Christine Tixier Defends NAIA Title in 100 Butterfly

Defends her title winning by nearly two seconds and just missing her NAIA record time set at last year's championships.

Mar. 2, 2013 By Jeff Hoffman

OKLAHOMA CITY, Calif. --- Christine Tixier successfully defended her title by winning the 100 butterfly for the second-straight year and eight more school records fell to highlight action at the second day of the 2013 NAIA Swimming and Diving National Championships at Oklahoma City Community College on Friday night.

Tixier continued her domination in the event, dropping a second off her qualifying time to finish in 54.75. She narrowly missed her NAIA record of 54.60 set in last season's championships. Tixier dominated the race, leading by a full second after the first 50 and winning by nearly two seconds.

Tixier also broke the 50 free record to open the meet as the lead-off swimmer in the 200 free relay. Tixier swam a 24.01 as the lead leg to set a new record, while the rest of the relay team set a school record by finishing fifth overall in 1:38.99. Following Tixier was Megan Nerud, Amber Smith and Angela Kirschner.

The women's 400 medley relay team finished fourth to close out the day, missing third place by just a second. Sarah Shepard, Nerud, Tixier and Kirschner combined to swim a 3:56.50, missing third place by just over a second.

The men's 400 medley won the consolation heat with a time of 3:29.75, setting a new record in the process. Brandon Hughes, Austin Sarna, Eric Sirjord and Chris Stutzman combined on a solid time.

The men's 200 free relay team set a new record with a time of 1:24.46 to open the day. Nick Steadman, Sirjord, Hughes and Stutzman were a half second out of fifth place thanks to a time of 19.79 by Stutzman on the anchor leg--the first Biola swimmer to go under 20 seconds in a 50. In the prelims, Stutzman swam a 20.51 to break the school record he set in the 50 free on Thursday.

Stutzman also set a new record in the 200 free with a preliminary time of 1:41.23. He followed that up with a 1:42.09 in the evening to finish sixth in the event.

Sirjord swam a 4:08.56 to set a school record in the 400 individual medley, finishing 12th overall.

Biola had four other top 16 finishes. Sarah Shepard won the consolation heat of the 100 back with a time of 59.50. The Eagles had three swimmers in the top 16 in the 200 free as Abby Blake took home 12th in 1:59.17, Tori Andreas taking 14th in 2:00.49 and Angela Kirschner finishing 16th in 2:01.22.

"I was so proud and impressed with our team today," said Head Coach Eddie Shepard. "They performed above and beyond all our expectations! It was especially neat to see Christine defend her national title. It really set the momentum for the rest of our evening and gave our swimmers the boost that they needed to get through a tough day. I think that we have set ourselves up perfectly for the final day of competition and I am excited to see how well we can finish."

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