California Baptist University’s aquatics teams made a splash in the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive conference (PCSC) this season.
So far the men’s squad has finished no lower than third place in any meet, and the women have finished no lower than second.
The men’s team placed first in six events and the women’s team has nine first-place finishes.
Each team is building upon past success as the women’s team won a national championship last year and the men finished second in the nation.
Swimmer Tai Nuntapramote mentioned the swimmers want to attract crowds to come out to their meets this year.
“Swimming is not as popular of a sport as volleyball or basketball, but we appreciate getting support from the students and like for them to come cheer for us,” Nuntapramote said.
The Swimming and diving program has a successful history at CBU with nine combined national championships and 103 individual champions.
Swim and Dive are unique sports in the fact that they are team sports with a heavy reliance on individual performances.
“Swimming is an individual sport and a team sport. So if I do well in my own event, it will make me happy and get the team points. And if I do bad, I do poorly as an individual, and it takes away points from my team, so it’s challenging on both of those levels,” Nuntapramote said.
Nuntapramote has been a standout performer this year as a senior who swims in freestyle and butterfly events and specializes in the 200 and 500 freestyle.
Other standouts include sophomore Mary Hanson, senior Trevor Graifman, senior Jamie Flynn and freshman Derek Wedel.
Hanson is following up a record breaking 2011 season with an equally impressive 2012. She has placed first multiple times in numerous meets so far.
Graifman and Flynn won numerous events as well, including faring well at the Stanford Diving Invitational against National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I schools. Graifman placed third in the one-meter dive event behind two Stanford divers.
Wedel has been running away with victories in the 1000 yard freestyle events throughout the season.
In order to be successful, swimmers and divers must build up endurance over the course of their five-month season.
“Swimming is very time-consuming and a lot of work, but when it comes down to it all that hard work is over in a 20-second event,” Nuntapramote said. “When swimmers stop swimming, they lose their endurance and speed. You have to keep doing it or all of the practice time goes to waste.”
The swimming and diving teams have two regular season meets remaining – one against University of California, Riverside on Jan. 21 and one against California State University, Bakersfield and Loyola Marymount on Jan. 28.