Birmingham, Ala. – Over the course of four days, the Cougars posted a handful of school records while grabbing an All-American in the process at the NCAA Division II National Championships.
In its third season as NCAA Division II members, the program posted its best national finish (27th) while recording its highest points total (23).
On Tuesday afternoon Kianna Mourer and Rachel Johns competed in the NCAA pre-championships meet. Both were trying to compete in the "main draw" which is Thursday (one-meter) and Saturday (three-meter). Mourer qualified for the championship meet in both the one- and three-meter competition. The junior scored 198.90 during her six-dive routine on the one-meter board. She performed better on the three-meter boards by scoring 235.30 points.Johns fell shorts in her attempt to move forward. She scored 190.30 points in the three-meter but bettered his marks in the one-meter (197.05).
One-Meter: Mourer was steady throughout the championships as she placed 16th overall and earn the Cougars a team point in the process. During the Thursday competition, she scored 369.40 points during her 11-dive routine. It is the second time during her Azusa Pacific tenure she has posted a team scoring finish.
Three-Meter: In the final day of competition the junior continued her consistency as she posted an 11th-place finish. She tallied 404.80 points during her 11 dives. In 2015 she placed 13th in the three-meter.
With her performances, Mourer scored 10 team points for the Cougars over the two diving disciplines.
Tamara Miler placed 15th in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:09.95 in the 39-person field to get two points for the program - the first team points of the meet for the squad. Rosalee Mira Santa Ana also competed in the event. The junior finished 24th (10:18.47).
All the swimmers were in action for the Cougars as the squad tried to get into the final session at night.
Abigail Wiet came the closest to earning a spot in the finals (the top 16 preliminary spots). The sophomore finished 17th in the 400-yard IM during the preliminary round morning swim. She touched the wall in 4:27.49 which was just a tenth of a second away from earning a spot
Rosalee Mira Santa Ana also swam individually. She competed in the 200-yard freestyle where she placed 28th in the preliminaries with a time of 1:52.03.
The 200-yard relay team of Elodie Poo Cheong, Alyse Darnall, Tamara Miler and Santa Ana became the first relay team from Azusa Pacific to compete at the NCAA Championships. The foursome recorded a time of 1:37.63 finish just three seconds out of a finals slot.
A record fell and the Cougars picked up a pair of team points in the two races they competed in.
Tamara Miler - All American
Rosalee Mira Santa Ana earned a spot in the 500-yard freestyle final when she swam a 4:57.59 in the preliminary round in the morning. In the 48-person field, she was 14th to earn a spot in the evening race. During the consolation final, she stayed steady during the early laps but fell off the pace slightly as she touched the wall in 4:59.68 to place 15th and earn two team points for the Cougars. The winning time came from Fresno Pacific's Laura Fornshell (4:54.38). Also competing in the race for Azusa Pacific was Tamara Miler (4:59.26) was placed 20th in the preliminaries.
The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Miler, Elodie Poo Cheong, Abigail Wiet and Alyse Darnall set the school record by going 7:37.64 in the morning. While they didn't earn a spot in the final round, they broke the two-year old school record by just over a second.
On the last day of the meet, Azusa Pacific left on a good note. Two more school records were broken while the program claimed its first NCAA Division II All-American.
The day started with Tamara Miler and Rosalee Santa Ana competing in the 1650-yard freestyle. Miler swam the 33-lap race in a school record time of 16:52.06 to place seventh overall in the event in the 32-person field. With that finish, she earned All-America status. Santa Ana battled her way to a time of 17:16.74 in the grueling race, placing 25th.
Abigail Wiet competed in the 200-yard backstroke race at the national championships for the second straight season. She posted a season-best time of 2:02.88 to place 24th overall against a field of 33 competitors.
Closing down the swimming portion of the championships, Elodie Poo Cheong, Santa Ana, Wiet and Alyse Darnall placed 27th (of out 35) with a time of 3:30.65 in the 400-yard freestyle relay - nearly breaking the school record. During the opening leg of the race, Poo Cheong posted an opening split of 51.66 to break a six-year-old school record.
Release courtesy Azusa Pacific Athletics