Gonzalez and Salber break school records
Suzanna Gonzalez, a junior from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., earned NAIA All-America honors with a third place finish in the women’s 1650-yard freestyle on Saturday at the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships in Columbus, Ga.
Gonzalez broke her own school record in the event with a time of 17:27.77 to finish behind Courtney Hayward of Brenau University (17:19.77) and Sierra Rhodes of Olivet Nazarene University (17:26.38). Hayward was also the 2015 NAIA National Champion in the event and was last year’s national runner-up.
Gonzalez took almost five seconds off her previous Morningside record of 17:32.53 she set earlier this season.
Gonzalez’s third place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle was her third top five finish at this year’s NAIA National Championships. She became Morningside’s first-ever swimming All-American when she finished second in Thursday’s 500-yard freestyle and placed fifth in Friday’s 200-yard freestyle final.
Billy Salber, a freshman from Omaha, Neb., broke his own school record twice en route to a 14th place finish in the men’s 200-yard butterfly. Salber had the 15th fastest time in Saturday’s prelims with a 1:57.22 clocking to take over a second off his existing Mustang standard of 1:58.32. Salber lowered the school record to 1:56.59 and moved up one spot to 14th in Saturday evening’s finals.
Morningside finished 16th with a school-record time of 3:43.40 in the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay, where Gonzalez, Evelyn Edge, a senior from Genoa City, Wis.; Carly Johnson, a sophomore from Kansas City, Kan.; and Veronica Mullen, a sophomore from Omaha, Neb., broke the former Morningside record of 3:43.77 set in 2013.
Morningside also finished 16th in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay when Evan Persson, a senior from Blair, Neb.; Salber, Timothy Cohoon, a sophomore from Buffalo, Wyo.; and John Dieter, a junior from Carroll, Iowa, combined for a time of 3:13.39.
The Mustangs had several competitors compete in Saturday’s prelims.
Mullen finished 24th in the women’s 200-yard backstroke prelims with a time of 2:16.78.
Jake Kohorst, a freshman from Elk River, Minn., finished 23rd in the men’s 200-yard backstroke prelims with a time of 2:00.93.
Edge finished 25th in the women’s 100-yard freestyle prelims with a time of 55.32 seconds.
Cayden Hare, a freshman from Jamestown, N.D., finished 46th in the men’s 100-yard freestyle prelims with a time of 50.39 seconds.
Jessyca Huff, a freshman from Castle Rock, Colo., finished 26th in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke prelims with a time of 2:43.84.
George Weiss, a sophomore from Council Bluffs, Iowa, finished 28th in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke prelims with a time of 2:16.38.