La Verne seniors lead Leos in battle of the cats

La Verne seniors lead Leos in battle of the cats

The University of La Verne swimming and diving teams recognized their eight seniors at the La Verne Aquatic Center in a dual with Chapman Saturday. The men's squad won 129-76 while the women were edged 109-105.

Seniors Andres Avila, Coleman Goode, Samary Morales, Marc Okimura, Sammi Shiomoto, Jacob Tittl, and Cody Yeo were honored for their outstanding contributions to the program. Goode and Shiomoto played critical roles in the competitions. Coleman led the men by winning both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. The men led from the first event, sweeping the top three spots in the 400-yard medley relay. They also swept the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke.

Other double winners include Scott MacKay in both one-meter and three-meter diving competition, Mike Sanchez in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly, and Jarrett Peterson in the 200-yard IM and the 200-yard backstroke.

The women's meet was a far closer battle with the lead changing back and forth. The women won five of the first six events to take a 51-36 lead.  But the Panthers came back and won the next four events to go up 88-81 with three events left.  Leopards Jacqueline Rojas and Miranda Chavez jumped back with a 1-2 punch in the 200-yard breaststroke to bring it to a 94-94 tie with two events remaining. The final swimming event was the 400 freestyle relay. The teams battled back and forth with junior Melanie Consiglio give the Loes a strong opening leg in a season's best 56 seconds. Freshman Krislyn Cha hung on to that lead, but the dominant swimming of Chapman's Emily Holmquist gave the lead back to the Panthers. Shoimoto was the anchor for the Leopards and in a very close race she out-touched SCIAC conference champion Julie Chase by .07 seconds and recorded a season's best split of 55.89, winning the event in 3:48.03 to Chapman's 3:48.11. This gave the Leopards a lead with a team score lead of 105 to 100 with only one event to go. Unfortunately for the Leopards Jamie Ricklin of Chapman won the diving competition and handed the Panthers a 109-105 win.

Double winners for the women include Shiomoto, who also won the 200-yard IM in a season's best of 2:21.10. Junior Melissa Pryor won the 200-yard freestyle and swam the butterfly leg of the winning 400-yard medley relay. Madeline Lovrensky won the 50-yard freestyle and led off the winning 400 medley relay. Rojas swam the breaststroke leg of the winning 400 medley in addition to winning that crucial 200 breaststroke. Cha won the 200 butterfly and was on the winning 400 freestyle relay.

"This was an outstanding team effort," said coach Pat Skehan. "I was pleased with how well both teams raced but especially the women in this hotly contested meet. This sets us up very well as we get ready for the SCIAC Championships at the end of February." 

Both teams take on Pomona-Pitzer and Whittier College next Saturday in Whittier, Calif. Meet time is scheduled for 10 a.m.