California Baptist Swimming and Diving Starts New Life in Division I: Schedule Released

Photo Courtesy: California Baptist Athletics

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – After one of the best seasons in program history, California Baptist University is ready to take on year one of its transition to NCAA Division I and the Western Athletic Conference.

In 2018-19, the Lancers will compete in 13 regular-season events, with five of them at home and seven Division I contests. There are three new additions to the schedule (not including the postseason), with the 10 other repeats from last year. CBU will look to build on 2017-18 when it swept the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men’s and women’s team titles, won two individual Division II championships and finished national runner-up on the men’s side and 10th on the women’s.

“We are super excited about the WAC, obviously, and going Division I,” Coach Rick Rowland said. “We hope to win a conference title as a team and individually, that’s a unique opportunity for us in swim/dive. We have some great recruits coming in and a strong returning class coming back on both sides.”

CBU’s first three stops on the schedule are familiar. It all starts with the PCSC Invite, which will mark the team’s seventh-straight trip there, as it will swim the pentathlon portion of the event in La Mirada on Oct. 6.

For the fourth year in a row, the Lancers then head to Pepperdine for the Malibu Swim/Dive Invite (Oct. 13). CBU’s divers will be the first to make their home debut with the fifth annual Lancer Dive Invite (Oct. 20). Meanwhile, the swimmers will be at UNLV that same day for their first big Division I and WAC test of the year.

The entire team will make its first showing at the Lancer Aquatics Center for a dual with Pomona-Pitzer on Oct. 26. The next day, the Lancers will take on their third dual in a week with a trip to CSU Bakersfield, another WAC opponent (Oct. 27), it has faced since 2002 Rowland said.

After two weeks off, CBU will travel to the Mizzou Invite (Nov. 15-17). It will be a challenge, as Missouri took 15th at the 2018 NCAA Division I Championships on the women’s side and 23rd on the men’s side. The next event will be the Lancer Swim/Dive Invitational, which will start at Riverside City College Dec. 14 and end at the Lancer Aquatics Center Dec. 15.

It kicks off three-straight home events, with CBU returning from Christmas break for a home dual with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Jan. 4 before then hosting the WAC’s Grand Canyon and Wyoming for a tri-dual (Jan. 5). It will be another challenge for the Lancers after both GCU and Wyoming were top-40 teams on the men’s side and Wyoming also adding a 37th-place performance for the women.

For the second year in a row, CBU will compete at the UCLA Diving Invite (Jan. 11-13) and then travel to La Jolla for a dual with UC San Diego (Jan. 20). The Lancers’ final tune-up for the WAC Championships will be a tri-dual at Pepperdine with the Waves and WAC foe Air Force.

The WAC Championships will be hosted in Houston (Feb. 27 – March 2). Wyoming is the defending WAC champions on the men’s side, while Northern Arizona won the women’s 2018 title.

While the Lancers won’t have a chance to compete at the NCAA Division I Championships until 2022-23, they will have a chance to stay sharp at the CSCAA National Invitational Championships (NIC), which will be hosted in Cleveland March 14-16.

“The nice thing is we still have a chance to win a conference title,” Rowland said. “Two weeks after that, we have a chance to swim at a national meet. The team gets to enjoy the experience of pursuing conference championships as a team or individual.”

The NIC gives D-I athletes who are not selected for the D-I Championships an opportunity to compete on a national stage if they’ve achieved B standards or won conference championships.

“It’s a different year because we don’t qualify for NCAAs, but we still have a supplementary meet that’s like a championship,” Rowland said of the NIC. “There were 40 teams there last year, and there were some good times and standards.”

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with California Baptist Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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