2010-11 Summary: Stellar Campaign Unfurls for Bulldog Swimming & Diving
With a talented crew of competitors, the 2010-11 edition of Bulldog swimming & diving uncorked a memorable season, complete with an exciting conference run, record-breaking performances and individual awards. With both teams finishing second in a top-heavy conference, Redlands continued to compete at a high level while striving for daily improvement. As the women's team saw numerous extraordinary feats on an individual level, the men put together one of the greatest seasons in the program's decorated history with a seventh-place showing at the NCAA Championships.
Redlands kicked off the year with a weekend of competition against NAIA powerhouse, Cal Baptist University. The Bulldogs welcomed the swimmers to the Thompson Aquatic Center while the divers headed to Riverside for a pair of challenging showdowns in these early season outings. Both swimming programs came away with third-place finishes behind the Lancers and Grand Canyon University (AZ). The women earned 246 points while the men captured 176, with both squads besting conference foes Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and Occidental College. For the women, sophomore Lauren Zehner (Portland, OR) recorded the team's best finish by out-touching all but one competitor with her time of 59.98 in the 100 Fly. Sophomores Lauren Campbell (Dana Point, CA) and Molly Duncan (Escondido, CA) debuted at their first collegiate diving event with scores of 90.80 and 84.70, respectively.
After suffering a non-conference loss to Cal Baptist during its first dual meet of the season, Redlands hosted the Bulldog Pentathlon, which is a unique competition for swimmers to dabble in a variety of races, despite their preferred specialty. Sophomores Chris Depew (Naperville, IL) and Jesse Chansler (Kirkland, WA) highlighted the teams' efforts, with Depew placing second in the men's event, while Chansler took sixth among the women in the non-team scoring event.
The Maroon and Gray divers gained experience at the annual Bulldog Dive Invitational with freshman Eli Nieburh (Las Vegas, NV) taking center stage for Redlands. He finished fifth (210.95) on the one-meter board and seventh (170.80) in the three-meter event.
Opening Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition, both squads ripped off back-to-back victories in the first weekend of action, taking down Whittier College and Cal Lutheran University. The women's team showcased several impressive performances, highlighted by the sophomore class. Second-year swimmers Chansler, Zehner, Allie Bollella (Palo Alto, CA), and Shirin Sedeghat (Boulder, CO) racked up key victories for the Maroon and Gray. Among the individual wins, Zenher took home the gold standard in the 100 Fly (1:00.89) and the 200 Fly (2:16.85). Beyond these successes, she displayed a strong freestyle stroke that resulted in a top finish in the 200 Free (2:04.05).
On the men's side, Depew and junior Tyler Harp (San Bernardino, CA) appeared unstoppable as they combined to win seven individual races and three relays over the weekend.
Taking a quick break from SCIAC action, several members of both teams competed at the high-caliber Finnis Invitational in Long Beach. Battling against quality opponents from Cal Poly Pomona, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Baptist, Pepperdine University and Vanguard University, the men's team placed sixth overall with 600 total points, while the women's squad finished fifth with 443 points. Depew and Harp once again headlined the Bulldog performances. Depew placed second in the 200 IM with a time of 1:53.92, losing by a mere one-hundredth of a second. He also recorded a second-place showing in the 400 IM by clocking in at 4:04.75. Harp touched the wall first in the 50 Free, posting a time of 20.74, and then followed up that showing with a second-place mark of 1:39.08 in the 200 Free.
After returning from winter break, both teams kept up their winning ways by cruising past the Caltech Beavers and the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer. Against the Beavers, Redlands' teams posted scores of 175-63 and 198-42, respectively. Led by sophomore free-styler Matt Zaggy's (University City, MO) three victories, the men recorded a lopsided win over the Sagehens by a score of 157-83. With senior Kat McIntosh (Baltimore, MD) collecting 22 points for the U of R, the women also came out on top with a 139-95 showing against Pomona-Pitzer.
The men's team crushed Occidental College with a season-high 196 points to the Tigers' 42 to remain undefeated in SCIAC competition. For the men, senior long-distance veteran Alec Alders (Pasadena, CA), junior Greg Heinicke (East Wenatchee, WA) and freshman Patrick Wall (Ladue, MO) teamed up for a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1000 Free with times of 10:00.59, 10:27.11, 11:04.33, respectively.
