Feb. 16, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
After completing the dual-meet season on February 7, the LMU swimming team will travel to Long Beach, Calif. to defend last year's title at the PCSC Championships starting on February 18 and finishing on the 21st.
The four-day competition consists of swimming and diving events, even though not all teams (including LMU) field a diving team. In addition, each swimmer is limited to three events. The meet scores to 24th place with the fastest eight swimmers from the preliminaries making it into the Championship Final each night. The Consolation Final (places 9-16) and the `Bonus Consolation' (places 17-24) also return for the finals each evening. Each team is allowed 18 scoring athletes.
LMU completed a fantastic four-day PCSC Championship run last year, culminating in the program's first Conference Title. The Lions collected 1212 total points over the course of the Championship, defeating their nearest opponent, Pepperdine, by 46 points. In addition, 11 Lion swimmers were named to the PCSC All-Conference team, three to the All-Academic team, and Head Coach Bonnie Adair was named PCSC Women's Coach of the Year after the meet. The team of Alicia Witter, Angela Samuels, Mallorie Lim and Alex Wike won the 200 medley relay, while Rebecca Plume (500 freestyle), Wike (50 freestyle) and Witter (100 freestyle) each won individual titles. The Lions set five new LMU records at last year's championships. Following the meet, the PCSC announced the names of All-Conference and All-Academic selections. After posting a then-LMU-record five swimmers on the All-Conference team in 2007, the Lions responded by more than doubling that total with an unbelievable 11 swimmers in 2008. Samuels, Wike, Plume, Alexa Cook, Lim, Kristen Lutjen, Trinity O'Neill, Megan Sawelson, Melanie Tansuwan, Witter and Carolyn Pasque were all named to the prestigious list. Wike was also named to the PCSC All-Academic team, an honor bestowed to junior and senior swimmers with a 3.5 GPA or better. Joining Wike on the list were Nicole Alvarado and Justine Elgas.
This season, LMU is poised to repeat its success from last year. With R. Plume, Cook, Lim, Lutjen, T. O'Neill, Sawelson, Tansuwan, Witter and Pasque back from the All-Conference Team, along with strong returnees and quality newcomers, the Lions have seeded well in relays and many of the individuals are in the top-10 in this year's events.
A key to performing well at the Championships has always been to score well in the relays. These races count for double the points of an individual race, and fortunately for the Lions, relays are once again a strength of the squad. All three of LMU's freestyle relays are seeded second to UCSD, and they all should be close races. Adair wouldn't be surprised to see the school records fall in all three freestyle relays, especially the 800 freestyle relay, where the team is expected to better the previous mark by a significant margin.
Individually, the Lions are just as competitive and strong, especially in the freestyle events in which LMU has made a name for itself over the years. The Lions own the first two seeds in the 100 freestyle (Anne Scott and Witter), and six out of the top-13 in the race. In addition, Scott is seeded first in her two other events, the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle. Witter is seeded in the top-10 in all three of her events, including the 100 freestyle, in which she is the defending champion. She is also seeded fourth in the 200 freestyle and 10th in the 500 freestyle. R. Plume is also seeded in the top-10 in her three events, including second in the 1650 freestyle, sixth in the 200 freestyle, and ninth in the 500 freestyle, an event in which she is the defending champion. T. O'Neill is seeded well in the 200 butterfly, holding the second seed, while she is seeded seventh in the 400 individual medley.
Along with Scott, the newcomers in 2009 are also poised and ready to succeed. Two of the freshmen, Tammy Choy and Yvonne Le, are seeded in the top-10 in all three of their events. Choy is second in the 400 individual medley, fourth in the 200 individual medley, and seventh in the 200 backstroke. Le is second in the 100 butterfly, seventh in the 200 IM, and eighth in the 200 backstroke. Three other freshmen are in the top-10 in one or more of their events. Olivia Plume is 10th in both the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and 14th in the 50 freestyle. Jill Dahle is ninth in the 200 butterfly and 12th in the 500 freestyle, while Terry Rinder is eighth in the 1,650 freestyle. Other Lions with top-10 seeds include Katie Carmody (fifth in the 200 butterfly), Mallorie Lim (sixth in the 100 butterfly) and Pasque (eighth in the 100 freestyle).
LMU First-Place Finishes at 2008 PCSC Championships:
200 Medley Relay (Alicia Witter, Angela Samuels, Mallorie Lim, Alex Wike) - 1:45.70
500 Freestyle (Rebecca Plume) - 4:56.59
50 Freestyle (Alex Wike) - 23.89
100 Freestyle (Alicia Witter) - 51.80
New LMU Program Records Set During PCSC Championships:
200 Freestyle (Rebecca Plume) - 1:52.31
500 Freestyle (Rebecca Plume) - 4:56.59
1000 Freestyle (Rebecca Plume) - 10:25.16*
1650 Freestyle (Rebecca Plume) - 17:16.14
200 Freestyle Relay (Alex Wike, Alexa Cook, Carolyn Pasque, Megan Sawelson) - 1:35.76
*Record was set on the way out to her 1650, and broke the record she set earlier in the season by over 15 seconds.