On Friday and Saturday, Westmont swimming traveled down the coast to the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool at Pepperdine to compete in the Rodionoff Invitational. The meet included nine schools competing in separate competitions based on school association. In the NAIA competition, Westmont defeated The Master’s 315-268.
The Warrior highlight of the day was the 200 yard freestyle relay. Bailey Lemmon, Olivia Garrison, Emma Diehl and Rian Lewandowski posted a time of 1:38.13 to win the event, which was the best time of the day. Pepperdine won the NCAA Division I event in a time of 1:38.75.
“I saw a lot of potential in freshman Emma Diehl at last week’s pentathlon, so I put her on all of our ‘A’ relays at this meet,” noted head coach Jill Jones Lin. “She did a great job racing and helping out our relaying today. She also improved all her times from last week. Emma has been working very hard to improve her technique and skill and it’s showing in her results. I’m really excited to see her progress this season.”
Diehl was not the only Warrior to show time improvements. Lemmon dropped her time in the 100 yard backstroke to 1:03.18 to finish second in the event.
“Bailey had a great anchor leg in the 400 freestyle relay, but was barely out touched by a Master’s swimmer,” reported Jones Lin.
Newcomers to the team also showed improvement over the previous weekend with Leighton Bell and Lauren Healy each recording faster times in the 100 yard freestyle and the 200 yard freestyle. Bell also notched a better time in the 50 yard freestyle while Healy bettered her time in the 500 yard freestyle. Also posting a better mark was McKenzie Rion in the 100 yard freestyle.
Two other freshman that lowered times were Abby Rickard in the 200 yard individual medley and the 100 yard breaststroke as well as Daisy Marquardt in the 100 yard breaststroke.
Ella Chaisson continued to shine in medley events, winning both the 200 yard and 400 yard individual medleys in times of 2:14.23 and 4:41.91 respectively. Both of those times beat the NAIA National Championship provision qualifying time. Marquardt finished second in the 400 yard event.
Chaisson received Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Athlete of the Week honors last week after finishing fourth in the PCSC Relays in the distance pentathlon and posting NAIA qualifying times in the 100 yard backstroke (1:01.63) and the 200 yard individual medley relay (2:14.15).
“Overall we had a good meet,” summarized Jones Lin. “We only have a few more weeks until our mid-season taper meet and have some more things to improve before then. I’m hoping they can all stay healthy so we can keep putting in the work in the pool.”
Westmont will compete next on October 28-29 at the Westmont Pool in a dual meet with Alaska Fairbanks.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.