THOUSAND OAKS, California, January 4. THE Cal Lutheran men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams honored one of their own this afternoon by hosting a meet named after former Kingsmen swimmer Chris Knorr, who died of brain cancer last spring. In the inaugural invitational, the Pepperdine women came out on top of the women’s team standings, while the UC Santa Cruz men topped the men’s meet. Cal Lutheran took second in the men’s meet and third in the women’s, while UC Santa Cruz finished second in the women’s team standings. Pepperdine’s Katie Giacobbe was recognized with the Chris Knorr Leadership Award for her passion for swimming, leadership and extracurricular involvement.
Cal Lutheran Press Release
It was only fitting that the sun was shining on a clear, warm January day as the Cal Lutheran men’s swimming and diving team hosted the Inaugural Chris Knorr Invitational, honoring the former Kingsmen swimmer known to many as “Sunshine”.
Everyone on the pool deck inside of the Samuelson Aquatics Center including Knorr’s parents Ron and Ginny, athletes, coaches, fans and families lined the pool as head coach Tom Dodd said a few words and shared some stories of Chris’ life. Pastor Melissa then spoke and rose petals were sprinkled into the water, representing the spirit and drive of Knorr, who lost his battle with brain cancer in 2013, and in memory of others who have faced cancer.
Once competition got underway it was a dual meet between host CLU and UC Santa Cruz. The visiting Banana Slugs will return to Northern California victorious, defeating the Kingsmen by a 973-672 margin.
Returning to the pool for the first time in over a month Cal Lutheran produced a number of solid times and performances on the diving boards.
To open the Saturday portion of the meet the 400 Medley Relay team of Aaron Waters, Conrad Sheffer, Michael Fernandez and Chase Miller won by default in a time of 3:52.32. Closing out the event the quartet of Miller, Zach Loza, Tyler Berg and Sheffer took an early lead in the 400 Frees Relay and never looked back, defeating the Slugs team with a time of 3:18.68.
Loza turned in a top finish in the 200 Free with a time of 1:50.11, winning by more than a second. Other event champions between the lanes today were Sheffer, Hill and Miller, who edged Loza to go 1-2 in the 100 Free with times of 49.62 and 49.67, respectively, while David Sparks placed fourth in 50.91. Sheffer locked up the 100 Breaststroke with a swim of 1:02.21 before going a 55.32 for second in the 100 Butterfly (55.32). Hill was victorious in the 200 Fly, clocking in at 2:17.32.
On the diving boards Joey Zielsdorf secured a sweep, scoring a 194.70 on the one-meter board and a 218.30 on the three-meter ahead of teammate Kevin Schultz (178.00) for the top spot.
The 50 Free saw a close competition with five CLU swimmers in the top-seven. Sheffer paced the pack in 22.59 for second place, ahead of Miller (22.67) and Berg (22.68) who finished third and fourth places in the event with Loza (23.32) and Sparks(23.40) right on their heels in sixth and seventh.
Mike Potter began the meet on Friday afternoon with a mile swim, finishing the 1650 yards in 17:24.04 behind only Kendall Pawlowski (UCSC). Today the two met again in the 500 Free, as Pawlowski edged Potter with a sub-five minute mark of 4:59.16, as the CLU swimmer produced a great 5:03.78. Derrick Graham recorded a time of 5:17.06 in the 500 and both Graham and Potter came back to swim the 100 Fly in touches over a minute at 1:00.05 and 1:00.16, respectively, immediately following the distance event.
Placing third in the 200 Breaststroke was Zach Kaija who was just 11 tenths of a second out of second place in 2:27.83.
Suiting up at the SAC for the first time today Fernandezfinished the 200 Individual Medley (IM) in 2:03.18, just out of first place, after swimming the 100 Breaststroke and 50 Free. Andy Nguyen was sixth in the 100 Back in 1:00.51 and also swam the 200 Back in 2:17.69. Other freshmen swimming at the SAC today for the Kingsmen were Dominic Barriere and Bryce Woodell.
Also competing for CLU were Philip Anderson, Louis Burgos and Ethan Flyer.
Cal Lutheran will be back in the pool on Saturday, Jan. 11 when the team travels to Chapman to face the Panthers beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Pepperdine Press Release
The Pepperdine women’s swimming and diving team, in just its first meet following the holiday break, won the Chris Knorr Invitational today on the campus of Cal Lutheran. The Waves swept the relays and won six additional events, while Katie Giacobbe was the female recipient of the Chris Knorr Leadership Award.
Chris Knorr was a member and captain of Kingsmen’s swim team before succumbing to his battle with cancer last May. With Knorr’s parents in attendance, a ceremony was held in his honor prior to the start of the meet. Rose petals were sprinkled in the water representing Knorr’s spirit and drive and in memory of others who have battled cancer.
Giacobbe (Duluth, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian School) was picked based on her extracurricular non-athletic activities, her leadership skills, her positive outlook and her passion for the sport of swimming.
The Waves scored 805 points overall, followed by UC Santa Cruz with 746. Cal Lutheran came in third place behind 399 points.
The day started with the 400 medley relay, which the Pepperdine squad of Allison Naasz (Lodi, Calif./Tokay HS), Jessica Mosbaugh (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos HS), Nicolette Barreiro (Valencia, Calif./Hart HS) and Kristine Pataray (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills HS) won in a collaborative time of 3:54.85.
Naasz continued the winning ways with a first place finish in the 200 freestyle. It was the sophomore’s first individual win of the season.
In the 100 backstroke, Kathrine Kuhlmann (Liberty, Mo./Liberty HS), Codie Cox (Sonoma, Calif./Maria Carrillo HS/Santa Rosa Junior College) and Erin Himes (West Chester, Pa./Unionville HS) all finished in the top-five. Kuhlmann was just two-hundredths off her season best time with a final mark of 1:07.03. Himes set a new season-best time after clocking a 1:07.21.
Kelly Presper (Irmo, S.C./Hammond School) and Cox finished two-three in the 100 breaststroke.
Mosbaugh, with 10 race wins under her belt before today, won three more events this afternoon. She first won the 200 butterfly (2:11.03), before taking the 100 butterfly (1:00.36) and the 200 IM (2:11.72).
Ally Bernard (Porterville, Calif./Monache HS/Cuesta College) posted her first race win of the season, posting a winning time of 25.91 in the 50 freestyle. Barreiro came in right behind her with a season-best time of 26.05.
Barreiro went on to place second in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Sydney Newman (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Oak Ridge HS) won the 3-meter dive, earning a score of 181.50.
Presper paced Pepperdine in the 200 breaststroke behind a time of 2:47.58, while Emma Fitzsimmons (Southport, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe HS), Mae Corbin (El Paso, Texas/Loretto Academy) and Giacobbe took up the No. 3-6 spots in the standings.
Pepperdine’s 400 freestyle team, comprised of Pataray, Bernard, Mosbaugh and Naasz, finished the day with a win. The Waves outswam the opposition by nearly 10 seconds with a final time of 3:45.84.
Pepperdine returns to competition this Wednesday, Jan. 8 with a dual meet at Loyola Marymount featuring the Waves and Lions as well as Alaska-Fairbanks.