Kansas City, MO – After winning the Mid-South Conference Championship, the University of the Cumberlands women's swimming and diving team is ranked fifth in the NAIA Coaches' Poll, released by the national office Thursday. The Patriots have 14 marks that ranked in the top 15 of their respective events in the NAIA.
Cumberlands finished the regular season with a 5-2 overall in dual matches this season. UC won the MSC Championships by 93 points over eighth-ranked Lindsey Wilson. In addition to claiming their third straight conference title the Patriots garnered seven first team all-conference and 11 second team all-conference.
Leading the way for the Patriots are Christina Klouda (SO/Knoxville, TN), Grace Moffat (FR/Gold Coast, Australia), and Casey Walin (FR/Napervile, IL). Klouda, the MSC Swimmer of the Year, is ranked in the top five in three different events. She is ranked fourth in the 200 back with a time of 2:06.72, third in the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.20, and second in the 400 IM with a time of 4:33.00. At the MSC Championships Klouda broke the meet record in both the 200 IM and the 400 IM. Moffat, the MSC Freshman of the Year, has continued her strong performance winning 11 straight individual races since the New Year. She won each of her three events at the conference championships, including breaking the meet record in the 200 butterfly as she touched the wall in 2:08.46. That time is the third fastest time in the NAIA this season. Moffat also ranks fifth in the 500 Free (5:08.52) and 12th in the 100 fly (59.09).
Walin a two-time second team all-conference selection is ranked in the ten of both the 400 IM and the 1650 free. She is ranked seventh in the 400 IM with of time of 4:40.07, while being ranked tenth in the 1650 free with a time of 18:23.36. Brittany Litke (JR/Atlanta, GA) has three times that rank in the top 15 of the NAIA. She is ranked ninth in the 200 free (1:56.22), 11th in the 50 Free (24.40), and 15th in the 500 free (5:16.43). Two-time second team all-conference selection Dasha Korostina (SO/Biysk, Russia) is ranked 14th in the 200 back with a time of 2:09.94.
Danielle Rehl (SO/Columbus, OH) is ranked second in the NAIA in the one-meter dive event. Cumberlands also has three relay teams that are ranked in the top six of their event. The 400 free relay is ranked fifth, while UC is ranked sixth in both the 200 free relay and the 800 free relay.
SCAD, the defending NAIA champions, received all five first-place votes to remain atop the NAIA poll. Olivet Nazarene is ranked second, while Biola is ranked third. Brenau jumped two spots in the poll and is now ranked fourth to round out the top ten. Conference rival Lindsey Wilson is ranked seventh.
The Patriots will return to the pool Wednesday, March 1, when they travel to Columbus, GA for the opening day of competition at the NAIA National Championships. Diving will begin at noon. For more information about the championships stay tuned to www.cumberlandspatriots.com or www.naia.org.
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