Swim makes splash in season opener
Men’s, women’s swim teams post solid showings in traditional season opener. | Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES
The Ryan Kauth era began at the swim team’s first meet of the 2017-18 season, which took place at Splash! Aquatics Center in La Mirada, Calif. Newly hired as head swim and dive coach on an interim basis in September, Kauth got a chance to prove his team’s skill against several foes from the Pacific Collegiate Swim Dive Conference for the first time. The Eagles responded with a solid performance, that still left room for improvement, on Oct. 6-7.
The first day was completely comprised of relays, allowing several veteran quartets to get back in the pool together. A team comprised of sophomores Bethany Harper, Emily Silzel and Rachel Stinchcomb and senior Lisa Tixier led the way for the women, posting an 8:00.93 score in the 800-yard freestyle relay to finish third.
Another foursome including Tixier, Silzel, sophomore Kaylyn Schull and senior Rebecca Brandt posted the Eagles’ only other third place finish of the day with a time of 4:04.73 in the 400-yard medley relay. Eagles women’s quartets also placed fourth in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays and the 3x100-yard backstroke relay.
The men struggled quite a bit more on Oct. 6, but notched a pair of fourth place finishes to highlight their day. Seniors Tom Franicevich and Daniel Vale teamed up with sophomores Raymond Kam and Matthew Roe to record a 1:31.29 time in the men’s 200-yard relay. Kam, Roe, junior Eric Nimmo and freshman Andrew Holmes finished fourth out of five in the 400-yard 4x100 individual medley relay.
The individual pentathlons on Oct. 7 saw multiple swimmers set new personal best times in a variety of events, with Silzel, Stinchcomb, Kam and Tixier finishing within the top 10 of their pentathlons. Tixier, who won National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Swimmer of the Year last season, picked up right where she left off with stellar finishes of 23.98, 52.72 and 1:54.94 in the 50, 100 and 200-yard individual freestyles, respectively. She finished fourth out of 53 for the freestyle pentathlon.
Silzel came in just behind Tixier in the 200 free with a 1:56.54 time and notched a fourth place finish of her own in the short medley pentathlon. Stinchcomb finished fifth, just after Silzel, in the same group of events, highlighted by a 1:00.57 time in the 100-yard butterfly.
Kam led the way for the men, finishing sixth in the men’s short medley pentathlon. He punctuated his day with a 1:00.92 time for fourth place in the 100-yard breaststroke. The host Eagles finished fourth in both the men’s and women’s fields, with the men competing in a group of five universities and the women in a group of eight.
Biola gets two weeks to rest up before its first road trip of the season to Mills College in Oakland, Calif. on Oct. 27-28.