CSUEB swimmers set 16 school records during the 2012-13 season. (Photo: Kelley Cox)
It would not be an exaggeration to say that 2012-13 was the best year in the history of Pioneer swimming. In its third year under head coach Ben Loorz — and just its fourth since joining NCAA Division II — Cal State East Bay set 16 school records and sent four student-athletes to a national championship.
The Pioneers won eight of their meets during the season, and they also finished as the top Division II school at the UNLV Invitational in Las Vegas. They had high expectations heading into the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference (PCSC) Championships in February, but few could have predicted the performance they would turn in. Over the course of four days at the Splash! Aquatic Center in La Mirada, Calif., East Bay shattered nearly every record on the books. They took second place overall, the best finish in program history, while nine swimmers earned All-Conference honors thanks to top-8 finishes in individual events.
Senior Jenel Lopez set CSUEB records in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle. She finished her career as probably the greatest sprinter in Pioneer history and was a key figure in the team's recent rise to national contention. At the 2013 Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, Lopez was named Cal State East Bay's Female Athlete of the Year, winning the award for the second year in a row.
The Pioneers also had a standout year academically. Junior Rachel Knowle earned Academic All-PCSC honors for competing in a championship meet and maintaining at least a 3.5 gpa. Tenney, Hannah Cutts, and Karly Wasung were honorable mention Academic All-Americans for posting a 3.5 gpa to go along with an NCAA B-cut. Collectively, the Pioneers earned Academic Team All-American honors thanks to a 3.28 team gpa in the fall quarter (which ranked 25th in the nation) and a 3.05 gpa in the winter.
Way to go, Pioneers!