FORT PIERCE, Fla. – After a consistently dominating four-day performance the Indian River State (Fla.) women's swimming and diving team were named the 2016 NJCAA champions Saturday at Anne Wilder Aquatic Center.
The Pioneers secured their 38th national crown with a combined score of 1,302. South Georgia State finished in second with 612 points while Monroe CC (N.Y.) amassed 435 points for third-place.
Christina Loh started on day one as she claimed the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 30.03 seconds before posting a time of 2:04.84 to take the 200-yard individual medley. The Pioneers went on to sweep the 50-yard freestyle as Osianna McReed finished on top with a time of 23.54, edging out Yasmine Ware (23.59) and Leah Sims (23.97) who finished second and third, respectively.
The highlight of the day came during the 200-yard medley as the team of Tayla Lovemore, Loh, Ware and McReed set a new NJCAA mark as they finished at 1:41.18, eclipsing the previous time of 1:42.95 set in 2013.
The remainder of the meet saw much of the same as Indian River State created space between itself and the rest of the field early. The Pioneers finished 1-2-3 in the 50-yard backstroke. Megan Abad topped the field at 24.47 seconds as Emelie Stenhammar and Kamryn Gallowich followed with corresponding times of 26.80 and 27.59.
The quartet of Lovemore, McReed, Ware and Leah Sims took down another record during the 200-yard freestyle relay as the foursome swam 1:32.39, besting the old mark of 1:32.95 set in 2009.
In the 100-yard butterfly Indian River State dominated as it claimed the top five spots. Lovemore's time of 54.05 fell just short of the record time of 53.27. Rounding out the remaining positions were Ware (56.03), McReed (57.09), Morgan Holt (57.61) and Gallowich (57.94).
The meet was not all Pioneers finishing in the top spot as Tamara Miler of Monroe CC broke through with to claim four victories in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.96), the 1650-yard freestyle (16:51.33), 500-yard frestyle (4:56.44) and the 1000-yard freestyle where she set a new NJCAA mark with a time of 10:05.15.
With the exception of 1980, 1981 and 1982, Indian River State has claimed every national championship since the first meet in 1976.
Photos courtesy of Robert Lane.