Photo credit: Bill Ingram
Photo credit: Bill Ingram

The Indian River swimming and diving teams recently finished competing at the NJCAA National Championships in Buffalo, NY where both teams continued their winning tradition bring home their 41st (women) and 45th (men) national championship titles. The men's record is the longest winning streak of any sport in the nation.

DAY 1: The meet got off to great start in the prelims of the very first event when freshman Savanna Best broke the National Record in the 50 breaststroke with a time of 28.45. She would later win the event during the finals along with another victory in the 200 IM. The night also saw victories come from Charlise Oberholzer and Conor Lynch in the 1000 free, Jarryd Baxter in the 200 IM, Elianna Kennon and Ruben van Leeuwen in the 50 free, and in diving, Matt Priola took the 3m event. In the final events of the night, the 800 free relay, the women's team of Sule van der Merwe, Camryn Wheals, Camryn Hudson, and Elizabeth Watts took the victory and for the men it was the team of Ruben van Leeuwen, Josh Stegen, Ryan Pilkington, and Jarryd Baxter.

Day 2: The second night of competition saw IRSC win 10 of the 11 events contested. The night started with victories in the 200 freestyle relay with the women's team of Elianna Kennon, Emma Colvin, Camryn Wheals, and Elizabeth Watts, and for the men it was Ryen van Wyk, Jared Ingram, Kevin Bargate, and Eric Veit. The 50 backstroke was the first of the individual events with Ryen van Wyk winning in a time of 22.38 equaling the national record. Other individual wins came from Sule van der Merwe and Jarryd Baxter in the 400 IM, Sophia Diagne and Ruben van Leeuwen in the 100 fly, Camryn Wheals and Josh Stegen in the 200 free, and Gabby Tolento took the victory in the women's 1m diving. Closing out the night was the 400 medley relay event with the women's team of Sophia Diagne, Savanna Best, Emma Colvin, and Elianna Kennon, and the men's team of Jarryd Baxter, Olle Williamsson, Ruben van Leeuwen and Ryen van Wyk taking the victory.

Day 3: IRSC recorded a perfect night with victories coming in all events contested. Leading the way was Ryen van Wyk who won the 100 IM breaking his own national record with a time of 49.47 while Elianna Kennon took the victory on the women's side. Charlise Oberholzer and Jarryd Baxter took the 500 free, Sophia Diagne and Conor Lynch the 100 back, Savanna Best and Olle Williamsson the 100 breast, Camryn Hudson and Ruben van Leeuwen the 200 fly, and Jake Servaites won the men's 1m diving event. The night ended with IRSC also taking the 200 medley relay with the women's team of Sophia Diagne, Savanna Best, Emma Colvin, and Elianna Kennon, and the men's team of Ruben van Leeuwen, Eric Veit, Ryen van Wyk, and Jared Ingram.

Day 4: The final night at the 2019 championships saw another national record with Jarryd Baxter winning the 200 backstroke in a time of 1:45.12, while for the women it was Sule van der Merwe who took the victory. Other wins came from Emma Colvin and Ruben van Leeuwen in the 50 fly, Charlise Oberholzer in the 1650 free, Sophia Diagne and Ryen van Wyk in the 100 free, Savanna Best and Olle Williamsson in the 200 fly, and Gabby Tolento took her second diving event with a win in the 3m. The 400 free relay teams of closed a pair of victories from the women's team of Sophia Diagne, Elianna Kennon, Camryn Wheals, and Emma Colvin, and for the men it was Ruben van Leeuwen, Ryen van Wyk, Jarryd Baxter, and Jared Ingram.

After 4 days of competition, River athletes were also able to take home athlete of the year awards which went to Gabby Tolento and Matt Priola for diving, while for swimming it was Savanna Best and Jarryd Baxter. David Suba was selected as the diving coach of the year, while Sion Brinn received the male coach of the year. Assistant coach Manny Noguchi was also presented the Jack Cistriano Service Award.

Final Team Scores:

1. Indian River State College 1277
2. South Georgia State College 567
3. Iowa Central Community College 521
4. Southwestern Oregon CC 478
5. Barton Community College Swim 458
6. Iowa Lakes Community College 266
7. Monroe Community College 191
7. Erie Community College 191
9. Fashion Institute of Technology 134
10. Genesee Community College 66
11. Herkimer County Community College 16

1. Indian River State College 1297
2. Iowa Central Community College 662
3. Southwestern Oregon CC 548
4. South Georgia State College 462
5. Barton Community College Swim 443
6. Monroe Community College 271
7. Genesee Community College 193
8. Iowa Lakes Community College 151
9. Erie Community College 103

Records for the 2018-2019 Season:
Savanna Best 50 Breast – 28.45 (March 2019)
Sule van der Merwe 500 Free – 4:53.85 (December 2019) school record
Jarryd Baxter 500 free – 4:20.72 (December 2018)
Jarryd Baxter 1000 Free – 9:02.11 (November 2018)
Jarryd Baxter 200 IM – 1:46.73 (December 2018)
Jarryd Baxter 200 Back – 1:45.12 (March 2019)
Ryen van Wyk 100 IM – 49.47 (March 2019)
Ryen van Wyk 50 Back – tie 22.38 (March 2019)
Ruben van Leeuwen/Josh Stegen/Ryan Pilkington/Jarryd Baxter 800 Free relay – 6:29.82 (Dec. 2018)