Keiser (Fla.) Defends Title to Bring Home 2023 Red Banner
Columbus, GA – Keiser (Fla.) won five of the seven events on the final day to secure their second straight NAIA National Championship Saturday night at the Columbus Aquatic Center. The Seahawks scored 771 points over the four-day meet to finish atop the team standings by over 300 points.
In addition to the team title, Keiser earned three of the four top awards, including Camry Hudson being named the 2023 NAIA Swimmer of the Year. Hudson opened the meet by winning the 200 IM, before edging out her teammate Liya Goupil-Lizekne to take top honors in the 100 free for her second individual title. The senior capped of the meet by pulling away from the field and clocking a 2:01.38 to win the 200 fly and secure the Swimmer of the Year honors.
Nikoline Biltoft-Jensen earned the Swim of the Meet for her record-breaking performance in the 100 breast, while Keiser’s Head Coach Adam Epstein garnered the NAIA Coach of the Year award for the third time in his career. Biltoft-Jensen edged out Allison Pearson of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) by 0.03 seconds to win the 200 breast with a time of 2:15.75. Marine Lecomte won the 200 back with a time of 1:59.90, while the Seahawks closed out the meet winning the 400 free relay with a time of 3:24.59.
SCAD (Ga.) finished as the national runner-up after scoring 440 points. The Bees had a trio of third-place finishes on the day but utilized their depth throughout the meet to finish in the top two for the tenth straight year.
Olivet Nazarene earned a third-place finish after scoring 391 points. The Tigers posted a second and third finish in the 200 breast, while also adding a pair of third-place finishes on the day.
Jada Shorter of Jamestown (N.D.) tallied a 233.85 to win the one-meter dive competition and claim the top podium spot. Emma Lehmkuhl of Cumberlands (Ky.) finished runner-up on the one-meter board. Lehmkuhl garnered the NAIA Diver of the Year award after posting a first-place finish on the three-meter board earlier this week.
Riley Renaud of Milligan (Tenn.) opened finals by going 17:21.03 to win the 1650 free. This was the Buffalo's first title of these championships and helped Milligan to a fifth-place finish overall.