Strong start for swim and dive at PCSC meet

The Biola swim and dive team had a strong start to their season during the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference on Oct. 7-8.

Jacquelyn Elissa Mota, Writer

Biola’s swim and dive team jump-started their season with a strong performance at the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference relay and pentathlon meet Oct. 7-8 at Fresno Pacific University.

On Friday, the Eagles did not excel in the relay events. However, the team was able to perform well in Saturday’s pentathlon events.

For the women, freshman Christine Tixier was a standout competitor. Tixier swam into first place with a time of 1:09.56 for the women’s 100-yard breaststroke; beating out her closest competitor, Tammy Choy from Loyola Marymount University by almost two full seconds.

National champion graduated, team still strong

Prior to this weekend’s meet there was some skepticism as to whether the team would be able to compete well without their national champion, April Smith who graduated last year.

Coach Eddie Shepard said that although Smith is difficult to replace, this weekend’s meet proved that the team is still able to perform well without her.

“Tixier is actually very good at most of the events so I am excited to see her step up into the same role as April [Smith] as the season progresses,” coach Eddie Shepard said. “Megan Nerud is another freshman that will help pick up where April left off.”

Individuals place high in Saturday’s events

On the men’s side, junior Chris Stutzman came in fourth overall in the freestyle pentathlon and second in the 25-yard freestyle with a time of 10.22, only 100th of a second away form first place.

The divers also gave a strong first performance. Sophomore Austyn Lewis came in second overall in Saturday’s diving. Junior Melinda Smith took third and freshman Vanessa Joeckel placed fifth.

Shepard, who is returning to coach the Eagles after a yearlong absence, is proud of the team and expects a great season.

“Most everyone performed better than I even expected. I think that this was a good sign that we are ready compete and should have a really good season,” he said.

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