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Making A Statement

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Photo by Chris Baker
Brooke Miller broke her second Azusa Pacific record on the final day of the PCSC championships.

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Published
February 15, 2014
By
Chris Baker

DAY FOUR RESULTS (PDF)

LA MIRADA, Calif.-- It will go down as one of the best meets in the history of the Azusa Pacific swimming and diving program, but after a week in which the Cougars saw five of their nine record breaking swims come from freshmen, it may just be a preview of something bigger.

Azusa Pacific posted its best finish at the Pacific Coast Swimming & Diving Conference championships, placing fourth in the 11-team meet to best its fifth place performance in 2011. On Saturday Azusa Pacific capped its landmark meet as the Cougars saw two more records fall, with freshmen Rachel Allison and Brooke Miller securing a spot in the record books in their young Cougar careers.

“We did so well as team. This just shows what we have in store for the future. The entire team did so well. I can’t believe how unbelievable everyone swam and dove. Everyone just put up amazing times, and it was a huge thrill,” said head coach Tim Kyle.

“We were setting records left and right, so much so that I lost track. I think it goes to show that we trained really well and we tapered well. It’s such a long road, so it shows the effort our team put in all year to accomplish what they did. I also think it’s a God thing. We trained hard, but we have to give glory to God for making it possible.”

The Cougars’ blend of senior leadership and young talent provided the team with a week in which Azusa Pacific broke at least one program-record in each day of competition.

“It was a total team effort. We have great seniors, that have been staples for our team, and April Fautsch’s performance on the boards was huge for us this week. And then we have so much coming back next year. The freshmen group has tremendous talent, so it’s such a positive for our program to finish where we did because it’s something we can build on,” said Kyle.

One of those freshmen is Miller, who broke two records in her first PCSC meet. After breaking the 50 back record on Wednesday Miller grabbed her second Azusa Pacific record, swimming a 2:08.08 in the 200 back finals to earn 11th. Kristen Beem took 24th in the event with a finals time of 2:21.38.

In the prelims Allison set a new standard in in the 200 breast before besting her own mark in the finals with a time of 2:23.82 despite swimming with strep throat to place 10th.

In the 100 free Gibb took ninth place, swimming a time of 52.04 to lead all Cougars. The senior paced a trio of top-20 finishers, with Ingrid Cardenas nabbing 11th at 52.44, and Erica Knudsen clocking in at 53.98 to take 19th. Gibb also teamed with Knudsen, Lauren Turner, and Cardenas to place fifth in the 400 free relay with a season-best time of 3:31.98.

Gibb closes her career as one of the most decorated swimmers in Cougar history. The St. Lucy’s product owns three individual program-records (200 free, 100 free, and 50 fly), and was a member of four of the five Azusa Pacific relay record teams, on top of winning two PCSC Pentathlon championships.

Heidi Zuniga swam a season-best 2:08.77 in the 200 fly, pacing a group of five top-20 finishes for the Cougars. Madelyn Mooers placed eighth, registering a time of 2:15.35 in the prelims before touching at 2:18.80 in the finals. Kaitlyn Lee placed 10th with a mark of 2:15.44, while Maureen Wolff (2:16.47) and Sydney Escalante (2:25.06) took 13th and 20th respectively.

In the 1650 free both Sydney Bello and Mikaela Fuller broke the 18-minute mark, registering time of 17:52.74 and 17:58.41 to place sixth and seventh respectively.

Azusa Pacific finished with 825 points, its highest total in six PCSC meets, to edge out fifth place Pepperdine (816 points). UC San Diego ran away with the PCSC title with 1,564 points, while Cal State East Bay (1,116 points) and Alaska Fairbanks (929 points) rounded out the top three.