Women’s Swim Teams Academic and Athletic Success

Dylan Anderman, Sports Editor

Honored as a Scholar All-America Team with the second highest team GPA in the nation, California State University, East Bay’s women’s swim team has demonstrated rigor and dedication to excellence in and out of the pool, setting an admirable example for all student-athletes to follow. 

The women’s team placed third at the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships (PCSC) between Feb. 8-11, earning a total of 10 medals: six gold, two silver, and two bronze.

The tournament kicked off with the 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley relay, and 800-yard freestyle relay. Freshman Miya French led the charge for the Pioneers with a time of 10:21.03 in the 1000-yard freestyle, taking home a gold medal. 

The Pioneers continued to add to their growing assortment of medals on the second day of the tournament, with French placing third in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:02.55. In the wake of the 200-yard individual medley, Kylie Beaudet came home with the gold as she finished with a time of 2:05.10. 

“Focusing on drills and techniques that help me have more endurance and power in the water helps me prepare for the IM,” Beaudet commented.

Following Beaudet and French’s stellar performances, star swimmer Brooklyn Dressel simultaneously set the university and meet record for the 50-yard free, finishing with a time of 22.84. 

Continuing to push the envelope, Dressel, Delaney Carlson, Olivia Parham, and Emma Knott set a university best with a time of 1:33.79 in the 200-yard freestyle relay, qualifying the four swimmers for the NCAA Championships.

East Bay’s dominance persisted into day three. Dressel continued to impress as she earned the gold with a time of 56.15 in the 100-yard butterfly, breaking a record of her own. Reflecting on her exceptional weekend, Dressel attributed her success to personal dedication to the sport and guidance from her coaches, stating, “I am able to keep improving because I’m always pushing myself in the water and working with Coach Shane to perfect my technique… When it comes time to race, I trust that and have confidence in myself.”

Beaudet earned her second gold of the meet, finishing the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:26.46. “My teammates that do the same events, push me and each other during practice so that we all can help each other get better,” Beaudet explained, thanking her fellow swimmers and coaching staff for their support. “My coaches and teammates from East Bay have helped me grow and succeed in my first year here,” expressed Beaudet.

Tori Padilla added to the Pioneers’ score with a third-place medal in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing with a time of 1:04.59. 

Finishing strong, Dressel shattered yet another university record on the final day of the competition by completing the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.48: milliseconds away from first place. “Coach Shane, Coach Claire, and my team has been a big part [of my success] because they made me love swimming and want to come to practice every day,” Dressel commented after the PCSC Championships. 

The tournament ended in high spirits as six Pioneers qualified for the NCAA Championships in March. Among those selected are Kylie Beaudet for the 200- and the 400-yard IM, and Brooklyn Dressel for the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle. Delaney Carlson, Emma Knott, Dressel, and Olivia Parham will swim in the 200-yard freestyle relays, while Dressel, Carlson, Parham, and Jacqueline Feurtado will swim in the 400-yard freestyle relays. 

Aside from their success at the tournament, the team was also recognized in February as Scholar All-American with a team GPA of 3.74: second in the nation for the highest team GPA. “Our coaches and teammates all make sure to emphasize that we are students and then athletes,” Dressel noted after receiving the high honor. Beaudet corroborated Dressel, saying that “[the team] always manage[s] to stay on top of our work.”

Dressel went on to explain her team’s success, citing that “our team is very supportive of each other and holds everyone to high standards both in the water and in school. They push you to do the best you can, and they always want to see their teammates succeed.” 

“We have a really great team environment. We are constantly encouraging each other to be the best we can and push each other to our fullest potential,” Beaudet added.

Akin to a family, the swim team looks out for and supports each other. “When asked what everyone was looking forward to at the conference, most people said watching a specific race from another teammate. If you ever need anything from the team they are there for you,” Dressel said, sharing gratitude towards her team. 

By virtue of their outstanding feats over the past weekend, these young swimmers prove that excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude: one of resilience and tenacity.

Following a long season, six Pioneer swimmers are looking to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Swimming and Diving Championships between Mar. 8-11.