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Lions Finish PCSCs With Several "Firsts"

Feb. 12, 2006

Long Beach, Calif. - Highlighted by nine new school records and four event titles, Loyola Marymount swimming concluded its season at the PCSC Championships Saturday in Long Beach, Calif. The Lions finished fourth of 15 programs in the conference.

The Lions' four-day point total left them in fourth place in the PCSC. If the other programs had not gained points from the diving competition, LMU would have finished in second place. The Lions do not field a diving squad.

Many of the Lions' highlights came on Friday. Sarah Hamilton (1:04.64 - new LMU record) and Lauren Mathewson (55.95 - new LMU record) gave the Lions two individual event conference titles when they won the 100 breaststroke and the 100 backstroke. Mathewson's time of 55.95 in the 100 back qualifies her among the NCAA Championship "B" consideration standards. Invitations among the consideration standards will be announced by the NCAA at the end of February. This marks the first time an LMU swimmer has qualified for NCAA Championship consideration. Her time also currently ranks as the 38th best time in the nation.

Joining Hamilton in the 100 breast finals were Angela Samuels and Morgan Finley, marking the first time LMU placed three swimmers in a conference final. Samuels finished sixth and Finley was eighth.

Mathewson and Hamilton were also joined by Samuels and Katie Hicks for a second place finish in the 400 medley relay. In front of a packed crowd on its feet, the Lions were even with conference champion UC San Diego for the entire race. The two teams were two body lengths ahead of the rest of the field. LMU's time of 3:50.46 beat the previous LMU record by about eight seconds, but just missed first place by about .5 of a second.

Maggie Brophy, who failed to qualify for the 200 freestyle finals by just .05 of a second, won the consolation swim while breaking the LMU record with a 1:54.12, a personal best time by over a second. Brophy's new school record lasted just five minutes though, until Hicks swam in the final heat and swam a 1:52.98 to earn third place. LMU had taken first, second, and third in the consolation swim with Brophy and freshmen Danielle Garcia and Rebecca Plume placing. Christine Gore placed 21st overall, taking third in the bonus consolation final.

Liz Magura qualified for the finals in the 400 IM, placing seventh with a time of 4:39.7. McKenna McCarville (15th) and Alyssa Geraghty (20th) also placed after swimming personal best times.

Kim McKay and Alicia Royal also added points for the Lions Friday.

Hicks continued her success on Saturday, winning the conference title in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.11. That time set a new LMU record and currently ranks 80th in the nation in that event.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Mathewson, Danielle Garcia, Brophy, and Liz Magura took third place (3:32.74) in a great three-way battle with UC San Diego and Pepperdine Saturday.

Mathewson also won the consolation swim in the 200 backstroke Saturday with a time of 2:08.34. McKay finished 16th.

Plume, who had never swam the 1650 free, placed 11th overall in the event with a time of 18:16.4, coming close to breaking the longest-standing LMU program record of 18:10.82, set by Jen Hatfield in 1998. Also scoring points in the 1650 free were Gore, Julia Hall, and McCarville.

Magura and Brophy finished back-to-back in first and second in the consolation swim in the 100 free with times of 53.7 and 53.8. Garcia had a strong swim in the bonus final of the same event, placing second with a 54.1.

Finley took eighth in the 200 breast and Geraghty swam another personal best in the bonus consolation, taking 21st with a time of 2:29.8.

Samuels also earned an eighth place finish, time in the 200 fly with a time of 2:10.8. Royal swam a personal best in the bonus consolation of the same event with a 2:15.2 for 21st place.