Oct. 13, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - When the Lions return to the pool for a new season of competition Saturday at San Diego State, they will bring a roster full of returners and talented newcomers. Loyola Marymount swimming lost just one senior to graduation and will look to its 23 returners to help lead the Lions to a third consecutive top-5 finish at the PCSC Championships in February.
The Lions rewrote the record book in their 2005-06 campaign, en route to a fourth place finish at the PCSC Championship. The season featured eight new school records and four event titles. LMU finished fourth of 15 programs at the four-day conference championships. 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.
Head Coach Bonnie Adair is in her fourth season at the helm of the LMU program. In her two seasons as a full-time head coach, Adair coached the Lions from a 10th place finish at the PCSC Championship in 2003 to the LMU-best third and fourth place finishes in 2004 and 2005. Adair will once again be assisted by Clay Evans and Joanne Reierson.
The coaching staff has planned for a challenging home schedule, beginning with November 11's LMU Pentathlon. The Pentathlon, now in its third year, features three competitions in the short IM, long IM, and freestyle events. The home schedule continues in December and January with Northern Arizona, Alaska-Fairbanks, and Pepperdine all visiting Burns Aquatic Center.But first, the Lions begin the 2006-07 campaign on the road, taking on San Diego State Saturday, October 13, before heading to the Malibu Invitational October 28.
Saturday's meet at San Diego State will serve as a re-match of last season's competition with the Aztecs, when SDSU topped the Lions in a three-way dual.
"We developed our program since last year's meet at SDSU, and we're at a different level now," Adair said. "SDSU is a talented team and they will have the benefit of earning points from the diving competition, which we will have to make up with our depth. But it's a much better match-up for us this season."
The Lions earned four first-place finishes at SDSU last season, winning the 200 medley relay, the 100 back, and the 50 and 100 free. LMU will look for strong performances in those events again this weekend.
"This weekend's meet will be a tough test against a strong opponent," Adair said. "It will really give us a good indication of where we stand at the start of the season."