The La Verne swimming and diving team’s double-dual meet against Redlands and the Masters University on Saturday afternoon at Las Flores Park saw the Leopards struggling to stay afloat.
Redlands beat La Verne, 328-66, on total score with the men scoring 166-27 and the women scoring 162-39. Redlands then barely beat Masters, 207-206, on total scoring with the men scoring 123-78, but the Masters women’s squad scored more, 128-84. Lastly, Masters beat La Verne, 289-88, in total scoring with a score of 132-47 for the men and 157-41 for the women.
The first event of the day was the 1-meter dive. La Verne senior diver Kira Degelsmith provided a bright spot for the Leopards, scoring a 113.7 to win the event with Redlands freshman diver Violet Shultz finishing second with a 112.35.
Next was the 3-meter dive where Degelsmith scored a 122.45 and won the event against no competition.
The diving was followed by the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relays where in both events Masters came in first followed by Redlands in second and third, fourth place was filled by La Verne, and fifth was taken up by the Masters second team.
For the women’s 1,000-yard freestyle, sophomore Noel Partridge of Masters took first with a time of 11:19:28. For the men, sophomore Davis Wingard of Redlands took first with a time of 10:19:50.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Masters freshman Trudy Patterson won the women’s race with a time of 2:03:58. For the men, senior Blake Eddow of Redlands took first with a time of 1:45:62, just beating out senior butterfly and freestyle specialist Asher Kocalis of La Verne by 1.18 seconds.
Kocalis explained what needs to improve for the Leopards.
“I think just being more aggressive on the stuff we are not comfortable with like we did really well in the races we have done forever,” he said. “But in college, with much longer races, much harder races, especially against really good competition, you just need to be a little bit braver.”
Sophomore Emma McMurray of Masters won the women’s 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.11. For the men, senior Jack Forsythe of Redlands beat out teammate junior Thomas Long by .25 seconds with a time of 22.11.
In the 200-yard individual medley for the women, freshman Jasmine Bierderman of Masters closely beat out sophomore Abby Springer of Redlands by .48 seconds with a time of 2:22:24. For the men, senior Lucas Walker of Redlands won with a time of 1:57:97.
Masters swept the 100-yard butterfly events with freshman Kylee Sears winning the women’s race with a time of 1:00:51 and sophomore Nilton Dos Santos de Oliveria winning for the men with a time of 52:10.
“I think the whole team did a pretty good job,” La Verne sophomore butterfly and freestyle specialist Jaden Mendoza said. “We’ve got some things we’ve got to improve on, but we all stuck it in and did pretty good.”
McMurray of Masters struck again in the 100-yard freestyle, winning with a time of 55.13. For the men, Redlands sophomore Memphis Gile won with a time of 48.29.
Next was the 100-yard backstroke, and for the women, Patterson won with a time of 1:02:97. For the men, freshman Michael Loughboro of Masters barely beat Walker by .06 seconds with an almost identical finish.
In the 500-yard freestyle, Sears won with a time of 5:24:60 for the women. For the men, graduate student Tom Jansen of Redlands won with a time of 4:51:99.
Bierderman won the women’s 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10:03. For the men, freshman Cole Goyette of Redlands won with a time of 1:01:60.
“I think we can improve on our confidence. I think we have a lot of swimmers here that have been swimming a long time and they know what they are doing.” La Verne senior breaststroke specialist Emma Vu said.
The meet wrapped up with the 200-yard freestyle relays. For the women, Masters came in first followed by Redlands in second and third, with Masters’ second team in fourth and La Verne was disqualified. For the men, Master’s came in first followed by Redlands in second and third, with La Verne in fourth and Masters’ second team in fifth.
“We did a lot of good things,” head coach Pat Skehan said. “We need more experienced racing. Racing and training are very different things. I think we will be OK in the long run, it’s just getting through the hard parts right now.”
The Leopards have their last home meet against Whittier at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Michael Hill can be reached at email@example.com.