ALISO VIEJO, Calif.-- Mid-November is always a tough time of the year for swimmers, especially after competing in four meets in five weeks to open the season. Saturday, however, the Azusa Pacific women’s swimming and diving team showed no signs of wear, winning the Orange County Invitational after two first-place finishes, and four second-place swims to beat a five-team field for its second win of the season.
Quinn Robertson highlighted the day with a season-best in the 50 free (25.15), winning in a field of 38 swimmers for the Cougars' first win of the morning. Azusa Pacific then placed 1-2 in the 500 free behind Mikaela Fuller and Victoria Hodge. Fuller took first place in the event with a time of 5:25.50, while Hodge touched second at 5:23.66.
“The whole idea ws to go in as a team and collectively do well. We’re swimming good mid-season times, but as a team that was our goal was to do well. We accomplished that and it was a great day for Azusa Pacific. We’re in no way at our best. We’re still training hard so for us to come out and swim that well shows our talent an ability as a team,” said head coach Tim Kyle, whose team will enjoy nearly a month break before competing in the UNLV Invite from Dec. 15-17.
“Miakaela had an awesome day. She put up great times, especially in the final after two distance events. Angela Kanigowski swam well, and Simone Garcia had a back-to-back swim and those are the little things that helped us today. A win like that really sets the tone, and it was good for us because we needed a lift going into Vegas.”
Fuller grabbed second in her first swim of the morning, touching at 10:48.62 in the 1000 free, finishing less than two seconds out of first place. Then after taking first in the 500 she swam a fourth place time of 2:19.04 in the 200 IM. Kanigowski took second in the 100 free, touching at 54.70 before finishing third in the 100 fly (1.01.04).
Cameron Hagen had a strong morning, posting a season-best in the 100 breast with a mark of 1:09.10 to take second place. The junior also had a third-place swim in the 200 breast, posting a mark of 2:31.16.
Robertson and Hodge placed in the top-5 in all of their events, with Robertson taking fourth in the 100 free (55.60) and fifth in the 100 back (1:06.42) to go with her win in the 50 free. Hodge grabbed fourth in the 1000 free (11:19.68) and fifth in the 200 free (2:03.17).
Anna Eckberg scored 32 points for Azusa Pacific, which finished with 405.5 on the day to defeat second place Concordia (325), and third place Occidental (328). Eckberg placed fourth in 500 free with a time of 5:36.24, and finished fourth in the 100 back (1:06.33). She also touched fifth in the 200 back (2:19.69). Garcia nabbed third (2:18.43) in the 200 IM just one race after grabbing fifth in the 100 fly (1:02.05).
The Cougars finished second and third in their two relays, opening the day with a third place time of 1:57.77 in the 200 medley relay before closing in second in the 200 free relay (3:45.41). The victory was the team’s first in a non-dual meet this year, and the Cougars will have a chance to follow it up in mid-December at the UNLV Invite.
For Complete Meet Results Click Here.