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2014-03-08 Tigers capture 3rd at NAIA Nationals; Harris wins 200 breaststroke
2014-03-08 Tigers capture 3rd at NAIA Nationals; Harris wins 200 breaststroke

Tigers capture 3rd at NAIA Nationals; Harris wins 200 breaststroke national title

Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Saturday, March 08, 2014 at 11:57 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – A year ago, the inaugural edition of the Olivet Nazarene University women’s swim team surprised the field at the NAIA National Championships and came away with fourth place. The 2014 edition of the Tiger swim team came to this year’s meet ready to show that they are for real and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Claiming one individual national title and 16 All-American performances, the Tigers finished in third place with 453 points.

Defending national champion, Oklahoma Baptist University easily captured this year’s title, finishing with 849 points. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) finished second with 492 points. Rounding out the top five were Brenau University (Ga.) with 344 points and Concordia University – Irvine with 341.

Sophomore Sydney Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) captured gold in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching in at 2:19.55, 3.10 ahead of the next competitor.

Freshman Hayley Ronci (Goshen, Ind.) and junior Laura Bryant placed sixth and seventh, respectively in the 1650-freestyle. Ronci finished at 17:47.75 and Bryant at 17:48.64. The same two battled it out in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing 8-9, and this time with Bryant ahead. Bryant finished at 2:11.96, while Ronci touched the pad at 2:11.39.

 Junior Mackenzie Anderson (Clifton, Ill.) and freshman Tiffany Ray (Grandview, Mich.) finished 5-6 in the 200-yard backstroke. Anderson at 2:04.36 and Ray at 2:05.00.

Olivet finished the night and the meet taking fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of senior Sam Elam (Granada Hill, Cal.), sophomore Kelsey Weener (Holland, Mich.), Anderson and Ray finished at 3:33.33.

Olivet head coach, Scott Teeters, was named Women’s NAIA co-Coach of the Year.

In all, the Tigers return home with an individual national champion, Sydney Harris in the 200-yard breaststroke, and 16 All-Americans: Anderson (2-time), Ray, Elam (3-time) Holly Risinger, Weener (2-time), Harris (4-time), Kara DeLong, Rachel Jirik and Whitney Whitehead.