California Lutheran University’s men’s and women’s swim and dive team competed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship meet from Feb. 19-22. Cal Lutheran hosted the meet, though it was held at Whittier College.
The hard work put in by the swimmers all season would be put to the test over the four-day meet.
“They prepared by swimming doubles, plus weights at least three times a week. Then over the semester break doubles, Monday through Friday and weights two days a week with a meet on Saturday,” said head coach Tom Dodd.
The team has been both physically and mentally preparing for SCIAC championships for the past few weeks. Both teams have been tapering in preparation for the meet. This includes cutting back on yardage, having fewer workouts and meeting with a sports psychologist to help them focus and prepare for the upcoming competition.
The preparation was put into fruition over the weekend as multiple records were broken by both the men’s and women’s teams.
Freshman Jonah Hobbs set a school record and won the men’s 1650 event with a time of 15:53.76, shattering the previous record by 40 seconds, according to clusports.com. The win represented Hobbs’ first SCIAC title.
For the Regals, junior Katie Kochalko set a school record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:11.14, according to clusports.com.
The Kingsmen broke multiple records as well. Junior Ore Wahnishe swam a Cal Lutheran best 20.98 in the 50 free event. Wahnishe was also part of a school record time in the 200 free relay along with sophomore Zach Loza, junior Jack Acampora and freshman Zach Zamecki. The relay team produced a time of 1:24.30, according to clusports.com.
Other Kingsmen to set school records included freshman Jonah Hobbs, who broke Loza’s previous record in the 500 free with a time of 4:34.34. Senior Johnathan Hall swam a school best 4:03.82 in the 400 individual medley, which earned him All-SCIAC honors. Wahnishe also broke the school record in the 100 butterfly event, swimming a 50.49. Senior diver Ryan Brem broke the record in the 11-dive one-meter mark, scoring a 476.70, according to clusports.com.
Overall, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took both the men’s and women’s team titles, with the Kingsmen finishing in fourth and Regals in eighth.
The final meet of the year puts a cap on what has been a season of ups and downs for both the Kingsmen and Regals.
“It’s the first year in our history that [the men’s team] beat Redlands. They beat Redlands and Whittier in one week, so they’re going off of that meet really pumped,” Kochalko said.
“Even though we have a pretty new team, I feel like everyone really came together this year. Because it was new, everyone was looking forward to being really positive and wanting to have a good time. So of the four years this would be my favorite year,” senior and four-year member of the Regals swim team Taylor Faust said.
“I think we’ve gotten better as a team, this year especially. We all just kind of clicked and realized we were here because we wanted to be here and wanted to get better,” Kochalko said.
This season has been an enjoyable one for athletes and coaches alike.
“The credit goes to the people on the team, the swimmers and divers. They were a joy to work with and they created an environment where everyone was supported,” Dodd said. “They created a very positive team image.”
Published February 25th, 2015