LAS VEGAS, Nev.-- Cameron Hagen may not have hit the jackpot in Las Vegas, but the junior swimmer is returning home with a pair of Azusa Pacific records. The Upland native broke the 100 breast record on Sunday, and followed that by breaking her own record in the 200 breast on Monday at the UNLV Winter Invitational.
And while Hagen’s record-times were the highlights of a successful weekend for the Cougars’ swim team, they were just two of many personal bests of the meet.
“We had a great weekend. We had tons of personal-best times and it was tremendous. I couldn’t be prouder of the team,” said head coach Tim Kyle. “This is always one of the best meets to swim against Division I teams and compete at this high of level. People had personal goals and barriers that were broken this weekend. It was a true team and individual victory.”
Hagen, whose record-breaking performance in the 100 breast (1:05.69) earned her sixth place on Sunday, set a new standard in the 200 breast on Monday. Hagen touched at 2:25.17 to earn 11th place (second among non-NCAA Division I participants) in her only swim of the day.
“You get out of if what you put into it. She trains hard and she’s very driven to do well,” said Kyle. “She’s dropped so much time since she’s been here and she’s a huge asset to our team. She’s going to be a big part of what we do throughout the rest of her career.”
Hagen was one of six Cougar swimmers to post personal bests in five events on Monday. In the same event that she set the record Simone Garcia tabbed a season-best with a 2:31.35 in the preliminaries before taking 16th with a time of 2:33.08. In the 200 back three Azusa Pacific swimmers netted season-bests, led by Anna Eckberg who reached the wall at 2:17.23 in the prelims to beat her old mark by more than two seconds. Kristen Fredricks swam a time of 2:21.90, besting her old season-mark by over four seconds, while Karley LeQuia clocked in at 2:28.35.
Azusa Pacific continued its record run in the 100 free, where Erica Knudsen came in at 54.08 in the prelims before touching at 54.67 in the finals to place 23rd and shatter her old mark by over two seconds. Madelyn Mooers crushed her old season-best in the 200 fly, beating her time of 2:27.68 by more than five seconds in the prelims, and then shaving off five more seconds in the finals to finish at 2:16.03; good for 17th.
“This meet is really the first opportunity to make national cut times. It’s a fast pool and to be here with this level of competition raises the bar,” said Kyle. “We train and train and only taper down for two meets throughout the year and this was one of them. It was a great weekend for Azusa Pacific swim and dive.”
In the diving competition Kassi Duncan grabbed a pair of top-10 scores, finishing in seventh in the 1-meter (183.20) and ninth in the 3-meter (176.70). Bridget Rossi took 10th in the 1-meter with a total of 147.35 points, and then placed 11th with a score of 131.30 in the 3-meter.
The Cougars had two top-16 swimmers in the 1650 free, with Mikaela Fuller touching 13th (18:13.55) and Victoria Hodge earning 16th at 18:43.61 to open day three.
Azusa Pacific closed the meet exactly how it swam during it, by setting a new season-best in the 400 free relay after Hodge, Fuller, Knudsen, and Alyssa Hickman touched at 3:38.49 to take 9th place. The Cougars tallied 126 points to finish in seventh place, while the University of New Mexico took the title with 987.5 points. The Cougars return to the pool on Jan. 12th for a dual with Biola in La Mirada. Azusa Pacific beat the Eagles 120-102 in their only previous meeting this season.