The California Lutheran University swim and dive season officially kicked off on Oct. 27 at 10 a.m. in the Samuelson Aquatics Center. A new season, a new coach and new goals have been set for the upcoming season.
“Being a new coach, I am looking forward to learning about the CLU things: the pride, the traditions, the commitment,” said Head Coach Barry Schreifels. “I think this is a wonderful place to be and there’s no limit to what we can accomplish on the swim team.”
Schreifels may be new to Cal Lutheran this year, but he is no stranger to the swim and dive community. Schreifels has coached at multiple universities including Ohio University, Arizona University and California State University, Northridge.
At these universities, Schreifels’ athletes were conference champions 18 times. They broke team records and qualified for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Championships multiple times. Schreifels hopes to bring this momentum to the Cal Lutheran women’s and men’s swim and dive teams.
“I bring a lot of different experiences with a lot of different swimmers, so I’ve seen most things and I think anyone I’ve ever coached has taught me something and the same thing is happening here,” Schreifels said. “I’m learning from these swimmers and helping them get better, and that’s what I’ve always done.”
Schreifels said that his main goal for the season is to set the right culture for the team.
“If the culture is positive in terms of school, positive in terms of being a swimmer, positive in terms of having fun; if our team really feels love for the school and love for each other, then we’ll be successful,” Shreifels said.
The Regals and Kingsmen swimmers and divers combined have over 15 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) individual championships and over 250 all-SCIAC selections. Last season, the men’s team finished in third place and the women’s team finished in fifth.
“This year, I think we can maybe shoot for second or even first, but I just want to see everyone achieve their own personal goals,” sophomore swimmer Ryan Sorgie said.
The Cal Lutheran swimmers participated in the Malibu invitational at Pepperdine University Oct. 12 and 13. Six swimmers finished in the top three at the meet on Friday, Oct. 12 and four others finished in top five. On Saturday, Oct. 13, seven swimmers on the men’s team recorded top-10 finishes and six swimmers on the women’s team recorded top-25 finishes.
Sorgie said that after the invitational, they worked a lot harder at practice.
“We’ve really worked on being there to support each other for everybody’s individual races and we’ve trained a lot harder in practice because we have seen what we could do at that first meet,” Sorgie said.
At the first league meet, junior swimmer Brianna Baldwin was excited to see how the team has improved from last season.
“I think we struggled with depth last season. We didn’t have as many people in the stroke events, but this season we’ve got a couple new freshmen girls that are really going to help us out where we weren’t as strong last year,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin also has personal goals for this upcoming season in her 100 free and her 100 fly. She said her goal is to get a 57 in the 100 fly and break the school record. Baldwin would also love to see more students come out to support the swim team.
“I think if more people were to show up to our meets, we would have a little more reason to go fast,” Baldwin said
Schreifels said, overall, he is excited for the team to grow together this season. He said he is looking forward to a good season filled with lots of love and hard work.
“When all of the other students are in bed at 5:45 a.m., these students are out here working hard in the pool and we’re very proud of that,” Schreifels said.
The swim and dive team will take on California Institute of Technology on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. in their first SCIAC meet of the season.