Monterey Park, Calif. – The Pacific men's swimming team kicked off the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in exciting fashion Wednesday, setting new school records in the 200 Medley Relay and the 800 Free Relay on the first night of competition at East Los Angeles College.
"I thought everyone swam great tonight," head coach Peter Richardson said. "To see this young group of swimmers doing as well as they are is very exciting. The energy was electric and everyone is determined to swim fast."
The Tigers' men's 200 Medley Relay team, made up of sophomore Cooper Rogers, sophomore Cameron Franke, junior Dai Wilson and sophomore Casey Fleming set a new school record in the event, clocking in at 1:29.22. The group beat the old mark of 1:29.81, set back in 2005, by nearly six-tenths of a second.
Rogers got things started with a split of 22.77 in the first leg, then Franke swam a 24.93 split in the second leg. Wilson's split of 21.60 in the third leg maintained Pacific's blistering pace while Fleming swam a split of 19.92 on the final leg, cementing the Tigers' record-setting performance.
In the men's 800 Free Relay, junior Oliver Simkovic, junior Matt Stuhr, junior Taylor Moore and Rodgers propelled the Tigers to another school record, finishing with a time of 6:35.38. The mark was nearly two seconds faster than the previous school record of 6:37.09 that was set back in 2001.
Simkovic opened the race with a split of 1:39.80 while Stuhr swam a split of 1:38.56 in the second leg. Moore's split of 1:38.70 set Rogers up in the anchor leg as he finished with the fastest of Pacific's split times, going 1:38.32.
On the women's side, senior Becca Wyant, senior Mallory McGowan, sophomore Dekel Shahaff and freshman Cristina Mardones clocked in at 1:42.25 in the 200 Medley Relay, good for fifth. The mark sets a new best time on the year, beating the previous top mark of 1:43.29 by more than one second.
Junior Hayley Shillington, junior Bo Cameron, Mardones and junior Shannon Van Konynenburg clocked in at 7:25.99 in the 800 Free Relay to take seventh. The time was nearly 10 seconds faster than the previous season-best time of 7:35.39.
After the first day of competition, Pacific's men's team sits in sixth with 48 points while the Tigers' women's team earned 52 points, also good for sixth.
"Obviously, the MPSF is a very deep conference," said Richardson. "We cannot control how fast other teams go, but we can control how fast we go. Everyone is ready to bring their A-game, and we're looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow."
The MPSF Championships resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. as the individual races get underway.
Women's 200 Medley Relay – 1. UCSB 'A' (Knight, Yamauchi, Ward, Tomkinson), 1:40.28…5. Pacific 'A' (Wyant, McGowan, Shahaff, Mardones), 1:42.25…11. Pacific 'B' (Bugglin, Mack, Vetterlein, Sumioka), x1:45.16
Men's 200 Medley Relay – 1. UNLV 'A' (Machado, Szele, Roberts, Virva), 1:25.63…7. Pacific 'A' (Rogers, Franke, Wilson, Fleming), 1:29.22…10. Pacific 'B' (Brasali, Alves, Capper, Jones), x1:34.70)
Women's 800 Free Relay – 1. UC Davis 'A' (Shellem, Edwards, Bugbee, Porter), 7:14.45…7. Pacific 'A' (Shillington, Cameron, Mardones, Van Konynenburg), 7:25.99
Men's 800 Free Relay – 1. UNLV 'A' (Lameynardie, Paco-Pedroni, Batka, Gremizzi), 6:28.53…7. Pacific 'A' (Simkovic, Stuhr, Moore, Rogers), 6:35.38