Freshman Ruard van Renen makes history at NCAA Championships


Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE

Junior Chris Cole competes Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, during the SIU Swimming and Diving invitational at the Dr. Edward Shea Natatorium. (Brian Mun–oz | @BrianMMunoz)

Freshman swimmer Ruard van Renen made history on Friday and Saturday as he was the first Saluki to compete at the NCAA Championships in 18 years.

Friday being the third day of the event, van Renen swam in the 100 Backstroke. During the morning prelims, he swam a strong time of 45.17 seconds. It put him in 10th place in the standings and advanced van Renen to the B Finals.

This is where van Renen set a SIU swimming and diving program record by swimming a 44.67 time during the B finals which moved him up to 9th place overall on the day. These also marked SIU’s first NCAA points at the Championships since 1995 and van Renen. set a program record for the 100 Backstroke. He also received All-American Honorable Mention Honors for his performance.


On the final day of the NCAA Championships, van Renen impressed in the 200 Backstroke. Swimming a time of 1:39.73, breaking the SIU and Mid-American Conference Record and once again moved him to the B Finals for the second consecutive day.

Later on in the day, he swam slightly slower than the record he set earlier in the day at 1:40.22 slotting him at 13th overall. He once again won All-American Honorable Mention Honors for his swimming. 

It was a truly incredible season for the Saluki’s first-year swimmer, and it will be exciting to see what he will accomplish next.

Sports reporter Howard Woodard can be reached at [email protected].

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