The men and women’s swimming and diving teams swept the floor at the NAIA National Championship meet. Between the two teams, 17 of Biola’s records were shattered. The men finished the meet 10th and the women finished seventh.
“It’s very exciting, it’s the accumulation of an entire season for everybody, for every swimmer there, it’s very ramped up and everyone is ready to go,” said senior Christine Tixier.
Tixier finished her final meet of her collegiate career with style by smashing three national records and earning three championship titles.
“The fact that your whole team is rooting for you, that is the most exciting part for me,” Tixier said. “Walking up to the blocks and seeing the whole team together on the bleachers just so pumped and screaming for you, it’s my favorite part.”
The Tixier sisters competed against each other in the 200-IM. Christine came in first place to end a 22 year old national record with a time of 2:02.75. Lisa came in close behind with a second place finish.
“Having my sister improve so much and race so hard and to see her step up to the plate and work so hard and race hard and race against her in the 200-IM, that was crazy and really fun. It was an amazing race,” Tixier said.
Other top finishes for the women’s team were the women’s 800-meter relay team. The Tixier sisters, and juniors Abby Blake and Angela Kirschner, combined their times to finish second place with a time of 7:39.91.
Sophomore Victoria Turner was a member of the 100-meter relay and was honored with the NAIA Champions of Character for Biola, along with junior Kenny Alcosiba.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Turner said. “It was cool to see that the coach had seen something in me because I had tried to encourage the team during the season and the fact that the coach noticed was really great and it was an honor to get that award.”
The men’s team also had an impressive showing at nationals, as junior Shane Brinson got two top place scores as Biola’s lone diver. Brinson took home third place in the one-meter dive and runner-up in the three-meter dive.
The men’s 200-meter medley relay team, comprised of senior Bretton Smith, juniors Edward Campana and Charlie Nanfria, and sophomore Chad Lejeune, broke another school record with their ninth place finish with a time of 1:33.80.
“In terms of competition, I was not expecting this meet to be nearly as fast as it was,” Campana said. “The guys and girls had to put down some insanely fast times just to make it back to finals.”
Campana also shattered a school record in his individual race in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 51.45.
“The most rewarding part of swimming is to be able to call myself a Biola swimmer,” Campana said. “I'm so proud of the fact that I get to be on a team that is so compassionate about each other, and seeks to put God’s glory above all.”