Swimmers find stroke in final home meet


Photo by Kristiana Federe/The Pioneer

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

Last year the Cal State East Bay women’s swimming team backed into the postseason after they lost their final regular season meet to a tough NCAA Division I opponent, San Jose State University.

Ultimately, they finished third at the 2015 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference championships, falling short of the NCAA championships. However, this year had a much different ending. CSUEB dominated Fresno Pacific in their final meet of the regular season which was also senior day, 170-91, giving the squad a ton of momentum going into the conference championships.

“This is a very special senior class, not least because of their size,” CSUEB Head Coach Ben Loorz said. “But they have been the backbone of this team since they arrived. We have enjoyed a year of great leadership because of them.”

With nine seniors on this year’s team, there was a lengthy pregame ceremony to honor them before their final competitive swim at Pioneer Pool. The team responded to the high emotions and nabbed first place in nine events, seven individual races and two relays. CSUEB senior Hannah Cutts and junior Mariam Lowe led the way for the Pioneers. Cutts finished first in the 200 yard freestyle (1:56.35) and the 500 yard freestyle (5:15.85). Cutts also swam the third leg of the 400 yard freestyle relay which CSUEB won in a time of 3:36.59.

Lowe was also dominant in the pool on Friday and she was able to take first place in the 100 yard backstroke (59.46) and the 200 yard backstroke (2:09.11). Like Cutts, Lowe was also on a first place relay team where she swam the first leg of the 200 yard medley relay for the Pioneers that finished in a time of 1:49.30 and acclaimed first.

Senior Makila Schuck took first place in the 100 yard breaststroke in thrilling fashion after she was able to hold off Fresno Pacific’s Hailey Cablao by less than a second. Fellow senior Rachel Shimizu’s first place finish in the 1650 yard freestyle wasn’t as exciting as she dominated the pack finishing with a time of 17:46.12, more than 35 seconds faster than second place finisher and teammate junior Kayleigh Davidson.

CSUEB junior Madison Hauanio also took home a first place in the 100 yard freestyle. In one of the closest races of the day, Hauanio out touched Fresno’s Sammie Woo by less than just two tenths of a second 52.42 to 52.59.

“We won a lot of events, which was nice, but our depth really showed through the best,” Loorz said. “We have a lot of swimmers showing good speed as we head into the final phase before Conference Championships, and that is as it should be. Our technical details and early speed still need a little fine-tuning, but our pacing is looking good.”

The Pioneers have a little less than three weeks to get ready for the conference championships which will be held Feb. 12 to Feb. 15 in East Los Angeles at ELAC Swimming Pool. Events are scheduled all day during the conference championships. If the Pioneers perform strong they could earn a bid to the NCAA Championships which are scheduled for Mar. 9 to Mar. 12 at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Photo by Kristiana Federe/The Pioneer
Photo by Kristiana Federe/The Pioneer