Swim team takes top spots in RMAC championships

The California Baptist University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams competed Feb. 8-11 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships in Grand Junction, Colo.

The women’s team won first place in the championship over eight teams, scoring a total of 1,067 points, while the men’s team placed second out of four teams, scoring 955 points.

Rick Rowland, head coach of the swim and dive teams, said he is excited about the championship results.

“Both the men’s and women’s teams swam and dived really well,” Rowland said. “The women were four-time champions and the men did very good; we had two disqualifications that cost us the title.”

Rowland also said the men’s team is upset because of the disqualifications.

“We really outswam Colorado Mesa,” Rowland said. “There were some controversial disqualifications that costed us the meet.”

Rowland said the conference championships were a great precursor to the NCAA championships.

“Many men and women will get invited to compete in the NCAA Championship Meet because of how we swam at our conference meet,” Rowland said. “You want to use that conference meet as a precursor to the national meet and get ourselves ready.”

Rowland said he wants to see both male and female swimmers earn a top-10 spot in the NCAA Championship meet in Birmingham, Ala.

“There are about 80 different teams in the meet,” Rowland said. “We have some really strong swimmers going into the meet and we are hoping to peak perform at the end of the season.”

Breanne Schlenger, junior psychology and sociology double major and diver, said she feels great about the team’s first place win at the conference.

“Winning the championship is very exciting because I have been here about four years,” Schlenger said. “My biggest goal in the NCAA meet is to place in the top-8 on both the 1-meter and 2-meter boards.”

Scott Tolman, freshman computer science major and breaststroke swimmer, said he is happy to make it far into the RMAC championships.

“I am very proud to come back from a huge deficit,” Tolman said. “I am a little disappointed at the result, but on the fourth day we were able to come back.”

Tolman said his favorite part of the RMAC meet is seeing the energy in each athlete.

“It is really fun to walk up on that deck and compete,” Tolman said. “Just knowing that I worked for this moment, I feel I have to enjoy this moment.”

Tolman said he wants to enjoy the moment while in the NCAA Championship.

“Next year, I’ll really know what to expect in this meet,” Tolman said. “This year can serve as preparation for next year.”

The Lancers will finish the season March 7-11 in the NCAA Division II Championship meet in Birmingham.

About Jeff Kissel

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