Swimmer Beyer wins national championship

Junior Alex Beyer became just the third student-athlete in WUSTL history to win a swimming national championship when he placed first in the 400-yard individual medley (IM) at the 2009 NCAA Division III swimming and diving champ-ionships March 19 in Minneapolis.

Beyer’s time of 3:51.45 in the 400 IM final set a new school and NCAA Division III record. Thanks in part to Beyer’s standout performances, the men’s team placed seventh overall at the NCAA championships, while the WUSTL women came in 14th place.

Beyer was an All-America honoree in four other events at the four-day meet, earning a pair of runner-up finishes. He was second in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:59.95), second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:23.60), third in the 800-freestyle relay (6:38.12) and fourth in the 400-freestyle relay (3:00.18), setting a school record in all four events.

Freshman Karina Stridh led the women’s team to its 14th-place finish as a five-time All-American. Stridh came in third in the 100-yard backstroke (56.37), fifth in the 100-yard freestyle (50.94), seventh in the 50-yard freestyle (23.56), 11th in the 800-free relay (7:37.64) and 14th in the 400-free relay.

The men’s team had five other student-athletes earn All-America honors at the meet: senior Kevin Leckey, junior Dan Arteaga, sophomore David Chao, sophomore Michael Flanagan and freshman Chris Valach. For the women, senior Kelly Kono, junior Jessie Lodewyk and freshman Samantha Schulte also were All-Americans.

Women’s basketball second in NCAA tourney

The No. 5 women’s basketball team fell just short in its bid for an NCAA Division III-record fifth national championship.

The Bears fell to No. 3 George Fox University, 60-53, in the 2009 national championship game March 21 in Holland, Mich. WUSTL nearly erased a 14-point second-half deficit against George Fox (32-0), pulling within one point with two minutes to play, but the Bears could never tie or regain the lead.

The team was making its NCAA-record 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and eighth in the Final Four.

Senior Jaimie McFarlin and junior Janice Evans were named to the 2009 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. McFarlin scored 10 points with six rebounds in the national championship game, while Evans scored 11 points with six rebounds and two assists. It is the second time in her career McFarlin earned NCAA championship all-tournament honors; she also was an all-tournament selection following WUSTL’s runner-up finish in 2007.

The Bears advanced to the national title game with a 65-49 win over No. 11 Amherst College March 20.