The Tabor College women’s and men’s swim teams competed at the NAIA National Championship swim meet in Columbus, Ga., from Feb. 28 to March 3. Neither Bluejay team came away with team points, but both secured some national hardware.
The women and men both received the NAIA National Champions of Character team award for the 2017-18 season. It was the first ever Champions of Character award for either team.
“I am extremely proud and humbled by these women and men every day,” said head coach Nate Duell. “This is a very fitting award for this team. I have told the team all year, that if our legacy is who we are and how we do things, then I could not ask for anything more.”
In the pool, the Bluejays were well represented with 12 athletes competing in 15 different events.
For the women, Tabor was led by Kelly Smith and Mariana Nassuno Alves, who each swam eight events. Smith was 34th in the 50 free and 30th in the 200 free. Alves was 45th in the 50 free and 31st in the 100 back. The duo tied for 37th in the 100 free.
The pair were joined on five relay swims. The 800 free relay team of Smith, Alves, Aleya Hill and Michal Parris were 20th. Parris was 34th in the 500 freestyle as well.
The 200 and 400 medley relay teams of Alves, Angela Smith, Annika Highstrom and Kelly Smith were 24th and 23rd, respectively.
The 200 free relay of Kelly Smith, Angela Smith, Blake Smith and Alves were 21st while the team of Kelly Smith, Blake Smith, Hill and Alves were 20th in the 400 free relay. For Kelly and Angela Smith and Aleya Hill, it was the end to their Bluejay careers as the seniors will graduate in 2018.
On the men’s side, Evan Bell was the lone individual event qualifier for Tabor, finishing 38th in the 200 freestyle. Bell was joined on four relays by Nicholas Bradley, Jacob Rudolph, Danny Smith and Ian Duell.
Bell, Bradley, Rudolph and Duell were 19th in the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays. Bell, Bradley Rudolph and Smith were 20th in the 400 medley and 21st in the 400 free relay.
The Bluejay men graduate no seniors for the roster heading into 2018-19.