Swim teams show strong potential
On a day that was supposed to bring fear and fright, Biola’s men and women’s swim team were the ones doing the terrorizing during a non-scoring double-dual meet against Azusa Pacfic University and the University of La Verne on Saturday.
Five swimmers were able to meet the NAIA qualifying meet this week, including junior April Smith in the 400IM (4:44.71) and the 200 Breast (2:28.89), freshman Bailey Johnson in the 400IM (5:03.13), sophomore Alison Seek in the 1650 Free (18:50.24), sophomore Amber Kiel in the 200 Back (2:17.79) and junior Paul Mendoza in the 400IM (4.24.82).
“Despite how hard the team had been working out this entire week, I felt like our team swam some very fast times,” Biola Head Coach Eddie Shepherd said.
The team expects to have a strong season, although this win didn’t count for the standings. The men took home 10 events with the women adding six more.
For the women, Smith, Kiel, Mosbacher, and Seek took first in their events, while freshman Jacob Neller took his three individual events as he continues to find his stride this season, with Mendoza splashing his way to two top finishes. Senior Zach Perkins and freshman Chris Stutzman also took first in their events.
The potential is in most ways off the charts this season, with such a strong start for both teams. Strength and conditioning is a big factor.
“This is the first year (the team) has lifted weights to help with their training, and many are already seeing the benefits from that.” Johnson said. “Many people have already swam their best times (with it being early in the season). Seeing this good of results this early in the season, is a good sign of what is yet to come at Conference and Nationals in February and March.”
Despite the early season success, many close to the team don’t expect them to hit their stride until after January when they train during all of interterm.
“It isn’t until then that we start performing at our best,” sophomore Brittney Rosania said. “But overall the team is strong this year.”
Although the women’s team has enough depth to reach the bottom of the pool, the men’s team has more “standouts” with Neller and Mendoza leading the pack.
“There are definitely areas where we can (still) improve. Every team does, but we were able to swim well and have fun,” said Johnson.
The teams were able to also indulge in some holiday festivities, with the meet ending in a “costume relay.” Six team members competed and swam 50 meters with clothes on and had to hand off the clothes to the next swimmer.
“It was just something fun that we were able to do since the meet was on Halloween,” Johnson added.
With the season still young, expect a lot more fears to arise – from the rest of the GSAC that is.