Nov. 19, 2006
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Loyola Marymount swimming finished in a program-best seventh place Saturday after three tough days of competition at the annual UC Irvine Speedo Cup. Among the field of 23 teams, the Lions set four new school records en route to their best finish at the meet at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.
In addition to the four new school records set, two senior Lions made the NCAA "B" time standard, meaning they will be among those considered for the NCAA National Championship invitations in the spring. Senior Lauren Mathewson's second place swim in the 100 backstroke on Friday was one of them, as her time currently ranks her in the nation's top-20 in the event. Then on Saturday, Katie Hicks won the 100 free with a time of 50.95. That time was one of four new LMU records, and currently ranks her in the nation's top-30 in the event.
Mathewson also made the finals in the 100 free and placed eighth in 53.48. That gave LMU 71 points from the 100 free with five finalists in the event. Besides Hicks and Mathewson, Alex Wike and Liz Magura finished first and second in the bonus consolation of the 100 free, with personal-best times of 53.33 and 53.59, good for 17th and 18th place. Wike's time moves her into fourth on LMU's all-time top-10 event individuals ranking, with Magura being fifth. Freshman Mallorie Lim also scored, placing 24th with a personal-best time of 54.25 in her preliminary swim. She entered LMU's all-time top-10 event individuals ranking at No. 8.
Hicks, Mathewson, Wike, and Magura then teamed up later in the evening to shatter the LMU record in the 400 freestyle relay by approximately two seconds with a time of 3:30.21, placing second in the event, well ahead of defending PCSC Conference Champions UC San Diego.
Freshman Trinity O'Neill broke Krista Zabor's (2001-2004) four-year-old 400 IM record in the preliminary events Friday with a 4:35.35. Zabor's record was 4:36.21. O'Neill also barely missed Zabor's record in the 200 IM in Thursday's events by less than .2 of a second. Saturday, O'Neill was 10th in the 200 butterfly, just slightly missing the school record she broke at the Malibu Invitational last month.
"This was some really competitive swimming on Trinity's part in this high level meet," LMU Head Coach Bonnie Adair said.
Another LMU record was set by senior Morgan Finley in the 200 breaststroke, bettering her own school record with a 2:24.97 for a 20th place finish.
Julia Hall just missed breaking LMU's oldest school record (1998) in the 1650 freestyle with a 18:11.91, good for an 18th place finish. Christine Gore also swam a personal-best time of 18:21.92, within striking distance of the record and good for a 21st place finish.
Other impressive Lion swims over the three-day meet included personal best times by Lim and Amanda Luciano in the 100 backstroke. A mark of 1:00.67 moved Lim into fifth on LMU's all-time top-10 event individuals ranking and Luciano's 1:01.55 made her eighth on the list. In between those two was freshman Alicia Witter, whose relay lead-off time of 1:01.10 is now seventh on the list.
Witter also had a personal-best time in the 200 backstroke with a 2:12.74, good for 25th place and fifth on LMU's all-time top-10 event individuals ranking. Tiffany Matthews and Kristen Lutjen also had personal-best times in the same event.
Finley's 200 IM time of 2:13.44 was a personal-best by over a second, and her 400 IM time of 4:45.54 was her best time by over 7 seconds, moving her into fifth on LMU's all-time top-10 event individuals ranking.
Freshman Melanie Tansuwan became the fourth-fastest Lion in the 100 fly with a 59.40. Fellow freshman Lim took the fifth position in that event with her time of 1:00.04.
Sophomore Danielle Garcia's time of 5:16.81 in the 500 freestyle moves her into fifth place on the all-time top-10 event individuals ranking.
The Lions will get a break from competition this week, but head to San Luis Obispo next Saturday and Sunday, December 1-2 for the Cal Poly Invitational featuring San Diego, Nevada-Reno, Cal State Northridge, the Lions, and the host Mustangs.