by Greg MacDonald
A phrase that will describe the University of La Verne men’s and women’s swimming teams all season will be: That was the first time the Leopards did (insert record/event here).
And since this is the season of firsts for La Verne, last Saturday was the Leopards’ first invitational.
The ULV men’s team, swimming against SCIAC foes at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, placed fifth with 33 team points in the nine-team event.
The La Verne women fared better, as the Leopards ranked fourth with 88 points, behind UC Irvine (195.5 points), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (143) and Pomona-Pitzer (126).
“We swam extremely well,” La Verne coach John Hallman said. “They [ULV swimmers] were a little tired because I had them working out hard.
“I looked at the invitational as a marathon meet, and I had our swimmers in six or seven events because in [the SCIAC] finals that is how many events they will have to swim.”
Freshmen John Chon and Ryan MacDonald paced the men’s team, as the two combined to finish in fifth or higher in four events.
Chon swam fifth in the men’s 50-yard freestyle, as he hit the wall .94 seconds off the leader in 23.40 seconds. In the men’s 100-yard fly, Chon ranked third with a time of 56.09. MacDonald swam third in the men’s 200 freestyle in 1:55.43 and fourth in the men’s 200 breast in 2:25.87, which was eight seconds off the pace.
Currently, the men’s team is short-handed and that is due, Hallman said, to water polo season.
“We are waiting for polo season to end,” Hallman said. “You will see teams get [more men swimmers] after the season ends.”
Freshmen Vickie Creekmur, Tandis Morgan and Katie Aimone led the way for the women’s team.
Aimone edged Irvine swimmer Nancy Yi by .33 seconds in the women’s 100 back stroke and finished first in 1:03.17. Morgan swam third in that event in 1:04.29. Aimone picked up another first place finish in the women’s 200 back stroke with a time of 2:20.08. Creekmur had a third place time of 2:29.90 in the women’s 200 fly.
The Leopards continue their season tomorrow with a meet at Santa Clara.