Jake Anderson, Josh Lercel and Ty Jacobs pose with the NAIA Runner-Up trophy. Between these three, they won a national championship and 14 All-American honors.
Aaron Buchanan, 2014 NAIA National Champion - 200 yard Butterfly
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – With just one race to go, the Olivet Nazarene
University men’s swim team found themselves barely holding on to second place
at the 2014 NAIA National Championships. Actually, the Tigers had just regained
second place, after holding it most of the championship, thanks to senior Aaron
Buchanan (Beavercreek, Ohio). Buchanan captured the 200-yard Butterfly title to
put the Tigers back in second place with 451 points, knocking Savannah College
of Art and Design (SCAD) down to third with 448. Now, it came down to which
400-yard freestyle relay team would touch the pads first…the Tigers or the Bees.
The foursome of junior Josh Lercel (Mishawaka, Ind.),
sophomore Jake Anderson (Clifton, Ill.), junior Ty Jacobs (West Lafayette,
Ind.) and junior Simon Pheasant finished with a time of 2:58.41 to take silver
in the event and clinch the Tiger’s first NAIA hardware in its short program history.
The Tigers finished the meet with 485.0 points, just five
points ahead of SCAD. Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma Baptist University
easily captured its third title, finishing with 900.0 points. Rounding out the
top five were Concordia University – Irvine with 436.0 and St. Andrews
University (N.C.) with 273.0.
Sophomore Sam Borgman (Zeeland, Mich.) got things started
for the Tigers, taking silver in the 1650-yard freestyle. Borgman finished at
15:56.05, dropping 43.48 from this time. Defending national champion sophomore
Andrew Fischer (Graaff-Reinet, South Africa) finished sixth at 16:26.58.
Pheasant captured the silver in the 100-yard freestyle,
finishing at 43.96 with Lercel not far behind at 44:89 in fifth place.
After the 200-yard breaststroke, the Tigers had lost their
grip on second place in the team standings, but Buchanan posted a 1:47.68 to
easily capture the title in the 200-yard fly, touching 3.35 ahead of the next
Olivet’s head coach, Scott Teeters, was named NAIA Men’s
Coach of the Year at the trophy ceremony at the end of the meet.
In all, the Tigers returned home with two individual
national champions: Anderson in the 200 Individual Medley and Buchanan in the
200-yard butterfly; 28 All-American performances: Anderson (7-time), Fischer
(2-time), Buchanan (3-time), Lercel (3-time), Jacobs (4-time), Mat Prasser,
Calvin Price, Pheasant (6-time) and Borgman; the programs first NAIA trophy and
the Coach of the Year.