Yet another Conference Championships got underway with the swimmers from the CARIFTA region distinguishing themselves in the water. The NAIA( National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) got underway at the Columbus Aquatic Centre in Columbus Georgia on Thursday March 3 with the Wayland Baptist duo of Josiah Morales and Deandre Small winning medals.Prior to these Championships the Pioneers had never won any medal at Nationals
Josiah Morales of Trinidad and Tobago won Silver in the 50 yard freestyle.In the morning heats he was ranked second with a season best time of 20.88 .His split time was 9.98. In the Championship final he went out even faster in 9.94 and held the lead at the wall but was pipped to the wall by Guilherme Magnoler of Olivet Nazarene.Morales took the Silver in an another season best of 20.73 while Magnoler took Gold in 20 .67.This is a major improvement from his 8th place finish in 2015.
Morales would also win a medal in the 200 yard medley relay.In the morning heats his Pioneers team were 7th in 1:33.70.Morales swam the butterfly leg in 22.48. In the Championship final they would make a major move to get the Bronze in a time of 1:31.60.His teammates Nathan McCormick backstroke 24.60,Bjoern Globke 24.63 ,Morales butterfly 21.76 and Hugo Gallegos 20.91 combined for a historic first medal for the Pioneers.Last year the Pioneers finished 6th in 2015.
His Barbadian teammate Deandre Small crushed her personal and season best in the 50 yard freestyle of 25.34 to record a time 24.33.She would lower that even further to win Bronze in a best time of 24.06.
In the 200 yard medley relay the Pioneers Women finished 3rd in the B final in a time of 1:50.27.Small recorded her best 50 yard backstroke split of the season of 27.62.In the longest relay on offer the 800 yard freestyle relay Deandre Small had the fastest split of the team of 1:59.09 as her team clocked 8:06.86 for 11th place.