The Cyclones headed down to SoCal this past weekend to swim back to back meets against Chapman University, Cal Tech and Whittier College. The team was coming back from winter break and the rain didn't let up as they headed south. Pushing through the bad weather and fatigue from traveling the Cyclones still had a productive weekend.
In the meet against Chapman University, the team was swimming at their season bests in multiple events. Junior Maggie Krystad placed first in the 1000 free (13:56.27), while seniors Hannah Soltz and Morgan Leishman placed second in the 100 breast (1:16.82) and 100 back (33.82) respectively. Swimming with Soltz in the 100 breast, was Cyclone junior Aine Piedad who swam 1:25.02, swimming at her season best time. Leishman was joined by first year, Alex Fakayode in the 100 back. In the middle of the event, Fakayode's swim cap fell off but she powered through and dropped 7 seconds off her time (1:54.62).
In the 50 free, first years Rachel Schottstaedt, Chardonne Humphrey, Fakayode, and sophomore Dre Osornio swam a strong race, each swimming right on their season best time. Humphrey also swam the 100 free posting a new season and possibly lifetime best time (1:16.60). First year Riya Rampali swam the 100 fly for the first time and gave a solid performance.
On the next day, the Cyclones swam against Cal Tech and Whittier College. Soltz swam in the 100 breast again and beat all of Whittier's swimmers to come in second. Piedad swam with her in the 100 breast, performing very similarly as the day before with consistent times and splits. Krystad swam in the 200 back swimming right on her season best time (2:54.69).
Senior Juli Lopez was the leader of the day according to head coach Neil Virtue. "[Lopez] took one event at a time. She had goals focusing on technique and didn't just focus on time." Lopez swam her best flat start time in the 200 free posting a 2:24.01 race time. In the 100 free and 500 free Lopez was focused on having consistent technique and swam right at her season best time in both races.
Following Lopez's lead, Leishman showed her grit and determination when she finished the day swimming in the 400 IM for the Cyclones, posting a 5:09.08 race time.
The Cyclones will be competing next in the Junior College meet that will be hosted at Mills College on February 2nd. Virtue intends to use this past weekend's meets and the Junior College meet as training events for his squad. "We will be focusing on their events individually and their response to each event on a day-to-day basis. By training similarly to the pace of the event cycle that we will see at the Liberal Arts Championships, the swimmers will be more prepared physically and mentally to race," explained Virtue. The Liberal Arts Championships will take place in late February.