Brenau's Lindsay Dowling a junior from Winston, Ga. celebrates after placing second in the 100 yard backstroke during the finals of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Brenau's Lindsay Dowling a junior from Winston, Ga. celebrates after placing second in the 100 yard backstroke during the finals of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau Swimmers Named NAIA All-Americans and Scholar-Athletes

Mar. 21, 2018
Kristen Bowman
Brenau's Yanne Toussaint a sophomore from Varsseveld, The Netherlands, Brenau's Nikoletta Alvanou a freshman from Thessaloniki, Greece and Brenau's Kamryn Carter a freshman from Woodstock, Ga. study the heat sheet during the prelims of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau’s Yanne Toussaint a sophomore from Varsseveld, The Netherlands, Brenau’s Nikoletta Alvanou a freshman from Thessaloniki, Greece and Brenau’s Kamryn Carter a freshman from Woodstock, Ga. study the heat sheet during the prelims of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championships on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Nine Brenau University swimmers were named 2018 All-Americans and Women’s Swimming Scholar-Athletes by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics after their team’s No. 8 overall finish at the 2018 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Nikoletta Alvanou, a freshman from Thessaloniki, Greece, received All-America honors for the 800 free relay and 400 individual medley; Maggie Davis, freshman from Thomasville, Georgia, was All-American for the 800 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 fly; Lindsay Dowling, junior from Winston, Georgia, received All-America honors in the 400 medley relay, 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke; Ella Kleinschmidt, senior from Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, received the honors in the 800 free relay, 400 medley relay and 1650 freestyle; and Yanne Toussaint, sophomore from Varsseveld, The Netherlands, received All-America honors in the 800 free relay and 400 medley relay.

Kleinschmidt was also named a 2017-18 NAIA-Daktronics Women’s Swimming Scholar-Athlete along with four of her teammates: Sarah Frey, senior from Snellville, Georgia; Alisha Hodgetts, senior from Perth, Australia; Devin Horan, junior from Savannah, Georgia; and Emma Jaczko, junior from Peachtree City, Georgia.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.5, appear on the eligibility certificate for the sport and have attended two full years as a nontransfer or one full year as a transfer.

The NAIA 2018 Swimming and Diving Championships were held March 1-3 in Columbus, Georgia. On the first day of the championship, the Golden Tigers placed two relay teams in the top eight, including the 800 freestyle relay team of Toussaint, Davis, Alvanou and Kleinschmidt and the 400 medley relay team of Toussaint, Davis, Kleinschmidt and Dowling.

On the final day of competition, Brenau earned two top-five finishes with several other strong performances to round out a solid meet.

Dowling continued her strong championship with a fifth-place finish in the 200 backstroke on Saturday. It was her second top-five of the weekend after placing second in the 100 backstroke on Friday.

“I trained a lot harder than last year, so I felt like it went well,” Dowling said. “But I’m definitely going to try to win 100 backstroke and place top three in the 200 backstroke next year.”

Brenau's Ella Kleinschmidt a senior from Hervey Bay, Queensland Australia gets a hug from Brenau's Lindsay Dowling a junior from Winston, Ga. after the 400 yard freestyle relay during the finals of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championship on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau’s Ella Kleinschmidt a senior from Hervey Bay, Queensland Australia gets a hug from Brenau’s Lindsay Dowling a junior from Winston, Ga. after the 400 yard freestyle relay during the finals of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championship on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Alvanou added a strong individual showing Friday, placing sixth in the 400 individual medley.

Kleinschmidt topped off a stellar career with a fifth-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle. The senior also joined teammates Yanne Toussaint, Maria Soledad Morrell Quiroga and Kamryn Carter on the 400 freestyle relay team, which placed 10th overall. Toussaint was 11th in the 200 breaststroke.

Kleinschmidt said it was bittersweet completing her final individual swim as a collegiate athlete.

“I’ll miss literally everything. I think the thing I’ll miss the most is being part of an amazing team. I was able to thrive around amazing people. I got to spend four years as a college swimmer, and I’m going to miss every aspect of it.”

Fellow senior Hodgetts, a star of the team for four years, was diagnosed with appendicitis and had her appendix removed a week before the last meet of her career. A difficult moment, but Hodgetts said she will always be grateful for the support she found in her team. “We get through everything together,” she said. “We are always there for each other.”

Davis marked the third individual top-10 finish for the Golden Tigers on Saturday as she finished seventh in the 200 butterfly.

“I was really nervous coming in because I’m just a freshman and I have never gone to a big meet like this as a college swimmer, but I felt like we really pulled together as a team and we did something really great,” Davis said. “I think I did surprise myself, and I’m really happy with that.”

 

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