Cumberlands' 400 medley team wins program's first NAIA Relay National championship trophy

Columbus, Ga. (WYMT) – Christina Klouda, Yuliia Hnidenko, Mendy De Rooi and Katy Smeltzer became the first relay team in University of Cumberlands history to win a relay national title.

According to Cumberlands athletics, the team won the 400 medley at the NAIA Swimming & Diving Championships with a new school-record time of 3:49.58.

After notching the top-seed in the prelims, De Rooi touched the wall in a career-best time of 4:58.82 to capture the Patriots first individual NAIA National title since 2013. That time also set a new school record, which was set by Grace Van Ryckeghem in 2015, by almost two seconds.

The Patriots started the morning by touching the wall in 1:36.66 to set a new school record in the 200 free. De Rooi, Smeltzer, Rebecca Loftus, and Houston Burgoon lowered the record to 1:36.54 in finals to notch a fourth place finish.

Klouda earned national runner-up honors in the 200 IM after swimming 2:06.76. Hnidenko went 2:10.61 to place 12th in the event.

Smeltzer led a trio of Patriots in the consolation final of the 50 free finishing tenth with a time of 24.54. Loftus touched the wall in 24.78 to place 12th, while Burgoon went 24.72. Nicole Ceausu went 24.84 in the prelims to finish 18th.

Cumberlands has record 160.5 points to remain in second place in the team standings. SCAD leads the way with 239 points, while Olivet Nazarene is in third with 148.5 points and Keiser in fourth with 135 points.

The NAIA Championships continue on Friday, March 1st.

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