On the other hand, the women's squad was tripped up by Occidental falling to the Tigers for the first time since the 1995-96 season. While ending a win streak that spanned more than 15 years, Redlands suffered a 102.5-140.5 defeat.
The Bulldogs returned to familiar form the following week with both teams dominating the University of La Verne. The men's team netted a 182-56 win and the women earned a 178-47 victory over the Leopards. Individually, the Bulldog swimmers buried the Leopards, clinching 17 of the 18 possible first-place marks, with the women registering all nine individual wins, including a 1-2-3 sweep in eight of those events. Senior Kelley Cooper (San Antonio, TX) posted a first-place time of 2:03.95 in the 200 Free and then followed that up with a season-best time of 5:29.28 in the 500 Free. Among the men's highlights, rookie freestyler Nikolai Paloni (Coronado, CA) notched his first career SCIAC victory by taking home the top spot in the 50 Free (22.15).
In the final conference meet of the regular-season, the Maroon and Gray recorded mixed results against rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. The men stepped up with a 144-99 performance to remain undefeated against SCIAC opponents, while the women dropped a 74-166 decision to the Athenas. Alders earned SCIAC Male Student-Athlete of the Week honors for his efforts against CMS after winning the 1650 Free (16:48.17) and 500 Free (4:49.51). Overall, he never lost in 12 individual races during the SCIAC regular-season meets.
Redlands left it all in the pool during the 2011 SCIAC Championship meet at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, with each team taking home second-place honors. The Bulldog men's program recorded 739 total points, while the women's side earned 695 in an exciting showdown of all eight conference schools.
During the competition, 18 individuals from Redlands earned All-Conference honors, which included Harp as the SCIAC Male Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive season. He contributed 208 of the Bulldogs' 739 points over the three-day span, bringing his season total to 14 individual victories as well as numerous relay wins.
After winning the 500 Free, Alders clinched his second SCIAC title of 2011 by ousting teammate Wall in the 1650 Free. Alders found his stroke by registering a season-best and NCAA "B" qualifying time of 15:53.39, which reset the conference and meet records in the process.
Sophomores Caitlin Michaels (Hanover, NH) and Zehner represented the Bulldogs proudly at the SCIAC Championships, taking down school records in the 200 Back (2:06.93) and 500 Free (5:03.05), respectively.
A few weeks after the conference finale, five members of the men's team learned that they had earned a spot at the NCAA Championships in Knoxville, TN. The combination of Alders, Harp, Depew, junior Colin Gladys (Yorba Linda, CA), and freshman Clint Freeman (Brentwood, CA) starred in one of the most impressive outings in program history. With only five swimmers, the team provided an inspirational effort to earn 180 points for a seventh-place finish, which stands as the best national showing in the team's tenure.
All five swimmers earned All-American status with Depew leading the way for the Bulldogs by clinching three individual All-America honors. On the opening day of the NCAA meet, he dropped more than four seconds off his season-best mark to finish as the national runner-up in the 200 IM. His time of 1:49.57 was less than a half of a second off the championship standard. The following day he collected his second All-America accolade of the week by placing fourth in the 400 IM. He dramatically improved his season-best time of 4:02.54 when he touched the wall in 3:56.18 during the finals. Depew continued his stellar performance of the meet by posting an All-America time of 1:48.22 in the 200 Fly for third place. He shaved nearly four seconds off of his seed time en route to garnering 16 points for the Bulldogs.
Upon the conclusion of the season, both Depew and the men's squad garnered honorable-mention recognition from www.collegeswimmingawards.com as break-out performers during the 2010-11 campaign.
Out of the water, the Bulldogs also brought home academic accolades. Both Harp and Wall collected CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for their performances in the classroom and in the pool.
Despite several significant losses due to graduation, Redlands holds high hopes for continued achievements due to the solid foundation that remains. After seeing such great success in his first season, Head Coach Trevor Harp looks forward to building upon this incredible run while remaining focused on regaining the coveted conference crown. With talent, determination and experience, the Bulldog swimming & diving program boasts the necessary tools for another exciting season at Redlands.