Swim comes out victorious on senior night and in their only home meet in the battle for the Cornerstone Cup
By Brendan Fretwell, Guest Writer
The Azusa Pacific Cougars defeated the Biola Eagles in their only home meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 4 by a score of 160-74, improving to a record of 3-0 on the season.
It was a dominant performance from all of APU’s swimmers as they consistently placed and obtained points in all events. The spotlight was not entirely on the meet performance itself, as five seniors of APU’s swim and dive team were honored at Senior Night.
The seniors that were honored included swimmers Alyse Darnall, Tamara Miler, Rosalee Mira Santa Ana, Angel Van Hofwegen and diver Kianna Mourer.
The Cougars were in control of the meet from start to finish, never letting Biola take a breath during the competition. Through the first nine events, the score was 64-27 in favor of APU and the lead only grew from there. A consistent performance from APU’s most talented swimmers was expected as APU was looking for a victory against their rival.
Santa Ana continued her dominant start to the season by winning both singles competitions she participated in with impressive times. She clocked a 1:55.35 on the 200-freestyle race and a 5:08.37 in the 500-freestyle race.
Junior swimmer Elodie Poo Cheong also placed first in two events and is undefeated in dual meets this season. Other contributions from the team provided a much-needed depth to secure a healthy victory over Biola.
Friends and family of the seniors made their presence known prior to the first event of the day, as the seniors received flowers and well wishes from their parents to celebrate their final home meet of their collegiate careers. This pushed the Cougars to perform even better.
“It was a very special meet to be honest. It was a moment to see how far our team has come since the first day I was a freshman,” Santa Ana said. “I am just very impressed and very proud of how far this team has come.”
Santa Ana, Poo Cheong and junior Abigial Wiet combined for six-first place finishes to total 54 of their team’s overall points.
Another important aspect to this game was provided by the Cornerstone Cup, which is always in the back of the minds of competitors and spectators ever since Biola and APU renewed their rivalry this year.
“We have a really solid team this year and the ‘what if’ of losing is always in the back of our minds. We can’t let the ‘what if’ affect our swimming,” Darnall said.
APU’s victory over Biola contributes ten points to the Cornerstone Cup competition between the respective schools, and this victory brings the total score to a tie of 30-30.
“This was a very good representation of our talent today. We had some very solid swims,” head coach Tim Kyle said. “It really is just about training right now and pushing through the work so we can be prepared.”
The Cougars have two important meets coming up and this event was just a stepping stone to greater things. The first meet will be the Orange Country Invitational on Nov. 11 in Aliso Viejo, Calif.
The second is the A3 Invitational in San Diego, Calif., which the team has been looking forward to for weeks. It is arguably one of the biggest events of the year for the swim and dive team. The A3 Invitational will take place from Nov. 16-18.