MSU wins three events and competes tough in several others
Honors and Awards • 2014-15 CSCAA Scholar All-America Honorable Mention
2014-15 Season (Sophomore): Set three lifetime-best marks at the Mid-American Conference Championships ... Narrowly missed out on medaling in two events ... Placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke (54.49) and the 200 breaststroke (1:58.63) ... His 200 breast time met the NCAA `B' standard ... Also set a career best in the 50 freestyle prelims (21.30) ... Made an A-finals appearance at the Louisville Invitational in the 100 breast and eventually got eighth ... Swam two more top times to that point in 200 breast and 50 free in the Invite ... Won second collegiate event in the 100 breast in a dual at Southern Illinois (Oct. 11) ... Had fourth and sixth-place finishes in events at the Texas A&M Double Dual (Jan. 8) and sixth and seventh showings at the Shamrock Invitational (Jan. 31) ... Finished season with Bears' fastest time in the 200 breast and second fastest in the 100 breast.
2013-14 Season (Freshman): Joined the Bears in January, 2014, in time for the dual against Colorado Mesa ... Finished fourth in the 100 IM ... Also swam breaststroke leg of 800 medley relay that placed second in a time of 7:49.11 ... Won first event of collegiate career in 100 breast in dual against Truman State ... Placed fourth overall at the MAC championships in the 100 breast with a 55.05 ... Won the B-final of the 200 breast (2:00.24) at the championships.
Background: Has won many Latvian championships, holding records in breaststrokes and relays ... Swam in 11th FINA Short-Course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013 ... Earned 'B' cut time in FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, in 2013, in the 50-meter breaststroke ... Won Baltic State Championships in Serbia in 2012 ... Also swam in European championships in Debrecen, Hungary in 2012 ... Went to 2011 European Championships in Serbia ... Became Latvian champion for first time in 2010 and swam in European Junior Championships in Finland.
Personal: Born Oct. 25, 1993, in Riga, Latvia ... Son of Ina and Normunds Tazans ... Has one sister, Ieva Baumerte, and one brother, Martins Birks ... Plans on majoring in physical education at Missouri State ... Would like to become a coach.