Swimming flops in home opener

Competing against Biola in the first home swim meet of the season, Jaime Beltran, the third swimmer for La Verne in the men’s 400-yard medley relay, ends his first lap of the butterfly. The Eagles left the Leopards in their wake defeating them, 87-76, on Nov. 18 at the La Verne Aquatic Center. / photo by Kelly Rivas
Competing against Biola in the first home swim meet of the season, Jaime Beltran, the third swimmer for La Verne in the men’s 400-yard medley relay, ends his first lap of the butterfly. The Eagles left the Leopards in their wake defeating them, 87-76, on Nov. 18 at the La Verne Aquatic Center. / photo by Kelly Rivas

The University of La Verne men’s and women’s swim teams lost its home openers to the Biola Eagles on Nov. 18.

The women fell, 109-74, as the men would lose a close battle, 87-76.

The men’s teams were tied heading into the final relay race.

Unfortunately for the Leopards, an early jump on one of the exchanges caused the team to be disqualified, giving Biola the win.

The Leopards made it close despite being shorthanded because some of their swimmers were still finishing up their water polo season.

Diving had the day off, allowing La Verne head coach John Hallman to fully focus on his swimmers.

“We had some people still at water polo,” Hallman said. “We’re also still learning where to put people and in what positions.”

La Verne sophomore James Ridings had a solid day with wins in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events with times of 24.07 seconds and 52.97 seconds.

Senior Casey Heinen also had two individual victories in the 1,000-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke with times of 10:31.58 and 1:04.03.

His time in the freestyle was a personal best for Heinen.

“We swam pretty good, but getting the water polo players back will really help,” Heinen said.

The men’s team will have to rely on swimmers to step up their game as last year’s swimmer of the year, Jared Carvitto, has graduated.

However, Carvitto will still be an influence, as he has stayed on as an assistant coach.

The women’s team won the first three events of the day but it would not be enough.

Freshman Megan Moore won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 12:16.02.

Fellow freshman Mahina Reyes won the 50-yard freestyle at 25.85 and junior Laura Larsen won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:06.91.

“I thought we swam well,” said junior Jennifer Gilderman, “Patty Allen really stepped up by doing some events that she normally doesn’t do.”

Biola senior Megan DeForest led the way for the Eagles with wins in two races on the day in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:34.94 and the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:14.37.

On the men’s side, freshman Zachary Perkins, broke the Biola men’s record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.26 seconds as the old record was 22.28 seconds.

“We have some strong individual swimmers and we’re moving towards being a stronger team,” Hallman said.

Since it was the first home meet of the season, minor technical problems occurred throughout the day as well.

Incidents with timers and other parts of the facility, such as the chlorine level, provided some unwanted distractions.

The men and women’s teams will return to the pool at 2 p.m. today at home, as they host the Occidental Tigers in their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet of the year.

On the men’s side, the entire conference will be looking to knock off the defending champion Redlands Bulldogs.

The women’s teams will try to overtake Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who won the SCIAC crown last season.

Jason Jarvis can be reached at jjarvis2@ulv.edu.

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