Swim and Dive Bested by the Banana Slugs

California Lutheran University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams took the five-hour road trip up to University of California Santa Cruz to take on the Banana Slugs in their second invitational of the season. After 48 total events, the Regals fell short to the Slugs with a final score of 1165-876, while the Kingsmen held on to the win with a final score of 1085-1067.

Both teams’ Achilles heel seemed to be the first four relays of the invitational, as both the Kingsmen and Regals were unable to place higher than second.

In the men’s 200-yard medley relay, the Kingsmen fell behind the Banana Slugs by just three-tenths of a second. They also came short in a nail biter where sophomore anchor Kye Daniels was unable to close five-tenths of a second gap in the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay.

Although the Regals relay teams were unable to place first in the relay events, they were still able to earn 98 points towards the team total.

Sophomore McKenzie Kelly earned the Regals first first-place finish of the day in the 200-yard butterfly with a total time of 1:58.14.

“Whenever anyone wins a race or swims a top time, the whole team benefits. I hope that my first place in the 200 butterfly got the team fired up and ready to win more,” Kelly said.

Junior Emily Glass took first in both the 100-yard breaststroke with a total time of 1:12.50 and in 200-yard breaststroke with a total time of 2:35.47. The Regals were unable to finish first for the rest of the invitational.

“As a team, we can improve by finding our individual strengths and weaknesses… Santa Cruz was our fourth meet and we still have time before our championship meet in February to find the team’s ideal race plan,” Kelly said.

The Kingsmen finished first 13 different times on Saturday, which ended up being crucial once the team points were tallied.

Sophomore Andreas Nybo had quite the day as he finished first a total of six times. He placed first in four individual events, 100 and 200-yard butterfly, with times of 53.84 and 1:58.14 respectively, 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.9), and the 200-yard individual medley (1:59.39). Those races, along with his finishes in the relays, earned the Kingsmen an impressive 160 points.

First-year Miles Gaitan and junior Liam McCallum placed first in two individual events and two relays. Gaitan exceeded in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events with times of 55.57 and 2:01.69. McCallum headed both 100 and 200-yard freestyle races with times of 49.22 and 1:48.11.

“A five-hour bus ride isn’t particularly great for getting in the racing mindset, but overall I’m happy with how I executed the race and I’m happy with the results as well,” McCallum said.

Junior Ben Brewer contributed to the Kingsmen points total with 40 points in two individual events. He had top finishes in the 500 and 1650-yard freestyle with times of 4:49.75 and 16:49.53.

Joining Brewer, Gaitan, McCallum and Nybo with first place finishes were junior Thomas Hamburger in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:17.15) and first-year Nathan March in the 400-yard medley relay (3:40.11) and also a top finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:11.64).

The Cal Lutheran swim and dive teams will have a chance to rest after their long weekend as their next event will not be until Jan. 4, when they will be hosting the two-day Chris Knorr Invitational.

Dominick Grimm

Reporter