LA VERNE — The Westmont women’s swimming team completed three successful days of competition at the La Verne Invitational.
The Warriors set several school records and qualified several swimmers for the NAIA National Championships that will take place in early March.
“These women are blowing me away with how well they are swimming as a team,” said Westmont head coach Jill Jones Lin. “Race after race they are swimming season and lifetime best times, breaking school records and qualifying for NAIA Nationals along the way. Watching their teammates swim so well has inspired them all to step up and have their own inspirational swim. It’s an incredible domino effect of fast swimming and energy.”
In the 500 Yard Freestyle, Olivia Garrison set a school record by posting a time of 5:10.24 in the preliminaries. The mark meets the national tournament provisional standard and is the second fastest in the NAIA this year.
In the finals of the 500, Morgan Bienias posted a time of 5:10.44 – a time that also met the provisional standard and ranks as the third fastest time in the NAIA.
Kassy Gregory also swam a provisional time in the 500 yard freestyle, finishing the 20 lengths of the pool in a time of 5:22.39.
Bienias and Garrison also competed in the 1650 yard freestyle, finishing second and third respectively. Bienias’ time of 17:37.77 established a new school record. Garrison posted a time of 17:45.24. Their times are the two fastest in the NAIA.
Bienias set another school record in the 200 yard backstroke, finishing in a time of 2:09.16. The provisional qualifying time is the eighth fastest in the NAIA.
Ella Chaisson rewrote the Warrior records in the 200 yard individual medley relay, posting a time of 2:09.95. Her time is a provisional qualifying mark and is the second fastest time in the NAIA.
In the preliminaries of the 100 yard breaststroke, Chaisson lowered her own school record with a time of 1:08.89, then lowered it again in the finals with a time of 1:07.55 – more than a second faster. Her time ranks in the top-10 in the NAIA.
Chaisson also lowered her own school record in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:24.42 – a preliminary qualification time that ranks fifth in the NAIA.
Rian Lewandowski’s time in the 100 yard butterfly of 59.47 lowered her school record and met the NAIA provisional qualification time. Lewandowski also recorded provisional times in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:09.52) and 100 yard backstroke (1:00.80).
Bridget Hoth reset the school record in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:00.41, which also meets the provisional qualifying mark. Hoth, as well as Gregory, also posted provisional qualification times in the 200 yard freestyle of 1:59.72 and 2:00.01 respectively.
The Warriors also put up impressive results in three relays. In the 200 yard medley relay, Ellie Muench, Chaisson, Lewandowski and Hoth earned an automatic qualification into the national championship while rewriting the school record at 1:50.73. Their time ranks seventh in the NAIA.
The Warriors also accomplished an automatic qualification mark in the 800 yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Bienias, Gregory, Garrison and Hoth posted a school-record time of 7:56.44, the fourth fastest time in the NAIA this year.
In the 400 yard freestyle relay, Hoth, Garrison, Gregory and Lewandowski teamed up to notch another automatic qualification time for the Warriors (3:40.26) and set yet another school record.
The Warriors will next compete on Dec. 4 when they host Azusa Pacific at the Westmont Pool in a dual meet.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.