Women’s swim and dive revitalized by Kauth

The Eagles have found recent success thanks to skilled recruits brought in by coach Kauth.

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Women’s swim and dive revitalized by Kauth

The Eagles get a head start during the PCSC Relays outing on Oct. 4.

The Eagles get a head start during the PCSC Relays outing on Oct. 4.

Haven Luper-Jasso // THE CHIMES

The Eagles get a head start during the PCSC Relays outing on Oct. 4.

Haven Luper-Jasso // THE CHIMES

Haven Luper-Jasso // THE CHIMES

The Eagles get a head start during the PCSC Relays outing on Oct. 4.

Andi Basista and Ashley Grams

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(This story was originally published in print on Nov. 14, 2019).

Flash back two years ago, the women’s swim and dive team, led by first-year head coach Ryan Kauth, lost by over 80 points to Azusa Pacific University. About one year ago, the Eagles lost by only five points. Two weeks ago, the women’s team beat APU in a dual meet, 194.5 to 176.5. The Eagles have turned their play around this season. Once at the bottom, they’re now on their way to the top. Kauth has implemented a routine for his athletes, directing them toward success. Now in his third season at the helm, Kauth has revolutionized the swim program thanks to an individualized system.

“More than anything, they just literally rose to the occasion and said, ‘This is our meet,’ and we’re going to make [the opponent] understand that they are swimming in our pool and our facility,” Kauth said at their match against APU on Nov. 1.

Kauth comes from a career of swimming at Concordia University Irvine, where he turned his talents into a coaching career for CUI after graduation. Also before his time at Biola, Kauth was an assistant coach at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana where he helped 13 athletes earn All-American honors. Having a coach who possess a first-hand background in the pool positively impacts his athletes as he transitions his experience into the Eagles’ collegiate careers.

UNORTHODOX COACHING

During the Soka Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 9, Kauth did something very unconventional. He pulled his team out of all relay entries, which award the most points. Kauth wanted the team to zone in on the individual events. The energy brought during the meets were electric. Even with the Eagles behind from no points in the relays, they still managed to fight back hard enough to earn a third-place finish out of eight respectable teams.

“Ultimately, our goals come down to individually doing our best in each race and to leave everything in the pool,” said senior Rachel Stinchcomb. “When we start pushing ourselves and achieving our individual goals, that’s when we see strategy against other teams and wins start to take place. We love where we are at right now in the conference.”

KAUTH’S KILLER RECRUITING

Kauth has revolutionized the recruiting scene and the swim and dive program as a whole. In his first year as head coach, the women’s team set 10 out of 20 school records. During his second season, his freshman recruits were standouts with the now sophomores, Nicole Chang and Kately Harper, grabbing school records. 

“With the help of our coach, we have dedicated ourselves to recruiting. We pour into recruits when they come to visit, we show them why Biola is truly the best,” said junior Alyssa Archdale. “Of course, recruiting fast freshman has made a great impact on how we race, but it also pushes the returners to keep up and strive for excellence in the pool.”

Kauth brought 20 athletes to the aquatics program his first year recruiting, a school record. With 13 freshmen on the women’s team this season, it has become a challenge managing all the fresh talent, but nothing the coaching staff and captains aren’t prepared for.

“They come to training and they’re so ready to compete in training and that carries right over into the meets,” Kauth said at the Soka Invitational on Nov. 9. “Going forward, I think it’s literally more of the same, them just being excited rather than this nervousness toward races that really creates excitement and they’re seeing results because of it.”