Gonzalez wins second national title
Suzanna Gonzalez, a senior from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., became a NAIA National Champion for the second time in a three-day span during Saturday’s final day of competition at the 2018 NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships in Columbus, Ga.
Gonzalez won the women’s 1650-yard freestyle in a school-record time of 17:07.01 to add to the 500-yard freestyle crown she won on Thursday. Her time shattered her previous school record of 17:19.28 earlier this season at the Liberal Arts Championships. Gonzalez dominated the field with a 19-second victory margin over Karla Islas of Olivet Nazarene University, who finished a distant second over 19 seconds back in 17:26.47.
The victory made Gonzalez an NAIA All-American for the fifth time in her Morningside career, including the third time at this season’s NAIA National Championships following her win in the 500-yard freestyle and a fourth place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.
The Mustangs made the finals in Saturday evening’s men’s 400-yard freestyle relay, where Jake Kohorst, a sophomore from Elk River, Minn.; Billy Salber, a sophomore from Omaha, Neb.; Brenndan Gorski, a freshman from Sioux City, and John Dieter, a senior from Carroll, Iowa, placed 12th with a time of 3:10.63.
Morningside had several swimmers compete in Saturday morning’s prelims.
Salber finished 20th in the men’s 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:56.79.
George Weiss, a junior from Council Bluffs, Iowa, finished 22nd in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:18.23.
Veronica Mullen, a junior from Omaha, Neb., finished 24th in the women’s 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:16.44.
Jessyca Huff, a sophomore from Castle Rock, Colo., and Megan Ukena, a freshman from Manson, Iowa, finished 28th and 29th in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke with times of 2:34.15 and 2:34.72, respectively.
Dieter and Gorski finished 37th and 40th in the men’s 100-yard freestyle with times of 48.19 and 48.59 seconds, respectively.
Morningside finished 19th in the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay prelims, where Gonzalez, Mullen, Carly Johnson, a junior from Kansas City, Kan., and Emma Hansen, a freshman from Fort Collins, Colo., combined for a time of 3:48.29.