THOUSAND OAKS- The swim and dive teams were back in action over the weekend at Cal Lutheran for the Chris Knorr Invite where the women's team took home the win 214-130 and the men came in second to Cal Lutheran 191.5-149.5. The Banana Slugs pulled off the win in the combined score division.
The women's team were led by junior captain Lael Proffit, who swept her events, winning the 1650 Freestyle, the 200 Freestyle, and the 500 Freestyle, notching season bests in all three. The freshman backstroke duo of Meghan Burr and Elisabeth Lundgren split the backstroke events, finishing first and second in both respectively, with Burr taking the 100 and Lundgren taking the 200. The two of them teamed up with Katie Hardung and Kenya Lam to get the meet started right for the Slugs, winning the 400 Medley relay to open the morning. Lam would record two wins herself in back to back events, the 100 Butterfly and 200 Individual Medley. Sophomore diver Janine Grgurina took home a win on both boards.
Junior butterflyer Jenna Neustaetter not only won the 200 Butterfly, but was also recognized for her commitment and leadership by the coaches as she was nominated and chosen as the recipient of the Chris Knorr leadership award. The relay of Burr, Lundgren, Proffitt and Neustaetter would round out a dominant performance for the women with a win the 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay in 3:49.65.
The men fought hard, taking a narrow loss, partly because of a few key contributors out with illness. After a slow start, seniors Christian Leon and captain Vernon Wetzell got the Slugs back on the right track with a 1-2 finish in the 50 Freestyle. They built momentum after the dive break with another 1-2 finish as freshman Victor Sowa won the 100 Freestyle with Leon right behind him. Daniel Choy kept the ball rolling with a season best and a big win in the 200 Breaststroke, finishing in a time of 2:18.08. And John Lupu took second in the 100 Butterfly with a season best 54.29. The men finished the day with an impressive win in the 4 x 100 Freestyle relay, which featured Leon, Sowa, Paul Ogle-Sporer, and Wetzell fighting hard to take the win over the Kingsmen in 3:15.93. Wetzell and Sowa's splits were the fastest by any Slug this season. Most noteworthy was sophomore diver Ethan Johnson achieving NCAA Regional qualifying scores on both boards. Despite hard racing and excellent contributions from their depth, the Slugs were edged out by the Kingsmen, whose top end was the determining factor.
The Slugs are back in action next weekend as they are away, taking on the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds at noon on January 12th.