Swimming competes at Soka

Phebe Chang, Staff Writer

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The Westmont women’s swimming team competed at the Soka Invitational on Nov. 9 and continued to make their mark in the NAIA. There were three other teams from the NAIA and four others from NCAA Division II, including Azusa Pacific, Fresno Pacific University, and Concordia University Irvine. 

The women continue to push their boundaries despite being a new team and challenged themselves at this meet, competing in events that they have not previously been trained to do. 

For example, freshman Chloe Van Bogelen swam the 1,000-yard freestyle instead of her usual 100-yard free, a 36-lengths increase compared to what she usually swims.

Overall, Van Bogelen finished in 10th place with a time of 13:32.97 followed closely by Thompson who placed in 11th place with a time of 14:01.93. 

Holley Fellows and Olivia Huebner also competed in new events. They completed in the 200-yard breaststroke, which was the highest scoring event for the Warriors in the meet.

Rian Lewandowski finished in eighth place (2:49.85), Huebner in 12th (2:58.40), Fellows was in 14th (3:09.42) and Sam Allensworth was in 15th (3:11.26). 

In the meet as a whole, freshman Morgan Bienias scored the most points on the team. She placed in the top 16 in all of her races and just barely missed the national qualifying time for the 200 freestyle. Despite having a hard swim with the 500-yard freestyle, she still placed fifth in a tough pool of swimmers.

 Bienias’ 200-yard freestyle time was only a little more than a second over the national qualifying mark (2:04.45), while her 500-yard freestyle finished at a time of 5:33.00. She placed 10th overall in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:18.37. Finally, a team of Bienias, Lewandowski, Ceili Smaw, and Devyn Hynds placed 10th for the 200-yard medley with a time of 2:06.64. 

In addition to all of the other events, there were several women Warriors who swam their best times. Emma Leathers raced in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:19.23, team captain Allison Gonzalez in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyles (1:00.47 and 2:12.24 respectively), as well as Fellows and Allensworth in the 100-yard breastroke (1:24.11 and 1:29.59).

The women have one more meet before fall semester ends, which is the La Verne Winter Invitational on Dec. 6-8 in Monterey Park at East Los Angeles Community College.