Emmanuel College Sports Information Department
OKLAHOMA, CITY, Ok.---The 2014 NAIA National Swimming and Diving Championships concluded this evening at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center. A total of 24 NAIA teams from around the country completed in this year's venue. This was Emmanuel College's first appearance at NAIA Nationals – the final meet of the Lion's inaugural season. Head Coach Allen Gilchrest was pleased with his team's participation at the national level. "Our swimmers qualified for 13 finals events out of 25 contested swims and broke 14 school records." said Coach Gilchrest.
Tonight's final session yielded personal best times for swimmers in both individual and relay events. Diana Tobo finished the 200 yard backstroke in a time of 2:08.25, earning 12th place for the Lady Lions. "I'm so happy to have the opportunity to be a part of this team – a team that when someone succeeds, everybody else succeeds as well," said Tobo. Tobo once again swam a best time and set a new school record in tonight's event. Juan Rico finished the 200 yard backstroke 16th place for the Lions. These were two of numerous top finishes for the Lions this week.
Santiago Aguilar was featured in the 200 yard butterfly finals this evening. Aguilar was the first EC swimmer at NAIA Nationals to earn a position on the podium, placing in the top eight swimmers in the 200 yard butterfly in the nation for the NAIA. Aguilar finished in 6th place for the Lions in a time of 1:53.62, capturing a best time and a new EC school record.
The final events of the meet for the Lions were the men and women's 400 yard freestyle relay. Swimming for the men were Rico, Aguilar, Buttler, and Wasden. The men's relay finished in 16th place with a time of 3:14.47.
Swimming for the Lady Lions in the women's 400 yard freestyle relay was Tobo, Gratz, Whitaker, and Tamblyn. "To get the chance to race at this level has been a great experience," said Tamblyn, the anchor of tonight's relay. The Lady Lions finished in 16th place in a time of 3:52.54, improving their school record set earlier this morning. "I am so lucky to have a very supportive and caring team and coach surrounding me and pushing me to be a better swimmer and a better person," Tamblyn added.
Concluding their inaugural season, the Lions were recognized through their national level ranking by performances by fifteen EC swimmers. "Our first national experience was an exciting experience, and we are careful to give God all the glory!" said Coach Gilchrest at the conclusion of his first season at EC.