Under the tutelage of first-year head coach Jack Leavitt the Beavers swimmers and divers get ready to embark on a new era in 2013-14.
The season begins with a SCIAC meet on Saturday, Nov. 23 against Redlands then takes an extended break before getting into the heart of the schedule right after the calendar turns the year.
“Whether it is for practice or a competition, we are going to show-up and get better every day,” Leavitt said. “If we put the time and energy forth, I look forward to seeing marked developments on a regular basis.”
Although the squad is small in numbers, a trio of ladies will be key for the Beavers during the upcoming season as the program pushes to improve throughout the year.
Iris Liu will compete in mostly freestyle and breaststroke events. The senior got consistently better as the season went on last year and is ready to work hard to reach her full potential in her last season with the team.
Alexandra Ilic returns for her sophomore campaign after a successful go-round during her first season with the program. She also had improved time in a variety of freestyle events and peaked at the season ending league championships.
Kalyn Chang is a solid first-year swimmer who will be asked to compete in a variety of events. Mostly a sprint distance swimmer at nearby San Marino high school, she will provide an immediate impact.
“With a smaller group we certainly have little margin for error in head-to-head meets. Yet, I believe we have a squad who will put an honest days work when they get into the water,” Leavitt said.
Both off the starting blocks and from the diving board the Beavers will lean on a handful of returners to score points during dual meets.
Last season, Kevin Yu set the school record in the 100 and 200 butterfly. Entering his sophomore campaign, Yu will look to build upon the success he had during his first year with the program.
Two other sophomores will look to post fast times during the upcoming season. Patric Eck and Jim Blackwood both chipped in significantly in the pool. In addition to their success on the water polo team, they will be looked to for leadership as well as scoring during each dual meet.
C.J. Culpepper was stalwart during distance races last year. Anticipate the junior to post faster time this season. Fellow junior Ben Grabowksi was one of the top divers in the league last season. The native of Lake Forest Park, WA finished fourth at the SCIAC Championships in both the one- and three-meter competitions.
Also expect two first-years to jump to the top in their respective disciplines. Leon Ding was an all-state swimmer at Spring Park high school (MN) while Alexander Place will be one of the better divers in the SCIAC by the time the season comes to a close.
“The men’s squad has an interesting mix of youth and experience. We have the ability to throw some fast times up on the scoreboard if we come to work each day with the proper mindset,” Leavitt said.