Photos by Ali Levens
The Waves were under the leadership of interim Head Coach Jana Vincent on Senior Day.
“Vincent is awesome,” junior Amy Griffin said. “She’s so encouraging, so positive, always uplifting us and just making everyone feel important and included.”
Interim Head Coach Jana Vincent flashes signals to swimmers Saturday.
Swimmers said Vincent’s transition was mostly positive.
“I think she came in and was able to quickly unite us,” freshman Julianna Birlin said. “And although there may have been times when [we’re] divided, she reminded us why we swim.”
With an optimistic outlook on the meet, the team beat the Cougars in the majority of the events.
The first-second pattern continued into the 100-yard backstroke with Eckel (59.30) and Birlin (1:00.90).
Caroline Anderson uses her wingspan to propel herself forward in the 200-yard butterfly.
“I was just trying to stay relaxed the whole time because my flys felt awful recently,” Anderson said. “So I was just trying to stay smooth and get back to technical fly.”
Freshman Jasmine Williams and Griffin topped the other 10 competitors, swimming 24.92 and 24.97, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle.
Amy Griffin turns her head to breathe in the 500-yard freestyle race Saturday.
In the 100-yard freestyle, the Waves had the top six of 11 swimmers. Birlin flipped over to win it with a 53.66, with Slater closely behind with a 54.62.
Morton won the 200-yard backstroke by a six-second margin, coming in at a 2:06.10.
Emily Morton swings her right arm up and over her ear in the backstroke leg of the 400-yard individual medley.
“Right now, I’m just trying to focus on having good times and swimming well and swimming for me and continuing to love swimming versus love winning,” Morton said.
The Waves and Cougars shared the 200-yard breaststroke title, with Riekhof and Amanda Anderson of APU each finishing with a 2:28.46.
Anna Riekhof pulls her arms together in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Pepperdine declared some of its swimmers as “exhibition,” so they were swimming for time, but not for a place or award. This occurred for the 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 400-yard individual medley races.
Team A — consisting of Birlin, Lileikis, Slater and Griffin — got the final win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing with a 3:35.65.
“The girls got up and raced hard, still a bit tired from winter training,” Vincent said. “They really got up and stood up.”
In the diving portion of the meet, sophomore Paulina Holmberg finished fifth in the 3-meter (192.05), and freshman Olivia Stotz finished sixth (176.20). Holmberg moved up a placing in the 1-meter (229.45), and Stotz remained in the same spot (190.10).
Paulina Holmberg grabs the back of her knees as she tumbles down into a dive.
The Waves finish their season at the PCSC Relays at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California, on Feb. 12–15. Last year, the Waves finished second with 1,198 points.
“I’m excited to see everyone go [for their] best times,” Griffin said. “I’m really looking forward to the team atmosphere that we’re going to have there … and seeing all of our hard work pay off.”
Athletics named Pepperdine alumna Julianna Chan as the assistant coach in January. The former Class of 2019 swimmer is the Communications graduate assistant for the cross country, track and swim teams.
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