Lions Post Season-Best Times at Arena Invitational, Choy Lowers 200 Backstroke Mark

Senior Tammy Choy lowered the 200 backstroke record at the Arena Invitational.

Nov. 20, 2011

LONG BEACH, Calif. -

2011 Arena Invitational ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

As in past years, the LMU swimming team had a strong performance at the Arena Invitational this last weekend. The event has become one of the premier NCAA swimming events of the fall season, with four Top-25 teams competing during the three day event, including defending National Champion Cal Berkeley. Other ranked teams included No. 7 Stanford, No. 23 Arizona State, and No. 25 UCLA as well as last year's Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State. Also attending were MPSF foes BYU, UCSB, USD, CSUB and Pacific.

The Lions recorded nearly 100% season-best performances from it's 24 swimmers over the course of the three day invitational, including a new program record by senior Tammy Choy in the 200 backstroke. Choy lowered the record set by junior teammate Sophie Allen at last years' MPSF Conference Championships, bringing the Lion standard down from 2:03.00 to 2:02.86.

Several Lions made it back into the evening finals over the course of the three-day invitational, where the Top-32 athletes in each individual event competed for team points along with the "A" relay teams from each school. On the first day of the competition, freshman Kjirsten Magnuson continued LMU's tradition of strong sprinters by placing 23rd in the 50 freestyle with a 23.60. Magnuson's preliminary time of 23.51 ranks her as the fourth-fastest sprinter in LMU program history. Junior Camille Hopp also returned for the evening sprint race placing 29th with a 23.83. Last year's senior standout, Isabella Zhang, competed in the event with an `unattached' status and placed 11th posting a personal-best time of 23.17 in the morning's preliminaries, which bested the program record of former LMU standout, Anne Scott. Magnuson and Hopp were joined by junior Noelani Vargas and sophomore Katie Rick on LMU's "A" 200 freestyle relay which placed 12th of 17 teams. Magnuson and Hopp then joined with junior Sophie Allen and senior Yvonne Le for a 13th place finish in the 400 Medley relay at the end of the first day's session.

On the second day of competition, Choy and fellow senior Christina Cannata made it back into the evening's finals in the 400 Individual Medley with season-best times of 4:33.17 and 4:35.20 good for 31st & 32nd, respectively. Hopp returned for her second finals of the competition placing 20th in the 100 breaststroke with a season-best 1:04.96. Allen also made it back into the finals in the 100 backstroke with a season-best of 56.84 good for 23rd. In the evening's relay events, LMU's 200 medley relay team of Allen, Hopp, Magnuson and Vargas combined for a 14th place finish while it's 800 freestyle relay team of Cannata, senior Jill Dahle, and freshman newcomer Maddie Vanderpoel were 15th.

The final day of competition saw Choy, Magnuson and Zhang return for another final with Choy taking down the school record in the 200 backstroke with a 24th place finish. Magnuson entered LMU's All-time Top-10 list at No. 6 in the 100 freestyle with a 51.53, tying for 27th place with UCSB's top sprinter. Zhang again competed in an unattached status placing 21st. Earlier in the evening, sophomore distance standout Mary Kate Short posted the third-fastest time in LMU history in the 1650 freestyle `mile' race with a 17:32.88 good for 28th place overall. In the final race of the competition, the 400 freestyle relay, Hopp, Magnuson, Allen and Dahle combined for a 12th place finish.

Other notable performance were achieved by Magnuson in the 100 backstroke, whose personal-best time of 57.74 moves her into fourth place on LMU's Top-10 list. Rick dropped her personal-best by four seconds in the 200 IM to a 2:09.9 moving her into 10th on LMU's Top-10 list. Vanderpoel's 500 freestyle time of 5:09.48 made her the eighth-fastest Lion in LMU history. Those achieving personal best times at this mid-season mark were:

Kjirsten Magnuson (freshman)
100 butterfly, 100 backstroke

Kathleen Gore (freshman)
100 butterfly, 100 freestyle

Maddie Vanderpoel (freshman)
200 butterfly

Katie Rick (sophomore)
50 freestyle, 200 IM, 200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke

Lauren Saylor (sophomore)
100 freestyle

Noelani Vargas (junior)
50 freestyle

Tammy Choy (senior)
200 backstroke

Jill Dahle (senior)
100 freestyle

Isabella Zhang (5th yr)
50 freestyle




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