THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran women's swimming and diving team is returning a big part of last season's team as 19 athletes are back and looking to compete for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SCIAC) Championship. The team also has seven newcomers.
"We have a really good group of people," said Cal Lutheran head swimming and diving coach Tom Dodd. "They bond well, they're working hard and everyone's coming together to try and do the best job that they can do."
The Regals have six seniors returning in captain Rachel Balcom, Carlie Burow, Kelsey Daehiln, Brianna DeValk, Katja Lindfors and Melody Pope. They will look to use their experience to help the team grow and get better throughout the long season. Last year, the team placed sixth in the SCIAC, but this year's group is looking to make a bigger splash.
Next is the junior group led by Mardell Ramirez and Grace Sanchez. Ramirez earned three All-SCIAC honors at the SCIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, while Sanchez garnered one. Rounding out the junior class is Allison Farre, captain Anna Lundsten, Kimberly Mehl and Alexia Rojas.
The sophomore class is looking to compete and show what they've learned so far in Coach Dodd's system. This group includes Brianna Baldwin, Paulina Cordero, Emily Glass, Emily Sharpe, Jamie Shultz, Meagan Toumayan, Jessica Van der Laan and Christine Weyers.
The incoming class of seven newcomers are looking to step in and make a difference. Alejandra Medina is a junior transfer from Ventura College. The six freshmen swimming for the Violet and Gold for the first time are Sarah Briscoe, Abby Hiller, McKenzie Kelly, Gabriella Schultz, Stephanie Shelley and Camilla Stephens.
"The women have a shot at breaking into the top-three of our conference," said Dodd. "That would be a huge step for them. So I'm looking forward to that, and then just seeing them improve their individual performances."
Cal Lutheran will start the 2017-18 season with its own Cal Lutheran Invitational Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Samuelson Aquatics Center.
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director