Caitlin DeNise leads Pioneer swimming to NCAA nationals after winning CSUEB's first PCSC titles. (Photo: Kellley Cox)
The Cal State East Bay women’s swim team is set to compete at the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championships after finishing runner-up at the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference (PCSC) Championships in mid-February. Senior Caitlin DeNise was named the PCSC Female Swimmer of the Meet as the highest overall scorer, and head coach Ben Loorz was named the Women’s Coach of the Meet.
DeNise, Brittany Rojo, Alyssa Tenney, Madison Hauanio, Makila Schuck, and Kamaehu Alboro will represent Cal State East Bay women's swimming at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Geneva, Ohio, which begin on Wednesday, Mar. 12. The Pioneers sent four swimmers to last year's meet and all earned All-American honors.
"I am proud of the entire team," said Loorz. They worked as a unit this year to be the best they could be, and we were able to submit entries for 11 team members to the NCAA Championships. Of the 39 teams who will be represented on the women's side at nationals, only 13 have six or more swimmers."
The PCSC meet was highlighted by the first two individual event titles won in the history of Pioneer swimming. DeNise earned wins in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley, to go along with a runner-up finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Her fastest time in the butterfly event was an NCAA national automatic qualifying time. She was part of a Pioneer squad that set 15 program records and collected 25 NCAA national provisional qualifying times for this week's national championship meet.
DeNise, Brittany Rojo, Rachel Shimizu, Alyssa Tenney, and Madison Hauanio all earned three individual All-Conference honors by placing in the top-eight and qualifying for the PCSC Championship finals. Ten different swimmers totaled 24 all-conference finishes throughout the meet. Cal State East Bay finished runner-up in all five relay events, and in the process, recorded five provisional qualifying marks. The Pioneers set school records in three of the five relays and in 15 of the 20 events currently on the PCSC Championship schedule.
DeNise qualified for three individual events, highlighted by her automatic qualifying time in the 100 butterfly. She was one of seven swimmers in the nation to post an "A" cut time and she is seeded sixth heading into nationals. Rojo, who also qualified as an individual in the event, is seeded 12th overall. DeNise will also swim in the 200 individual medley and 100 free, where she is seeded 13th and 8th, respectively.
Tenney, Hauanio, and Schuck will also be competing as individuals after qualifying as part of the relay and posting NCAA provisional qualifying times in individual events. Tenney will compete in both distances of the IM and the 50 free, while Hauanio will join her for the 200 IM and take part in the 100 free. Schuck will swim in the 100 breast.