroke. Colella finished in a NCAA 'B' cut winning time of 2:04.31. Junior Kyler Wood of Southwestern also earned a NCAA 'B' cut with his second-place time of 2:05.14. Sophomore Nikita Chirkov of Trinity, who won the event last year, finished third in 2:07.09.

Southwestern's freshman Shelby Hall completed the individual portion of the evening with an exciting win in the 200 butterfly. His finishing time of 1:53.31 was good for a NCAA 'B' cut as he barely out-touched last year's winner, sophomore Colin Chupik of Colorado College. Chupik's time of 1:53.34 was also a NCAA 'B' cut as was third-place finisher freshman Evan Jones of Southwestern. Jones completed the course in a time of 1:53.85.

In the final event of the 2014 championships, the Trinity University men put the icing on their championship with a blazing 3:03.22 run in the 400 yard free relay. The team of sophomore Jon Hoffman, Culberson, junior Adam Thomas and freshman Isaac Johnson barely missed breaking the SCAC meet record but easily posted a NCAA 'B' cut standard. Southwestern (Wood, freshman Hector Posadas, freshman Mason Lundy and freshman Simmon Belaineh) placed second with a time of 3:07.62 and Centenary (Butler, Foster, junior Beau Montgomery, junior Arash Ataei) was third in a time of 3:07.71.

In all, 16 NCAA 'B' cuts were achieved and six SCAC championship meet records were established during the men's portion of this year's conference meet.

All SCAC swimmers who achieved 'B' cuts will await word from the NCAA regarding official selections for the national championships.