SWIMMING CROWNS FIVE ALL-AMERICANS AT NAIA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Columbus, Georgia, March 8, 2019 – The Life University men’s and women’s swim teams have capped off another stellar season, continuing their rise in NAIA Swimming. With a program best ten swimmers qualifying for nationals this year, the men’s team finished 15th overall, while the women finished 16th.
Freshman Victoria Acosta was the highest placing swimmer for the Running Eagles for the meet and all-time, finishing 4th in the 200 Butterfly (2:08.68).
Day one of the meet got off to a good start when Life U placed 14th in the Women’s 800 Yard Freestyle Relay. The team of Greta Gonzalez, Victoria Acosta, Kirsten Coetzee and Carla Colon got the team on the board with some points. On the men’s side, 2018 All-American Gustav Lucas, along with teammates Trent Dungey, Francisco Santos, and Anatolii Kuzemko finished 15th for Life U, which also put the men’s team on the board with team points.
On day two in the men’s 200 Free Relay finals, the men’s team of Victor Lima, Pavlo Chechel, Trent Dungey, and Anatolii Zuzemko were able to score again for the team with an overall finish of 16th. Senior Francisco Santos swam a personal best in the 500 freestyle putting up a time of 4:55.32.
Gustav Lucas then finished 11th overall in the 200 Yard IM with a time of 1:52.97. LIFE’s relay also earned some team points when the team of Chechel, Dungey, Lucas, and Kuzemko placed 15th overall (3:38.62) in the 400 Medley Relay.
On the women’s side, the team of Victoria Acosta, Greta Gonzalez, Kirsten Coetzee and Carla Colon finished 14th overall in the 400 Medley Relay with a time of 4:06.34.
Day three was even better for LIFE, as Coetzee captured her first All-American honor in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 6th place finish and time of 1:05.37. In preliminaries, Victor Lima performed a season best in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.80). Lucas took his own school record in prelims in the 400 Individual Medley with a time of 4:02.63 and earned his second All-American honor, finishing 7th (4:02.95) in the finals.
In addition, the women’s relay team of Acosta, Gonzalez, Coetzee and Colon placed 14th (1:52.19) in the 200 Medley Relay. Chechel, Lucas, Dungey and Kuzemko mirrored the women’s 14th place finish with a two-second drop from prelims to snag a new school record and time of 1:37.29. Freshman Victoria Acosta placed 12th in the 400 Yard IM, also setting a new school record (4:40.71).
The final day saw a huge contribution in the mile race by senior Francisco Santos. Santos, who swam in his last collegiate race ever, scored some valuable points for the Running Eagles by placing 12th with a time of 17:02.55.
In preliminaries of the 200 breaststroke, Lima swam a personal best with a time of 2:11.88. Coetzee and Lucas grabbed spots in the A final where they each earned another All-American honor. Coetzee finished 5th with a new school record and personal best with a time of 2:21.82. Lucas beat his own school record by earning a 5th place finish with a time of 2:03.27.
In addition to Acosta’s fourth place finish in the 200 Butterfly, Freshman Trent Dungey finished 12th in the same event, finishing with a time of 1:54.50. In the last event of the meet, the 400 Free Relay team of Gonzalez, Coetzee, Colon and Acosta placed 15th with a time of 3:44.08.
On top of the success at the national level, both programs completed the meet with nine new school records on the women’s side and eight from the men:
800 Free Relay – Previous (8:20.15); New: 8:09.65
200 Free Relay – Previous (1:43.07); New: 1:42.12
400 Free Relay – Previous (3:45.08); New: 3:43.41
200 Medley Relay – Previous (1:53.07); New: 1:52.19
400 Medley Relay – Previous (4:10.57); New: 4:06.02
100 Breast – Previous (1:05.77); New: 1:05.37 Kirsten Coetzee
200 Breast – Previous (2:23.75); New: 2:21.82 Kirsten Coetzee
200 Fly – Previous (2:11.02); New: 2:08.68 Victoria Acosta
400IM – Previous (4:42.89); New: 4:40.71 Victoria Acosta
200 Free Relay – Previous (1:31.39); New: 1:28.87
400 Free Relay – Previous (3:15.90); New: 3:15.83
200 Medley Relay – Previous (1:39.70); New: 1:37.29
500 Free – Previous (4:56.88); New: 4:55.32 Francisco Santos
1650 Free – Previous (17:06.66); New: 17:02.55 Francisco Santos
200 Breast – Previous (2:05.19); New: 2:03.27 Gustav Lucas
200 IM – Previous (1:54.20); New: 1:52.97 Gustav Lucas
400IM – New: 4:02.95 Gustav Lucas