(Aliso Viejo, Calif.) Westmont Women’s Swimming competed at the Soka Invitational today where the young squad continued to gain valuable competitive collegiate experience. The Warriors competed against three other NAIA teams and four from NCAA Division II.
“It was a solid meet,” said Westmont head coach Jill Jones Lin. “As a whole, not our best performance, but the athletes stepped up and swam some races they had never done before.”
Among those was Chloe Van Bogelen who swam the 1,000 yard freestyle (40 lengths of the pool). Her previous longest distance in competition was just 100 yards.
“She did great for her first time,” noted Jones Lin. “Chloe and Hannah Thompson both scored in the top 16, racking in some extra points for us.”
Van Bogelen finished 10th in the event with a time of 13:32.97 while Thompson placed 11th in a time of 14:01.93.
Also swimming in a new event were Olivia Huebner and Holley Fellows who competed in the 200 yard breaststroke.
“That was our highest scoring event,” noted Jones Lin. “Rian Lewandowski finished eighth (2:49.85), Olivia was 12th (2:58.40), Holley was 14th (3:09.42) and Sam Allensworth was 15th (3:11.26).
“Morgan Bienias was our team’s highest scorer,” reported Jones Lin, “placing in the top 16 in all her races and just missing the national cut in the 200 yard freestyle. She had a pretty tough schedule today and pulled out some gutsy swims, especially her 500 were she managed to get fifth in a strong field of swimmers.”
Bienias finished eighth in the 200 yard freestyle in a time of 2:04.45, a little more than a second off the national qualifying mark. In the 500 yard freestyle Bienias posted a time of 5:33.00. The freshman placed 10th in the 200 yard backstroke with a time of 2:18.37. In the 200 yard medley relay, Bienias teamed up with Lewandowski, Ceili Smaw and Devyn Hynds to place 10th with a time of 2:06.64.
“Morgan has been working extremely hard in the pool so it was frustrating to see her just miss the cut,” said Jones Lin, “but I know she has it in her and we just have to keep training to get her there.”
In addition to Bienias in the 200 yard freestyle, several Warriors produced their season best marks: Emma Leathers in the 100 yard backstroke (1:19.23), Allison Gonzalez in the 100 yard (1:00.47) and 200 yard freestyles (2:12.24), and Fellows (1:24.11) and Allensworth (1:29.59) in the 100 yard breaststroke.
The Warriors have one more competition this semester. December 6-8, they will participate in the La Verne Winter Invitational, held in Monterey Park at the East Los Angeles Community College.
“We have a lot of work to do before December,” noted Jones Lin. “So, it’s back to the pool on Monday for us!”