- BY Cal State East Bay
- April 8, 2020
“Of course I would’ve loved to swim at Nationals and had that opportunity, I’m happy that I made it. But I’m even happier that I was given the opportunity to even compete in college; it was a great experience.”
Three Cal State East Bay swimmers, two in their final seasons with the university, were forced to leave short of completing their dreams of competing in the NCAA Division II National Championships for swimming.
Allie Klinger, 21, a health sciences major; Tori Zukeran, 21, a biology major and junior Peyton Wayment, were all at day two of the national competition when the university called and told them they were no longer allowed to compete due to coronavirus concerns. An hour later, the event was canceled entirely.
“Nationals would have been my last swim meet ever,” Klinger said, adding she was able to swim two preliminary races before the event was canceled, although, at that point, the only people allowed on the pool deck were swimmers and coaches.
Despite the disappointment, Klinger said she’s glad she went and feels good about how her final season with East Bay went overall. “For me personally, it was a lot of mixed emotions,” she said. “When I went to [the NCAA Championships], I felt like I had achieved every goal I set for myself that season. We ended up winning Conference [Championships] as a team, so I saw Nationals as a bonus.”
Zukeran, whose entire family flew into Ohio from Hawaii to see her race, only to have to turn right back around and fly home, said she’s glad she had the opportunity — her first in a 15-year swimming career.
“Of course I would’ve loved to swim at Nationals and had that opportunity, I’m happy that I made it,” she said. “But I’m even happier that I was given the opportunity to even compete in college; it was a great experience.”