MALIBU, Calif. -- In its final preparation for the conference championship meet, Azusa Pacific fine tuned its performances and effort at the PCSC Time Trials at Pepperdine University Saturday morning.
While the Cougars did not turn in a plethora of season-best times, they nonetheless were on target and within range of most of their season-bests in nearly every event. And they swam.
“I’m just happy that everyone was able to swim and no one dropped any events,” said Azusa Pacific Head Coach Robert Fleming. “We’ve been so sick, battling colds the past few weeks that I had to banish two-thirds of the team Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week so they could get rest or go to the health center.”
Twenty-two Cougars competed against meet host Pepperdine, the only other school to partake in the time trials, and 12 season-best times were recorded, including 2 in first-time efforts.
All-American Kaylen Hewko tried the 50-yard freestyle for the first time ever and clocked a 26.02, good enough to qualify for the NAIA championship but doubtful that it is an event she will compete in at nationals. In addition, Cougar veteran Stacy Wong swam a 1:10.29 in the 100-yard butterfly, her first-ever try at the event in her 3 years at Azusa Pacific.
Of the 13 events raced in today’s time trials, the Cougars had top times in 8 of them, including Karla Hill’s 2:00.37 that won the 200-yard freestyle, less than a second off her career-best. Hewko also took the 200-yard butterfly with 2:16.03.
“We’re running out of time, and closing in on nationals,” add Fleming, “but it appears we’re all healthy enough to start progressing again and getting ourselves ready for the NAIAs.
Azusa Pacific is off for 2 weeks and will return to the water at the Pacific Collegiate Swim & Dive Conference Championship Meet, Feb. 16-19, at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif.