By Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen
BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Feb. 27. LONI Burton, a sophomore at Cal State University Bakersfield (CSUB) swam a blistering 55.09 100 fly to better the previous NCAA Division II record of 55.42 set just last year by Corey Dennis of West Chester University.
Burton split a 26.01/29.08 on her way to setting the standard this past weekend at the Pacific Conference Swim Championships at Belmont Olympic Plaza.
"I felt good the whole way,” stated an excited Burton.
“I did not think I was going that fast! It was fun!”
Prior to Burton and Dennis, the record stood for 16 years and was held by Olympian Angel Myers set back in 1986.
Burton is the daughter of legendary distance great Mike Burton, a 1968 and 1972 Olympian in the 400 and 1500-meter free.
Overall, Burton had a very impressive meet, winning three events, setting one NCAA record, two meet records and four CSUB school records. Her achievements did not go unnoticed as she was voted PCSC Female Swimmer of the Meet.
“I have been swimming a long time and have never received an award like this,” commented Burton.
Swimming with only two days of rest, Burton won the 50 free with a lifetime best of 23.57. In the 200 free she hit the pads with an impressive 1:51.29, a time that was over two seconds faster than second place swimmer Elisabeth Glick of UC Davis with a 1:53.48. On the final day of competition, Burton swam exhibition for the 100 free in the prelims and nipped the meet record of 51.20 with a speedy 51.19.
Burton and the CSUB women's swimming and diving team will now be gearing up for the NCAA Division II National Championships to be held March 12-15 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Burton will be looking forward to earning her first individual NCAA titles and helping CSUB to a top three finish.
“ I love being a part of this team," she said. "I love competing. I’m having a great time and I just can’t wait for nationals!”