ORANGE, Calif. – After a decisive win against Biola and La Verne last weekend, Azusa Pacific came out with yet another strong performance Saturday afternoon to rally past host Chapman University, Cal State East Bay, and Soka University in a 4-way meet at Orange (Calif) High.
Despite not having All- American Kaylen Hewko to injury, and national qualifiers Malerie Morgan and Amie Kaczmarski to illness, sophomore Victoria Gibb and teammates all stepped up to place at least one swimmer in the top 3 in all 14 of the events and a total of 10 Cougars set new season best times.
Gibb took the 100-yard freestyle (55.07), 100 yard-butterfly, and 200-yard freestyle (1:58.72), in which she set a new career best with a NAIA championship qualifying time of 1:58.72. The All-American Gibb, will be traveling to St. Peters, Mo., this March to compete in the NAIA championships.
Junior Stacey Wong won 2 events, including her part in the 200 medley (1:56.24) and the 100 backstroke with a season best and a NAIA qualifying time of 1:06.13.
Quinn Robertson set a team-best for the Cougars in the 50-yard freestyle. The freshman out of Temple, Ariz., won the event while putting up a time of 25.19, meeting the requirements for an NAIA championship spot. Robertson also did her part in the 200 medley relay with her time of 24.09. Also among the freshmen doing well this season, Kristen Fredricks put up top 3 finishes in each of the events she participated in this meet.
Senior Karla Hill showed everyone she has what it takes by placing in the top 3 in all of her events with times of 11:15.20 in the 1000-yard freestyle, 55.74 in the 100 freestyle, qualifying for the NAIA championships, and 5:31.32 in the 500-yard freestyle.
The Cougars put two teams in the top 3 in the 200 medley relay event and both of their times qualified them for a NAIA championship spot. Robertson’s time of 24.09 led the 1:56.24 performance, followed by Malia Garcia with 28.24. Wong, who also won the 100 backstroke event, posted a 31.20, with freshman Cameron Hagen rounding it out with a 32.10. The team of Fredricks, Sara Zandilhn, Marissa Davis, and Kathereen Murphy finished third with a time of 2:00.43, only .18 behind the second place Soka University.
The Cougars will head back to Pepperdine for an all day event next Saturday (Jan 29) in the PCSC time trials in Malibu.