Stephens Swimmers Splash into NAIA Meet
Stephens is making its first post-season swimming appearance since 1994.
"I think it's really a big deal, because it's something Stephens isn't particularly known for," said relay swimmer Alicia Hendrix. "And so, we really get to build our program this way."
Qualifying for the national meet is a milestone for all swimmers, as well as their schools. But, in the case of the Stephens Stars, they qualified for nationals in just their second year of NAIA competition.
"This is, I would say, a Stephens' stepping stone," said Coach Laura Wacker, "you know, getting into the national limelight with the NAIA."
Stephens' relay team qualified for nationals in the 200-meter medley and the 200-meter freestyle.
"We're hoping to make it back to finals and everything," said freestyle swimmer, Jenn Shaw. "They take top 12. And right now, the way that we're seeded, it looks like we have a really good chance of doing it."
Shaw also qualified in three individual freestyle events.
"I really believe that Jenn has got a shot in a couple of events in doing that," said Wacker. "Some of the events she is in are very closely-seeded, and she could move up substantially with a good swim."
Shaw added, "Individually, I'm hoping to make it back to finals in everything and at least get All-American in one thing."
An All-American distinction certainly will help the Stephens' swimming program make a splash.