Trinity Repeats as SCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Champions

Trinity Repeats as SCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Champions

ROCKWALL, Texas -- Trinity University won its fourth straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Men's Swimming & Divnig Championship Saturday evening at the Rockwall Independent School District Natatorium. Official Website | Saturday's Complete Results | Team Scores | Video Recap | All-SCAC Team

Led by senior Stephen Culberson who earned SCAC Male Swimmer-of-the-Meet honors for the second consecutive year, the Tigers scored 962 points to earn the program its eighth overall SCAC men's title. 

Southwestern University equaled its best-ever SCAC championship finish by placing second with 843 points. SU head coach Jon Duncan and his staff earned SCAC Staff-of-the-Year honors for the second time in three years.

Centenary College finished third with 549 points while Colorado College was fourth with 505 points. The Tigers were led by senior diver Austin Howlett, who earned SCAC Diver of the Meet honors for the third time in his four year career. His six individual titles are the second-most by any diver in SCAC history.

Rounding out the standings, Austin College finished fifth with 295 points and McMurry University, competing in its inaugural SCAC championship meet, rounded out the standings at sixth with 234 points.

Prior to finals, the Trinity 200 medley relay team of sophomore Isaac Johnson, junior Tom Jones, Culberson and senior Adam Thomas bounced back from a DQ on Thursday evening to shatter a SCAC meet and open record with a time trial swim of 1:31.36. The time was also good for a NCAA 'B' cut.

In the evening session's opening race, Colorado College senior Matthew Nadel won the 1650 free with a finishing time of 16:30.02. Freshman David Doyal of Trinity was second with a time of 16:43.06 and senior Ty Lapinsk of Southwestern placed third in a time of 16:47.36.

In one of the most competitive races of the evening, each of the top three finishers in the 200 backstroke posted NCAA 'B' cut finishes. Freshman Julian Smith of Southwestern earned the victory with a time of 1:51.01, junior enior Andrew Thiesse of Trinity was second in a time of 1:51.84 and freshman Alex Villarreal of Southwestern finished third in a time of 1:53.15.

Culberson picked up his third individual win of the championships and broke the SCAC championship meet record with an electric finish of 44.59 in the 100 free. The defending national champion in the event also met the NCAA 'B' cut standard with his finishing time. Victorious in his last individual event, Culberson ended his illustrious career with eight individual titles - tied for the seventh most by any SCAC swimmer in league history. Trinity's Adam Thomas was second in the 100 free with a time of 46.07 and sophomore Simmon Belaineh of Southwestern was third in a time of 46.30.

Freshman Mickey Scharbrough of Southwestern struck gold for the Pirates in the 200 breaststroke, winning the event with a NCAA 'B' cut qualifying time of 2:05.17. Jones of Trinity also earned NCAA 'B' cut recognition with this second-place finish in a time of 2:05.92. Freshman Anthony McDonald of Centenary College was third in a time of 2:10.81.

Southwestern's freshman Matt Sluss won his third individual title of the 2015 championships, taking Saturday evening's last individual race, the 200 butterfly, in a NCAA 'B' cut qualifying time of 1:52.49. Freshman Nate Borchers and junior Brandon Tunon - both of Trinity - placed second and third, respectively, in times of 1:54.44 and 1:56.51.

In the final event of the 2015 championships, the Trinity University men put the icing on their championship with a blazing 3:03.86 run in the 400 yard free relay - the fourth-fastest time in SCAC championship meet history. The team of freshman Spencer Adickes, Culberson, Adam Thomas and Johnson gave Trinity the program's second consecutive win in the event. Southwestern (freshman Michael Glover, Belaineh, Slauss and sophomore Nathan Townsend) placed second with a time of 3:06.66 and Colorado College (senior Christopher Garrity, Nadel, senior Brian Kopec, sophomore Crane Sarris) was third in a time of 3:10.98.

In all, 15 NCAA 'B' cuts were achieved, nine SCAC championship meet records and seven SCAC open records were established during the men's portion of this year's conference meet.

All SCAC swimmers who achieved 'B' cuts will await word from the NCAA regarding official selections for the national championships.