Australian Freshman Continues to Lead Brenau Team in NAIA Championship Swim Meet

Mar 8, 2014
Brenau Staff
Courtney Hayward
Courtney Hayward

Brenau University’s Courtney Hayward wrapped up her second individual national championship Friday, March 7, with a come-from-behind win in the in the 400 IM on the second day of the 2014 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships in Oklahoma City with a winning time of 4:30.53.

The freshman from Townsville, Australia, won the 500 freestyle event Thursday.

The second-day finals session marked another remarkable performance by the entire No. 4-ranked Golden Tigers team. It began with an 8th place finish in the 200 Free Relay (1:39.17), a new team record. Hayward quickly followed with her second national championship title.

Then, junior Shelby Rumker posted a personal best time and 5th-place finish in the 200 Free (1:55.52), earning her Honorable Mention All American status. Fellow junior Michelle Billeaud captured the spotlight in the 100 Fly (56.73), placing 3rd and setting a new team record, while gaining All American status.

Mary Katherine Jabbia found speed in the 100 Breaststroke, touching the wall 5th (1:05.52), with teammate Sophie Nasstrom coming in strong at 11th with a personal best of (1:08.04).

Backstroker Talia Sola, was runner up in the 100 Back (56.15). Rumker took second in the console heat, placing 10th overall with a personal best of 58.65.

The final evening of the night, Brenau produced the 3rd- fastest time in the 400 Medley Relay, which set a new team record in prelims, earning Sola, Jabbia, Billeaud and Hayward All American status.

“Golden Tigers came on strong today and produced incredibly fast swims,” said Brenau swim coach Blaire Bachman. “We had impressive individual events this morning which allowed us the opportunity to gain some ground during finals on the team score ­–fourth place is a great feeling. Saturday should be an even better day with the stroke events being a specialty for us. The last race relay also is an opportunity for us to close out the meet strong.”

The NAIA planned to broadcast all four days of the meet free of charge through NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company. For more information, visit